Wire is now owned by a US-based holding company, delisted from PrivacyTools

Written 7 months ago by IanDorfman

For those of you that prefer to use secure communication methods with full confidence in their privacy, this news is important:
Secure messaging service Wire has announced that it is now owned by a US-based holding company, with its latest series of funding coming from an investor with a portfolio of data-intensive companies.

Following Wire's official announcement of the change of holding company to a United States-based business entity, as well as the fact that Wire has accepted $8 million in venture capital funding from investors including Morpheus Ventures, Small PrivacyTools iconPrivacyTools has removed Wire from its list of secure software.

In PrivacyTools' post explaining the decision, ThinkPrivacy creator Dan Arel cited multiple points:

One of the major investors in Wire's latest $8 million funding push is Morpheus Ventures, which owns companies in industries like healthcare, life insurance, retail customer data analytics, and voice AI. All of these industries notoriously use privacy-invading data collection methods in order to ensure profitability without levying additional costs on to consumers directly.

Crucially, Wire has also updated its privacy policy within the past couple of years, changing verbiage from only sharing user data when "required by law" to the much more vague "if necessary..." This essentially gives Wire a tool to justify whatever action it takes with your user data. This policy change was not disclosed to users. Additionally, as has already been established, Wire stores unencrypted metadata (including a list of everyone you've ever contacting using the service) in plaintext.

Though PrivacyTools has removed Small Wire iconWire from its recommendations, that does not necessarily mean that it's unsafe, as Arel himself stated. That said, the PrivacyTools team has lost faith in standing behind the integrity of Wire's promise of secure messaging, and that itself is a big statement.

In the meantime, PrivacyTools itself lists real-time communication software and services that it still stands behind. This includes Small Signal iconSignal for a more traditional instant messaging approach as well as Small Linphone iconLinphone for voice and video calling. Both services support end-to-end encryption and are fully open source.

Further coverage:
Wire blog post
PrivacyTools.io blog post