Info about the recent Wire trust and transparency fiasco

Credi: Alex Andrews, Pexels


Messaging app Wire confirms $8.2M raise, responds to privacy concerns after moving holding company to the US

Ingrid Lunden, Natasha Lomas – TechCrunch

Cutting the Wire

Dan Arel – Privacy Tools

Official Statements

Wire Business Update

Wire Blog


@aral have you seen all the stuff going around about Wire getting a massive investment from a VC?
Seems Wire also launched a new holdings company. I reached out for comment with no reply yet.
— Dan Arel (@danarel) 11 Nov 2019

Oh, ffs! Is this true, @wire?
— Aral Balkan 🕷 (@aral) 11 Nov 2019

More on this issue.
— Renato (@ArkhadiaTalks) 11 Nov 2019

A VC investment isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it does raise questions. Only full answers and transparency are acceptable. See more details at the @privacytoolsIO forum @aral:
— Liz McIntyre (@LizMcIntyre) 12 Nov 2019

If you’re a company that builds a product that purports to protect privacy yes, VC investment is a deal breaker. VC investment means an exit and that exit means you’ve sold and lost control. Who will buy @wire in their exit? Google? Facebook? Palantir? It’s all possible.
— Aral Balkan 🕷 (@aral) 12 Nov 2019

Right, @wire: you have a PR and legitimacy disaster on your hands and your silence isn’t helping. Your CEO needs to start talking and start talking now. What the fuck is going on?
— Aral Balkan 🕷 (@aral) 12 Nov 2019

So turns out @wire changed ownership, didn’t really notify anyone as per their own privacy policy, and worst of all it’s to a US entity. It’s been proven time after time we shouldn’t place our data (or trust) into US entities. I used wire because it was different. Cc @Snowden
— Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (@brokep) 13 Nov 2019

If you’re a tech journalist, you should be digging into the story behind what’s going on behind the curtain here. This is not appropriate for a company claiming to provide a secure messenger — claims a large number of human rights defenders relied on — and we need facts.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 13 Nov 2019

— Natasha (@riptari) 13 Nov 2019

Transparency that you are 100% been taken over by a wire Holding based in USA? Since July 2019. Where is the official information Tweet?
— (@dSchwarzeWolf) 13 Nov 2019

Yes, you got the point. The lack of transparency from @wire side bring to the users a lack thrust on the company.
— Renato (@ArkhadiaTalks) 13 Nov 2019

“prior notice” is not enough. Under GDPR you’d need active consent for data reuse.
— Kirils Solovjovs (@KirilsSolovjovs) 13 Nov 2019

Since @wire is open source—front end and back end—would it make sense (as a stop gap, as it is a very useful tool until we have usable decentralised alternatives), to:
1. Set up a not for profit
2. Fork Wire
3. Release a free/open alternative based & hosted in the EU?
— Aral Balkan 🕷 (@aral) 13 Nov 2019

What’s going on @alanduric? The silence from @Wire is deafening.
I’m very disappointed.
— Aral Balkan 🕷 (@aral) 13 Nov 2019

This is really upsetting. Is @wire now a privacy charlatan?
— Gry Hasselbalch (@mediamocracy) 13 Nov 2019

Yet another secure tool fall into the hands of an US company. Bye bye @wire I thought to use you but #Threema has my trust for now.
— Ollivier Robert (@Keltounet) 13 Nov 2019

I am torn after all of this. Asking, and explaining to, someone not interested in security that they should install signal, an app that looks like it’s a beta app from the 90s, or pay for an app like threema with a tiny user base, isn’t an easy sell. Or, even worse ->
— Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (@brokep) 13 Nov 2019

Clearly @wire has changed its priorities alongside a change of interests. The change in brand slogans shows this. From “privacy” to “security”. Please prove me wrong, be #trustworthy, or I’ll call you out and move my entire network somewhere else. #privacy #dataethics #aiethics×900
— Gry Hasselbalch (@mediamocracy) 13 Nov 2019

So, @wire, who owns your company, why didn’t you inform the users of the ownership change (call it a move, the shares still changed ownership), how can we trust your privacy policy when you didn’t inform us about this? You have an app, with a bot!, that could have done this.
— Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (@brokep) 13 Nov 2019

We now have an official statement from @wire about the recent move to the US and their plans. TL;DR: They are seeking additional VC funding to grow their enterprise business and the move to the US coincides.
— Dan Arel (@danarel) 13 Nov 2019

The fact Wire violated their own privacy policy by moving to the US, changing ownership and not making their customers aware, also completely violates user trust in their business. What else in their privacy policy are they willing to violate in order to raise funds?
— ThinkPrivacy (@ThinkPrivacyIO) 13 Nov 2019

I’m sure there will be follow-up questions. One saving grace: They’re open source.
— Liz McIntyre (@LizMcIntyre) 13 Nov 2019

Lawyer friends: @Wire has moved their holding company from Luxembourg to the U.S., with the hope it will help in future fundraising. What are the privacy implications of such a move? Does this affect their susceptibility to data requests in U.S. courts?
— Martin (@mshelton) 13 Nov 2019

Added a privacy warning badge to Wire on our messaging list today. The decision to remove or keep Wire as a recommended app will come soon.
For now, the warning will allow users to make a decision with more facts.
— ThinkPrivacy (@ThinkPrivacyIO) 13 Nov 2019

Not only does Wire not care about the individual user, but they don’t care about user privacy.
— Dan Arel (@danarel) 14 Nov 2019

Well, that’s it for Wire as far as I’m concerned. They are moving into a different market and don’t care about the individual user or their privacy.
— ThinkPrivacy (@ThinkPrivacyIO) 14 Nov 2019

Thank you very much for following up- getting even basic facts on the record about their plans here is a real public service. It’s disappointing to see how little concern Wire appears to have for the individual userbase that made their venture rounds possible. I hoped for better.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 14 Nov 2019

“Wire was always for profit and planned to follow the typical venture backed route.” [@Wire CEO] Brogger… describes individual consumers as “not part of our strategy.”
This is a grim turn for a once-promising app, and a window for @Signalapp to exploit.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) 14 Nov 2019

As @aral said, it’s time to fork their Github and start a not-for-profit and release a better version.
— Dan Arel (@danarel) 14 nov 2019

— Renato (@ArkhadiaTalks) 14 Nov 2019

So following up on the @wire situation, in an article at @TechCrunch Wire confirms that they’re not really interested in us end-users. I say it’s time to really dump #Wire as a platform for personal communication.
— Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi (@brokep) 14 Nov 2019

Even in June 2019 @wire declined to comment if they would insist on end-to-end-encryption if German laws turned against it.
— Sebastian Meineck (@SebMeineck) 14 Nov 2019

The 1st quote is fr a source, the 2nd from the CEO. Mashed up, it looks harsher than poss intended: Wire continues to support indiv users as it makes an enterprise pivot. Big issues IMO are data privacy assurance that now that it’s in the US, and how changes are communicated.
— Ingrid (@ingridlunden) 14 Nov 2019

And this scoop is from late last night with Natasha. There is a lot to say about this one, too much for a tweet. Just read the story. PLZ (cc @robinwauters) Important points here not just for Wire but all messaging companies esp those that trade on security and privacy cred.
— Ingrid (@ingridlunden) 14 nov 2019

Encrypted messaging app Wire confirms $8.2 million raise, and responds to privacy concerns after moving holding company to the U.S.
Great scoop by @ingridlunden and @riptari.
— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) 14 Nov 2019

If we can learn anything from Wire, Facebook, Twitter, and others is that we need more decentralized services like Matrix, Mastodon, PeerTube, and more. Instances you can join that meet your privacy and security requirements, and you can easily move if those needs change.
— Dan Arel (@danarel) 14 Nov 2019

• Forked the necessary repositories.
• Started a not-for-profit cooperative.
• Started new infra for new independent Wire.
— フィリップ (@HelloFillip) 14 Nov 2019

Unklar ist, wieso Wire behauptet, «vollständig konform mit den strikten Datenschutzgesetzen der Schweiz und der EU» zu sein:
So wird in der Datenschutzerklärung von Wire die einschlägige Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO) mit keinen Wort erwähnt…
— Adrienne Fichter (@adfichter) 18 Nov 2019

Forum Threads

Wire Swiss GmbH is now owned by a USA holding company?


GitHub Issues

The Android app fails to mention the takeover by US Morpheus Ventures #2416

wireapp / wire-android

Open source futrue with US Morpheus holding takeover #330

wireapp / wire

Blog post last updated: 25 November 2019