Signal hops on the Dunning-Krugerrand bandwagon

Not only is Signal a sketchy-as-fuck privacy-violating social network wearing "security" cosplay, now it also has a climate-incinerating Ponzi scheme bundled in.

Cool, cool.

Stephen Diehl:

Do they think we don't see through the thinly veiled pump and dump scheme that's proposed? It's an old scam with a new face.

Allegedly the controlling entity prints 250 million units of some artificially scarce trashcoin called MOB (coincidence?) of which the issuing organization controls 85% of the supply. This token then floats on a shady offshore cryptocurrency exchange hiding in the Cayman Islands or the Bahamas, where users can buy and exchange the token. The token is wash traded back and forth by insiders and the exchange itself to artificially pump up the price before it's dumped on users in the UK to buy to allegedly use as "payments". All of this while insiders are free to silently use information asymmetry to cash out on the influx of pumped hype-driven buys before the token crashes in value. Did I mention that the exchange that floats the token is the primary investor in the company itself, does anyone else see a major conflict of interest here? [...]

The whole Libra/Diem token (or whatever they're calling its remains this week) was a failed Facebook initiative exploiting the gaping regulatory loophole where if you simply call yourself a cryptocurrency platform (regardless of any technology) you can effectively function as a shadow bank and money transmistter with no license, all while performing roughly the same function as a bank but with magic monopoly money that you can print with no oversight while your customers assume full counterparty risk. If that sounds like a terrible idea, it's because it is. [...]

The larger trend is of activist investors trying to turn every app with a large userbase into a coin operated slot machine which forces users to buy from a supply of penny-stock-like tokens that are thinly traded and which investors and market makers collude on to manipulate prices for their own gain.

Yes, all that. But also, he began his post with:

This time [the exploitation and betrayal] felt much deeper because it introduced a conflict of interest from our fellow technologists that we truly believed were advancing a cause many of us also believed in. So many of us have spent significant time and social capital moving our friends and family away from the exploitative data siphon platforms that Facebook et al offer, and on to Signal in the hopes of breaking the cycle of commercial exploitation of our online relationships. And some of us feel used.

Well, I'm sorry, but if you felt that way about Signal, you were a damned fool.

It is clear from its design and behavior that Signal's priority is to be a social network first and an encryption tool second. Growth at any cost.

Signal immediately spams all of your contacts with your phone number as soon as you sign up, proving conclusively that they value "expand the social network" more than privacy. That shows where their priorities lie, and from that alone, you know that they're sketchy as fuck.

But beyond that, Signal pretends to be open, but very much is not. If you compile and distribute your own copy of Signal, you are legally prohibited from calling it Signal -- and if it's not called Signal, it cannot connect to the Signal network of servers, meaning your fork cannot talk to Signal users.

Which means that the only way to use Signal to talk to other people using Signal is to use the official app. And you have no way of knowing what's actually going on inside it. Maybe it's running the same code as what they publish. Or, you know, maybe not.

Abusing Trademark law to circumvent the checks and balances that open source development normally provides is just appalling. They get to pretend that it is open source, get that bullet item on the pitch sheet, get the good press associated with that, get credulous nerds to call them "fellow technologists" (whatever-the-fuck that means) while still maintaining absolute control.

Signal is no less a vertically-integrated, untrustworthy data silo than any product from Facebook or Google.

And now it is also roping you in to the global suicide pact known as "proof of work".

Cool, cool.

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