Signal will ditch plaintext SMS support soon

Signal users will soon see in-app notifications that guide them through exporting SMS messages to a different app

Signal app on Android

End-to-end encrypted messaging service Signal is dropping SMS support, the company announced in an October 12th blog post.

The company says it has reached a point where SMS support no longer makes sense for it, while Signal app-to-app messaging will continue to thrive.

Signal says the most critical reason for dropping SMS support is that “SMS messages are inherently insecure,” and that there’s no way for the company to make SMS as secure as its in-app messaging. “They [SMS] leak sensitive metadata and place your data in the hands of telecommunications companies. With privacy and security at the heart of what we do, letting a deeply insecure messaging protocol have a place in the Signal interface is inconsistent with our values and with what people expect when they open Signal,” says the company.

Additionally, the California-based company says that it has had instances where Signal users had assumed they were sending Signal messages, only to find out that they were using SMS, and racked up massive SMS bills. The company says ending support for SMS on its platform will prevent this from happening in the future.

Lastly, dropping support for SMS will allow the Signal team to focus on building other new features for in-app messaging, like the addition of usernames in the future.

Signal users would soon start seeing in-app notifications that guide them through the process of exporting their SMS messages to a different app, alongside recommendations to invite their friends and family over to Signal to take advantage of its app-to-app end-to-end encrypted messaging.

The company did not mention when support for SMS will end, though it did say that users will have “several months” to transition.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: Signal 

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