How police can try to get your Signal messaging apps records for investigation

In hundreds of criminal investigation cases, authorities are always looking for information available from all sorts of sources, from oral testimony, evidence, and even posts and activity on social media and online platforms, including messaging apps.

Companies such as Facebook, Apple and various manufacturers of smartphones and other smart devices receive constant requests from the U.S. government to implement mechanisms that allow authorities to access confidential information on these platforms. For the fulfillment of these orders, platforms such as WhatsApp have begun to issue their own guidelines, rules to which developers submit to deliver information of their users to the authorities.

This is not the case with Signal, a messaging app focused on users’ privacy. According to a report by the company, the authorities continue to try to access the information of the users of this service, which is impossible considering that this platform does not store user information and such records do not exist on its servers.

In other words, Signal does not know the names, addresses, contact list, and call and message logs of any user.

In releasing a new subpoena received by its legal team, Signal confirmed that it sent authorities a response exactly the same as that issued with the previous subpoenas: In its dataset identified as “Account and Subscriber Information,” Signal only stores timestamps to identify when an account was created, last network connection, and other minor details.

In addition to the search warrant, the platform revealed that it received four consecutive non-disclosure orders on these requests. Signal concluded by mentioning that the court that issued the orders never confirmed receipt of a response or scheduled a hearing. The platform will continue to work continuously to maintain its commitment to user privacy, which needless to say does not violate any rule in current US legislation.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.