A coalition of more than 90 groups, including Fight for the Future and Mozilla, will stop by Slack’s offices in San Francisco and Denver on Wednesday and ask that the collaboration app transform users’ conversations through end-to-end Encryption (E2EE) protects.
Groups include digital justice and racial justice organizations, abortion lobbyists, and safety-focused corporations. Protesters carry — and sometimes drive — mobile billboards and digital signs while “Make Slack secure” T shirts.
According to the organizers of the rally in Post-Roe America, the communication app is not secure. And that won’t be until Slack offers E2EE, as well as blocking, muting, and reporting features to protect users from harassment, they claim.
“Millions of people use Slack every day to do work, volunteer, and connect with online communities — including abortion funds and reproductive rights groups targeted by anti-abortion efforts,” says Caitlin Seeley George, Campaign Manager and Head of Fight for the Future Director, Narrated The registry.
“And the company has historically shrugged off questions about offering end-to-end encryption, saying they don’t think their users want that,” she added.
Last week Fight for the Future organized an open event letter signed by the more than 90 organizations involved in the protest. The document urges Slack to implement these security and privacy features to prevent governments from using the service for evil purposes.
“In the United States and around the world, governments are using data and digital communications to target human rights defenders and those who expose human rights abuses, including political nonprofits, activist networks and journalists,” the letter reads. “For many of these groups and individuals, Slack is an absolutely vital communication tool, but it could also become the basis for government attacks, repression and censorship.”
These issues are becoming particularly acute in the United States, where private communications can be used following the Supreme Court’s overturning of the Roe vs. Wade ruling Criminalize abortion seekersadded Seeley George.
“Every day that Slack doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption puts abortion seekers, providers and supporters at risk. So we are making great efforts to get the company to address this security issue and protect its users,” she said.
Easy, easy back
Slack, in turn, says despite the lack of E2EE: “We take the privacy and confidentiality of our customers’ data very seriously. Our policies, practices and default settings are aligned with business uses of our product,” said a spokesman The registry.
In an emailed statement, the spokesperson described Slack’s policies as follows:
Slack declined to answer specific questions about its plans — or lack thereof — to enable E2EE.
When properly implemented, E2EE prevents anyone other than the participants in a private conversation from accessing its content. This includes the platform provider, which means that even if Slack were served a subpoena to release messages, the content of those communications would remain encrypted.
Fight for the Future and other digital privacy advocates have been beating this drum for years, and it is get louder since 2022 Dobbs decision that the US Constitution does not provide for a right to abortion.
Some messaging platforms seem to be listening. Both Apple and Meta have promised to provide more E2EE this year: Apple for most of its iCloud services worldwide (the offer will probably not apply in China), and Meta has committed to offering E2EE by default in both Messenger and Instagram – despite it strong objections by the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies.
By the way, Meta’s WhatsApp platform has long used E2EE by default. signal always.
“A lot of these platforms are progressing,” Seeley George said.
And then there’s Slack. By name and currently also voluntarily. ®