Caitlin Fairchild | Nextgov | May 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Senate Staffers Can Now Use Encryption App Signal

The Signal encrypted messaging app loading on a smartphone. Raphael Satter/AP

When it comes to privacy and security, many people who deal with sensitive information turned to encrypted chat app Signal.

Fresh on the heels of his decision to move all Senate websites to HTTPS, Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank J. Larkin has approved official use of Signal by Senate staff members.

While Senate staff members first began using Signal for official business in March, the news broke May 9 in a letter from encryption enthusiast Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

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"I am happy to see that you too recognize the important defensive cybersecurity role that encryption can play," Wyden said in the letter, thanking Larkin for his decision.

Previously, some lawmakers have cited concerns about the use of encrypted apps by Environmental Protection Agency employees, and whether the use of such apps by federal employees flouts record-keeping laws.

According to a spokesperson for National Archives and Records Administration, who spoke with ZDNet, members of Congress are mostly exempt from those rules.

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