Apple hires Frederic Jacobs, developer behind encrypted messaging app Signal

BY Evan Selleck

Published 26 Feb 2016

Signal iOS app

Apple, still embroiled in a battle with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over encryption, has made a rather timely hire.

It’s been confirmed that the Cupertino-based company has hired Frederic Jacobs in an internship role that will take place over the summer months. Jacobs is a developer that is best known for an encrypted messaging app called Signal. That app might sound familiar, as it’s been reported as Edward Snowden’s favorite messaging app.

Jacobs, for his part, confirmed the news via Twitter as well:

What Jacobs will be doing for Apple is unknown, but the safe bet is that it has something to do with encryption. The hire actually supports reports that Apple is moving forward with beefing up its encryption efforts, including stronger encryption for iCloud backups.

Apple filed a legal motion yesterday to formally vacate the initial court order that aims to force Apple to assist the FBI in accessing data on a locked iPhone 5c used by one of the shooters at San Bernardino last year. On the same day, the Director of the FBI, James Comey, essentially confirmed that while the FBI has repeatedly said the court order won’t set a precedent, that it actually will.

Apple’s general counsel and the Director of the FBI will testify in front of a congressional hearing over encryption on Tuesday, March 1.

Signal is free, and you can download it from the link below.


[via WIRED; @FredericJacobs]