Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Signal Provides Only Two Timestamps as Response to Grand Jury Subpoena

Signal says it can provide only a couple of timestamps in response to a grand jury subpoena for user data that it recently received from the District Court for the Central District of California.

Signal says it can provide only a couple of timestamps in response to a grand jury subpoena for user data that it recently received from the District Court for the Central District of California.

The official document requests a large amount of user information from the end-to-end encrypted, privacy-focused communication service, including a target’s username, name, date of birth, photos, address, email address, financial information, job-related information, activity logs, online behavior information, records of correspondence, and more.

Furthermore, Signal is asked to refrain from informing the respective user of the subpoena.

“Signal still knows nothing about you, but inexplicably the government continues to ask,” the communication platform notes in a blog post.

Furthermore, the company explains that the only pieces of information it can provide as response to the subpoena include the Unix timestamps “for when each account was created and the date that each account last connected to the Signal service.”

Basically Signal doesn’t have access to a user’s messages, name, address, photos, calls, or other data associated with the account, except for the aforementioned timestamps.

The response to the subpoena, in which the American Civil Liberties Union represents Signal, explains that the communication service was designed in such a manner that prevents it from tapping into users’ information or correspondence and that messages and calls are always encrypted and out of reach of third-parties.

“Users’ calls and messages are always encrypted, so they can never be shared or viewed by anyone except a user and their intended recipients. Likewise, Signal does not have access to its users’ profiles, group membership or group data, contacts, social graphs, searches, or the like,” the response reads.

Thus, as response to the subpoena, Signal provided only the information it could deliver, namely the aforementioned timestamps.

Related: Signal Adds Face Blurring Tool to Protect User Privacy

Related: Encrypted Messaging App Signal Hit by Brief Outage

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.


The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.

Application Security

PayPal is alerting roughly 35,000 individuals that their accounts have been targeted in a credential stuffing campaign.


No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.