The Paranoid Crusade Comes for Public Radio and Signal

Justin Ling:

[Philip] Zimmermann is a bit of a hero of mine. (I tried to hide my gushing while we spoke.) I’m particularly fond of him because of the broad, complicated, messy coalition he helped usher in to continue advocating for this open internet: Anarchists, libertarians, paranoid weirdos, nerds, activists, journalists, and a lot of people in-between. Despite lots of cross-purposes, this loose-knit coalition has stuck together. Even Elon Musk is — or, was — a Signal stan.

So imagine my surprise when, this week, I came across a thinly-written essay arguing that Signal had “a problem.” It had, the essay argued, been compromised by the American intelligence state. Not from the outside, but from the inside.

When all you have are documents and a red Sharpie, everything looks like it must be connected. All this bad faith effort is able to do is suggest something could happen or might be happening — without a single piece of evidence — and it is enough to get people whipped up in some anxious frenzy.

Update: More from Matthew Green.