On November 16th, Meredith Whittaker, President of Signal, published a detailed breakdown of the popular encrypted messaging app’s running costs for the very first time. The unprecedented disclosure’s motivation was simple - the platform is rapidly running out of money, and in dire need of donations to stay afloat. Unmentioned by Whittaker, this budget shortfall results in large part due to the US intelligence community, which lavishly financed Signal’s creation and maintenance over several years, severing its support for the app.
Never acknowledged in any serious way by the mainstream media, Signal’s origins as a US government asset are a matter of extensive public record, even if the scope and scale of the funding provided has until now been secret. The app, brainchild of shadowy tech guru ‘Moxie Marlinspike’ (real name Matthew Rosenfeld), was launched in 2013 by his now-defunct Open Whisper Systems (OWS). The company never published financial statements or disclosed the identities of its funders at any point during its operation.
Sums involved in developing, launching and running a messaging app used by countless people globally were nonetheless surely significant. The newly-published financial records indicate Signal’s operating costs for 2023 alone are $40 million, and projected to rise to $50 million by 2025. Rosenfeld boasted in 2018 that OWS “never [took] VC funding or sought investment” at any point, although mysteriously failed to mention millions were provided by Open Technology Fund (OTF)...
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