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Thread: Phone App that is terrifying the US Government.

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Jul 2009
    Ohio, USA

    Phone App that is terrifying the US Government.

    The startup tech firm Silent Circle’s groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app will enable people to send files securely from a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button—photographs, videos, spreadsheets, you name it—sent scrambled from one person to another in a matter of seconds.

    The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a “Silent Text” app. The sender of the file can set it on a timer so that it will automatically “burn”—deleting it from both devices after a set period of, say, seven minutes. It’s a game-changer that will almost certainly make life easier and safer for journalists, dissidents, diplomats, and companies trying to evade surveillance.

    When a user sends a picture or document, it will be encrypted, digitally “shredded” into thousands of pieces, and temporarily stored in a “Secure Cloud Broker” until it is transmitted to the recipient. Silent Circle, which charges $20 a month for its service, has no way of accessing the encrypted files because the “key” to open them is held on the users’ devices and then deleted after it has been used to open the files.

    Law enforcement agencies will almost certainly be seriously concerned about how it could be used to aid criminals. The FBI, for instance, wants all communications providers to build in backdoors so it can secretly spy on suspects. Silent Circle is pushing hard in the exact opposite direction—it has an explicit policy that it cannot and will not comply with law enforcement eavesdropping requests.

    The new Silent Circle is due to launch later this week, hitting Apple’s App Store by Feb. 8. Expect controversy to follow.
    Last edited by zack991; 02-08-2013 at 04:09 AM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

  2. #2
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    White Oak Plantation
    The government may complain loudly, I think SCOTUS has ruled that civilian encryption is protected. I believe it involved encrypted e-mail. This is good. The government and the courts have eroded our 4A right and the private sector must find ways to work around that erosion.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    Jan 2008
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    I may very well be mistaken but doesn't PGP provide the same level of secure encryption w/o paying $20/mo ?
    And all my hard drives are TrueCrypt encrypted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    earth's crust
    I encrypt my stuff with a double barrel shotgun ... feds want to de-crypt it? Come'on down ... I have a quick de-crypter-program..

  5. #5
    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Renton, Wa
    There are plenty of encryption applications already out there. I use TrueCrypt to protect my computer and I use Secret Space Encryptor to protect my phone or send encrypted texts or files. This is nothing new. The algorithms in place today are mathematically impossible to crack and the keys are kept on the local device or are deleted altogether. The only backdoor I can think of is to hack the password for the encrypted partition itself - which requires possession of the device. Sending data securely is not a new science.

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    They are probably owned by the NSA, who can now focus on just the encrypted stuff.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  7. #7
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    , Virginia, USA
    The Guardian Project does a lot of development and has some useful apps for protecting yourself and your data on Android phones.
    They do have a SIP application called OSTel, just like Silent Circle, but it is free to use and if you use a e-mail address won't tie back to you. If your worried about an IP capture when checking the mailinator email access it through the TOR network. Anonymity and encryption!

    APG is another app, not related, that provided PGP encryption of email from your Android with direct integration to K-9 mail for PGP/inline. Unfortunately, K-9 will not do direct PGP/MIME yet so you have to do a couple steps to decrypt that on your phone.

    For the home, I believe that the various Linux flavors of operating systems offer the most support to fully secure your data but some programs can be a bit of a challenge to set up for new users.

    Truecrypt is a nice program as well and if you set it up correctly you can have a dummy OS log in password that gives the appearance of giving up the correct password when coerced. The individuals that coerced you, probably Government goons, will have access to the dummy account and data while your sensitive data is still completely hidden and secured. Very nice feature for international travelers and people within the 100mi Constitution suspended zone near the boarder. ( 100mi zone reference: )

    This message was typed while open carrying the only gun I have that didn't get lost during a tragic deep sea fishing accident about a month ago.
    Last edited by Toad; 02-09-2013 at 10:07 AM.

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