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Open Whisper Systems

Developed by Open Whisper Systems (OWS), Signal is an easy to use mobile application that provides encrypted text messaging and voice and video calls relied on by millions of individuals around the globe. The underlying Signal encryption protocol has been integrated into a variety of widely used messaging platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Allo. This has allowed well over a billion mobile users to benefit from end to end encryption. OTF’s most recent support enabled the OWS team to continue providing Signal at no cost around the globe and adapt their operations for a growing user base. OWS also implemented a numeric fingerprint format to improve localization, reduce the likelihood of a false comparison, and improve the user experience for users not reliant on the Latin alphabet.

Funding to date

2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
$0
$455 000
$900 000
$900 000
$700 000
12 months
18 months
12 months
12 months
5 months
Total funding: 
$2 955 000
Core issues: 
Access to the Internet
Current project status
  • Just an Idea (Pre-alpha)
  • It Exists! (Alpha/Beta)
  • It's basically done. (Release)
  • People Use It. (Production)
Objectives
Technology development
Beneficiaries
General public
Addressed problems
Restrictive Internet filtering by technical methods (IP blocking, DNS filtering, TCP RST, DPI, etc.)
Repressive surveillance or monitoring of communication
Government practices that hold intermediaries (social networks or ISPs) liable for user content
Technology focus
Web API/Mobile application (serverside)
Mobile application (clientside)
Cryptography
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Sensitive data