It’s been confirmed that Apple has hired Frederic Jacobs, one of the developers of the secure messaging app “Signal,” which is notably known as the encrypted messaging service that Edward Snowden uses “every day”. Jacobs will be working on the CoreOS team as an intern this coming summer, where he’ll help the company beef up the safety measures and encryption of iOS devices across the board.
Jacobs, for his part, confirmed the news via Twitter as well:
I'm delighted to announce that I accepted an offer to be working with the CoreOS security team at Apple this summer.
— Frederic Jacobs (@FredericJacobs) February 25, 2016
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.
Jacobs’ hire comes amidst a heated battle between Apple and the FBI over the latter’s attempts to gain access to the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, a shooter in the attacks that took place in San Bernardino, California in December. Apple CEO Tim Cook sees the cooperation with the FBI’s request as a potential slippery slope that could lead to a looser grasp on the privacy and security of Apple product users worldwide.
Apple’s general counsel and the Director of the FBI will testify in front of a congressional hearing over encryption on Tuesday, March 1.
Apple hires Frederic Jacobs, Developer of Encrypted Chat App ‘Signal’