Connect with us

Business insider

Signal barely knows anything about its tens of millions of new users. Experts and employees worry it’s an extremist free-for-all.

SOPA Images / Contributor/Getty Images Signal has seen a surge in new users, but some worry extremists could abuse its encryption. Signal say…



Telegram app, Signal, WhatsApp

SOPA Images / Contributor/Getty Images

  • Signal has seen a surge in new users, but some worry extremists could abuse its encryption.
  • Signal says it can’t moderate how people use its app because it doesn’t collect any user data.
  • Experts tell Insider that Signal’s privacy standards put it in a unique position amid its huge growth.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over the past month, messaging app Signal has been downloaded tens of millions of times. But unlike most social platforms, the company hardly knows anything about its users.

Signal – which is owned by a nonprofit and doesn’t sell ads or user data – avoids collecting people’s demographic or personal information other than phone numbers, which are required to create accounts. All groups and direct messages on the platform are encrypted, meaning the company doesn’t know how its app is being used, and doesn’t want to find out.

Now, Signal is at the center of a new battle over online privacy and content moderation.

The company is under pressure to claim responsibility for how its platform is used amid concerns that extremists are flocking to it after being exiled from Parler and closed Facebook groups. Signal employees have internally raised concerns that the app isn’t doing enough to stave off abuse, The Verge reported Monday.

Those concerns build on longstanding pressure from the US and other governments to break encryption in order to aid law enforcement investigations, a measure Signal has previously rejected. Meanwhile, so long as Signal’s primary form of distribution is through Apple and Google’s app stores, it’s beholden to their rules around moderating harmful content – something that could prove precarious as it continues to grow and add new features.

Privacy experts told Insider that Signal’s practice of not collecting user data puts it in uncharted territory as it adapts to surging growth. While experts agree that breaking encryption is antithetical to the app’s purpose, they said that Signal may have to write an entirely new playbook to ensure the app isn’t used for nefarious purposes without compromising privacy.

“Now is the time to start thinking about these concerns,” said Megan Squire, an Elon University professor and Southern Poverty Law Center senior fellow tracking online extremism. “I think it’s probably past time.”

A Signal spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. In an interview last August, Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike told Insider that the importance of protecting privacy should outweigh concerns that private channels are used for illegal activity.

“It’s important to realize that real change happens in private. That has to be true. And if you don’t have any truly private spaces left, I think you’re sacrificing a lot,” Marlinspike said.

The company was founded with a privacy-first mentality meant to run counter to the data-collection practices of big tech companies like Facebook and Google. Marlinspike has highlighted its commitment to protecting the secrecy of people’s conversations on the platform.

“There’s this insanity to how everything works right now. Just a handful of companies have a massive amount of data about everybody – it’s a dangerous equation,” Marlinspike said in the August interview.

Blurring the line between private chats and public forums

Signal has become a target among groups targeting online extremism in recent weeks. After reports surfaced that the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol was organized by users on Facebook and Twitter, those companies began cracking down and banning accounts linked to the violence. Parler, a social media platform used by some riot participants, was taken offline by Amazon for failing to moderate content on its site.

The same week, tens of millions of new users flocked to Signal, as well as other encrypted messaging apps like Telegram. That surge was likely also driven by an exodus of users from WhatsApp over its new data-sharing policies, but its proximity to the online crackdowns following the Capitol siege made Signal an area of interest to extremism researchers, according to Squire.

While Signal has traditionally offered direct messages and small group messages using its encryption protocol, its newer group links feature rolled out in October is garnering more concern. The feature, which is available on rivals such as WhatsApp, makes it possible to share a public link through which anyone can join an encrypted group of up to 1,000 people.

That function raises red flags to those fighting online extremism – according to Squire, extremists typically use encrypted chats to plan specific events while evading scrutiny while using larger groups to spread “propaganda.”

“What you end up with is these large, encrypted groups full of people that don’t really know each other and aren’t accountable and could be getting radicalized and doing weird stuff,” Squire said. “As Signal starts to add more features, that makes it look like a one-stop shop.”

It moves Signal closer to a threshold that, when crossed, could expose it to demands to moderate its content. Right now, Signal doesn’t advertise these groups within the app, but competitor Telegram does let users search for hashtags and terms to surface publicly visible forums.

For example, just this week, Insider searched Telegram for the #stopthesteal hashtag and found an open group with more than 800 members.

Telegram says it’s taken steps to increase moderation on its platforms, but the way in which it amplifies these groups has drawn criticism in recent weeks, with the app coming under fire for hosting groups that have been linked to violence.

In response, nonprofit Coalition for a Safer Web sued Apple for not taking down Telegram following the Capitol attack.

Coalition president Marc Ginsberg acknowledged to Insider that encryption on apps like Signal and Telegram has been a force for good, such as helping users in autocratic regimes shield their communications, but argues that Telegram makes it far too easy for users to find groups posting hateful content.

“Our fight is not to take on encryption,” he said. “Our efforts are right now focused on content moderation.”

Even privacy advocates note that large groups carry different expectations of privacy than direct messages. John Callas, project director at the privacy-focused Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Insider he does find pressure to decrypt group chats “concerning” but added that as groups surpass hundreds of members, encryption becomes increasingly moot because there’s less of an expectation of privacy.

“I believe there’s a basic human right for two people to be able to talk in private,” Callas said. “But when you have a group that big, encryption is not the issue.”

As it continues to build out new features that could be ripe for abuse, Signal’s more immediate threat may be Apple and Google, which have rules for any app on their store that produces user-generated content – which is to say, content created by people for other people to view (Google defines it as content “visible to or accessible by at least a subset of the app’s users.”)

Apple and Google demand that apps producing this content have sufficient moderation policies to stamp out harmful content such as hate speech, and language inciting violence. That rule was recently enforced when Google and Apple suspended social media app Parler from their app stores following the Capitol Hill riots. The app, which is popular with far-right Trump supporters, was hosting content inciting violence and did not have sufficient moderation policies to ban that content, Google and Apple said.

How to moderate content you can’t see

Governments have been pressuring tech companies to break encryption for more than a decade. Department of Justice officials during the Obama and Trump administrations urged companies including Signal, Apple, and Facebook to build “encryption backdoors” that would let them decrypt suspects’ messages in order to solve crimes.

Privacy experts fiercely oppose that measure, saying it would compromise everyone’s privacy by weakening encryption. Evan Greer, deputy director of digital privacy advocacy group Fight for the Future, told Insider that she’s skeptical of renewed calls to break encryption to counter far-right extremism online.

“Encryption is essential for millions of peoples’ safety,” Greer said, noting that activists and political dissidents worldwide rely on encryption to avoid persecution. “We have a lot of work to do to address harmful, hateful ideologies, but we have to stop looking for these quick fixes of, ‘Let’s blame the technology.'”



Business insider

Blackstone’s betting $6 billion on the rental market – here’s why private-equity loves real estate right now

Jonathan Gray, Blackstone president and chief operating officer Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Blackstone is all-in on rent resets…



Jonathan GrayJonathan Gray, Blackstone president and chief operating officer

Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

  • Blackstone is all-in on rent resets and long-term property assets to combat potential inflation.
  • Private equity firms have trillions of dollars in cash to put to work on acquisitions.
  • Blackstone’s share price ticked over $100 for the first time this month.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It’s been quite the month for Blackstone.

The private-equity behemoth is part of a consortium of investors that bought Medline for about $34 billion, its share price ticked over $100 for the first time, and it’s doubling down on residential real estate with a $6 billion Home Partners of America buy.

It’s a bet on scorching demand for housing continuing, and also a defensive move as inflation worries start to seep into investors’ minds. The average price of a home topped $350,000 for the first time inn May, according to the National Association of Realtors, logging the largest-ever increase in prices since the NAR began tracking data.

“Whether it’s apartments, storage facilities for warehouse distribution, or single-family homes, private-equity is getting into this as an inflation hedge,” Nicholas Tsafos, a partner with accounting firm EisnerAmper, told Insider.

Home Partners, which owns more than 17,000 homes in the US, rents out these properties, but tenants have an opportunity to someday buy the home.

In the single-family rental arena, private-equity firms can hike rents, while also holding onto profitable, tangible assets.

“Because interest rates are low, and with the potential for a pick-up in inflation, private-equity also feels the need to be long on hard assets,” Tsafos said. “In real estate, you buy it today and then flip it for a higher price.”

Jon Gray, Blackstone’s president and COO, alluded to it during the firm’s earnings call in April when he said multi-family apartments that come with the ability to reset rents were key for Blackstone.

The firm bought many houses at remarkable discounts after the housing market crashed in 2007. It accumulated a number of single-family homes through a former portfolio company Invitation Homes. Blackstone sold its final block of shares in the company in 2019.

The private-equity shop also favors logistics spaces, such as warehousing, life sciences offices, and media and studio businesses with offices, according to a June 22 research note from UBS.

In October, Blackstone made a handsome investment when it sold life sciences real-estate company BioMed Realty for $14.6 billion, after acquiring it for about $8 billion in January 2016.

And it’s not just Blackstone. Fellow private-equity investor KKR is investing in My Community Homes, a platform that buys and manages single-family rental properties, according to Bloomberg.

KKR will invest in My Community Homes through its real-estate and private-credit vehicles.

A spokesperson for KKR was not immediately available to comment.

The Carlyle Group said in May that it provided up to $300 million to Four Springs Capital Trust, a private REIT that acquires and manages single-tenant properties with long-term net leases.

Four Springs will use the money to build its portfolio, which encompasses 122 properties across 29 states, Carlyle said in a press release.

The move on real estate comes while private investment firms sit on more than $1 trillion in cash. Borrowing costs, too, remain subdued as the Fed keeps interest rates at all-time lows.

Given the sheer amount of dry powder available, coupled with accommodative credit markets, private-equity is keen to conduct a surfeit of acquisitions, and isn’t shy about injecting large sums of equity into prospective investments.

Medline, for example, is expected to raise roughly $17 billion from the debt markets, while the private investors are providing a similar amount in equity.

“Big leveraged buyouts are back in vogue,” said Christopher Zook, chairman and CIO of alternative investment manager CAZ Investments. “Whether it’s KKR or Blackstone, they have large capital to put to work. So they’ve got to do a ton of deals.”

Disclaimer: KKR holds a majority stake in Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer.

It’s been quite the month for Blackstone.



Continue Reading

Business insider

Trading the Fed, plus insights from a 99th-percentile fund manager

Hello and welcome to Insider Investing. I'm Joe Ciolli, and I'm here to guide you through the current market and investing landscape. Here…



Hello and welcome to Insider Investing. I’m Joe Ciolli, and I’m here to guide you through the current market and investing landscape. Here’s what’s on the docket:

If you aren’t yet a subscriber to Insider Investing, you can sign up here.

Have thoughts on the newsletter? Just want to talk markets? Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] or on Twitter @JoeCiolli.

Fed-driven portfolio adjustments GettyImages 1228670990

Pool/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve left interest rates steady this past week while setting the stage for two hikes by year-end 2023. Traders, who took a wait-and-see approach before the Fed meeting, quickly sprung into action. Insider spoke with Wall Street and crypto investors to gauge how to position for the hawkish shift.

Read the full story here:

The Fed has left rates steady while signaling 2 potential hikes by the end of 2023. Here is what to do with your stocks, bonds, and digital assets, according to top Wall Street and crypto investors.99th-percentile insights and stock picks Dave Ellison

Hennessy Funds

Financial-sector stocks have outperformed the rest of the market over the last several months. Hennessy Funds’ Dave Ellison – who’s in the 99th percentile compared to peers over the past year – told Insider he expects their strong performance to continue. He shared 5 financial stocks to buy now in order to take advantage of the remaining upside.

Read the full stories here:

Dave Ellison has beaten 99% of his peers over the last year managing the Hennessy Small-Cap Financial Fund. He breaks down why he thinks financial stocks still have room to run – and shares 5 names to bet onSPAC shorts SPACs and hedge funds 2x1

Brian Snyder/Reuters; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider

Short interest in SPACs stood at $3.2 billion in mid-June, up from $2.7 billion. The uptick in SPAC shorts comes as the market works to recover from a weeks-long slowdown, and one ETF manager expects recently “de-SPACed” companies to see short activity surge soon. Exclusive data shows the 20 most-shorted blank-check companies right now.

Read the full stories here:

Bets against SPACs are revving back up as the market attempts a comeback. Here are the 20 most-shorted blank-check companies now.YOU’RE INVITED: A Millennial Guide to Home Ownership

Join us and learn how to navigate the complicated process of buying a home in today’s hot market on Tuesday, June 22 at 12 p.m. ET – during a free, hour-long virtual event presented by Fidelity.

Register here.

Stock pick central

Seeking experts who are willing to name names? Look no further:

Have thoughts on the newsletter? Just want to talk markets? Feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] or on Twitter @JoeCiolli.



Continue Reading

Business insider

Artificial Organs Market | $ 10.90 billion growth expected during5 | Technavio

NEW YORK, June 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The artificial organs market is expected to grow by USD 10.90 billion during 2021-2025, according to Techn…



NEW YORK, June 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The artificial organs market is expected to grow by USD 10.90 billion during 2021-2025, according to Technavio. The report offers a detailed analysis of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the artificial organs market in optimistic, probable, and pessimistic forecast scenarios.

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled Artificial Organs Market by Product and Geography - Forecast and Analysis 2021-2025

Understand the in-depth market insights with value chain analysis and validation techniques:
Download FREE Sample Report

With the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, organizations across the globe are gradually flattening their recessionary curve by leveraging technology. Many businesses will go through response, recovery, and renew phases. Building business resilience and enabling agility will aid organizations to move forward in their journey out of the COVID-19 crisis towards the Next Normal.

The artificial organs market will witness a positive impact during the forecast period owing to the widespread growth of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per Technavio’s pandemic-focused market research, market growth is likely to increase in 2021 as compared to 2020.

This post-pandemic business planning research will aid clients to:

  • Adjust their strategic planning to move ahead once business stability kicks in.
  • Build Resilience by making effective resource and investment choices for individual business units, products, and service lines.
  • Conceptualize scenario-based planning to mitigate future crisis situations.

Key Considerations for Market Forecast:

  • Impact of lockdowns, supply chain disruptions, demand destruction, and change in customer behavior
  • Optimistic, probable, and pessimistic scenarios for all markets as the impact of pandemic unfolds
  • Pre- as well as post-COVID-19 market estimates
  • Quarterly impact analysis and updates on market estimates

Major Three Artificial Organs Market Participants:

Abbott Laboratories
Abbott Laboratories offers ASSURITY MRI PACEMAKER. Its size and shape allow surgeons to make small incisions during the implantation procedure. This pacemaker requires a small pocket under the skin of the chest during implantation.

Asahi Kasei Corp.
Asahi Kasei Corp. offers REXEED. It is a hemodialyzer for effective removal of toxins and low molecular weight proteins.

B. Braun Melsungen AG
B. Braun Melsungen AG offers Diacap Pro. It is a hemodialyzer that removes wastes and excess fluid from the blood.

If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extract FREE! Get report snapshot here to get detailed market share analysis of market participants during COVID-19 lockdown:

Artificial Organs Market 2021-2025: Segmentation

Artificial organs market is segmented as below:

  • Product
    • Artificial Heart
    • Artificial Kidney
    • Cochlear Implants
    • Artificial Pancreas
  • Geography
    • North America
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • ROW

The artificial organs market is driven by the increasing prevalence of chronic disorders. In addition, the growing demand for pacemakers and dialyzers is expected to trigger the artificial organs market toward witnessing a CAGR of almost 9% during the forecast period.

Know more information on factors assisting the artificial organs market growth during the next five years, Request Free Sample Report @

Related Report on Healthcare Include:

Global Breast Reconstruction Market- The breast reconstruction market is segmented by product (breast implants and tissue expanders) and geography (North America, Europe, Asia, and ROW).
Download FREE Sample Report

Global Dental Infection Control Products Market- The dental infection control products market is segmented by product (consumables and equipment) and geography (North America, Europe, Asia, and ROW).
Download FREE Sample Report

Market Drivers

Market Challenges

Market Trends

Vendor Landscape

  • Vendors covered
  • Vendor classification
  • Market positioning of vendors
  • Competitive scenario

About Us
Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focuses on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimize their market positions. With over 500 specialized analysts, Technavio’s report library consists of more than 17,000 reports and counting, covering 800 technologies, spanning across 50 countries. Their client base consists of enterprises of all sizes, including more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. This growing client base relies on Technavio’s comprehensive coverage, extensive research, and actionable market insights to identify opportunities in existing and potential markets and assess their competitive positions within changing market scenarios.

Technavio Research
Jesse Maida
Media & Marketing Executive
US: +1 844 364 1100
UK: +44 203 893 3200
Email: [email protected]
Report Page:

Technavio (PRNewsfoto/Technavio)

Cision View original content to download multimedia:—10-90-billion-growth-expected-during-2021-2025–technavio-301315548.html

SOURCE Technavio

Markets Insider and Business Insider Editorial Teams were not involved in the creation of this post.

With the continuing spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, organizations across the globe are gradually flattening their recessionary curve by leveraging technology. Many businesses will go through response, recovery, and renew phases. Building business resilience and enabling agility will aid organizations to move forward in their journey out of the COVID-19 crisis towards the Next Normal.



Continue Reading


CNBC22 hours ago


Corporate Company Earnings, Find Earnings Per Share and Earnings History Online

Bioengineer2 days ago

Reduced microbial stability linked to soil carbon loss in active layer under alpine permafrost degra

Credit: NIEER Chinese researchers have recently discovered links between reduction in microbial stability and soil carbon loss in the active

Reuters4 days ago

Chipmaker TSMC says too early to say on Germany expansion

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW) said on Monday that it was too early to say whether it will...

Bioengineer5 days ago

SNMMI Image of the Year: PET imaging measures cognitive impairment in COVID-19 patients

Credit: G Blazhenets et al., Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Center - University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of

Techcrunch5 days ago

The DL on CockroachDB – TechCrunch

As college students at Berkeley, Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis created a successful open-source graphics program, GIMP, which got the...

CNBC6 days ago

International: Top News And Analysis

CNBC International is the world leader for news on business, technology, China, trade, oil prices, the Middle East and markets.

Blockchain news7 days ago

Ethereum is Expected to Undergo a 90% Daily Emission Reduction Following ETH 2.0 Upgrade

Market analyst Lark Davis believes that Ethereum 2.0 upgrade will prompt a 90% daily emission reduction from 12,800 to 1,280.

Reuters1 week ago

EXCLUSIVE India watchdog accuses Amazon of concealing facts in deal for Future Group unit

India's antitrust regulator has accused Inc (AMZN.O) of concealing facts and making false submissions when it sought approval for...

Bioengineer1 week ago

Scientists demonstrate promising new approach for treating cystic fibrosis

Scientists led by UNC School of Medicine researchers Silvia Kreda, Ph.D., and Rudolph Juliano, Ph.D., created an improved oligonucleotide therapy

CNBC2 weeks ago


Corporate Company Earnings, Find Earnings Per Share and Earnings History Online


    Select language