Silent Circle Smartphone App Encrypts Voice and Text for Private Communication
J. G. Vibes
The Intel Hub
October 22nd, 2012
Reader Views: 1,360
A group of software developers with a history in military intelligence have created a smartphone app that promises to encrypt voice and text messages for private communication.Â There are already many encryption options inÂ existenceÂ but they areÂ unfortunatelyÂ difficult to use, which is a barrier for those without the skills, patience, or time to learn. Silent Circle promises to make encryption much easier for the average person.Â After two years in development this revolutionary product has finally hit the market.
According to theÂ Silent Circle Website:
âWe have created an All-Star Team of the worldâs top cryptographers and security engineers who are the creators of some the worldâs most widely-respected encryption products. We also believe that a sound understanding of physical security measures and real-world knowledge of the newest threats all over the world are critical. Thatâs why we have two Navy SEALs and three British 22nd SAS Special Forces communications experts within the fold. They have crossed borders, communicated on every conceivable medium, navigated around hostile surveillance methods and used both commercial and government secure communication platforms to stay private and evade detection.
Our secure communications products use âDevice to Device Encryptionâ â the keys that encrypt your communications are generated on your device and discarded when unneeded. The only exception is Silent Mail which either uses PGP keys you create and manage yourself or allows you to have our PGP Universal server generate them for you.
We do not have the ability to decrypt your communications across our network and nor will anyone else â ever. Silent Phone, Silent Text and Silent Eyes all use end-to-end encryption and erase the session keys from your device once the call or text is finished. Our servers donât hold the keys. Our encryption keeps unauthorized people from understanding your transmissions. It keeps criminals, governments, business rivals, neighbors and identity thieves from stealing your data and from destroying your personal or corporate privacy. There are no back doors in our systems, nor will there ever be.
Silent Circle helps solve todayâs organizational BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) issues. Your people can now communicate on their preferred personal devices, secure and encrypted. We use PGP email encryption, our own Silent Circle Instant Messaging Protocol (SCIMP) over XMPP for texting, and ZRTP for secure VoIP telephony. We built these products, built the network, and stand by the security that they provide.
We do everything we can do to protect your security, but for the highest security, there are things that you have to do yourself. Cryptography isnât magic. Itâs technology. We work hard to make it easy to use, but all technology has limitations. We work hard so you donât have to trust us, and that we hold the absolute least amount of your information. But security is a partnership, and we canât do everything. Here are some things you need to think about on your own. We feel a little sheepish saying all of this. Much of it should go without saying, but itâs always better to be safe than sorry.â
There is no doubt that it is somewhat suspicious that former high ranking members of the military are behind this technology, however, it is important to remember that it is not the people in these positions that are our enemies, it is the ideas that put those people in those positions, and the system that they operate under.Â From Smedley Butler to William Cooper, freedom seekers who joined the military for the right reasons and were exposed to the reality and senselessness of war have since become some of the greatest allies of antiwar activist movements.Â Now in the age of the internet there is a whole new generation of people quitting the military to speak out against the military industrial complex, and do their best to work against it, so lets hope that silent circle is another current example of this process.
All indicators so far say that Silent Circle will be a legitimate way for people to have private communications without the government spying on them, and as expected the government is already in hysterics over the possibility.Â Â According to Business InsiderÂ the group has already become a target of government harassment, a situation that is not unusual to them at all.
Co-founderÂ Phil Zimmermann, who releasedÂ PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) toolÂ in 1991, is no stranger to government harassment, but said that two aspects of Silent Circle protect the company from a government raid or investigation.Â First the Peer-to-Peer nature of the technology which leaves no records and has no centralized hub, and second the fact that this whole company is run by people with deep histories with the military industrial complex, so for them to be brought to court over this program would create a media firestorm that the government doesnât want.Â With this technology on the market it is only a matter of time before other people start developing their own versions, further decentralizing the ability to encrypt messages and giving people the power to take back their privacy, at least to some extent.
J.G. VibesÂ is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook calledÂ Alchemy of the Modern RenaissanceÂ and host of a show calledÂ Voluntary Hippie Radio.
He is also an artist with an establishedÂ record labelÂ and event promotion company that hostsÂ politically charged electronic dance music events. You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooksÂ at his websiteÂ www.aotmr.com
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Contributed by J. G. Vibes of The Intel Hub.
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