1 post • joined 21 Nov 2012
From Silent Circle CEO
Really great in depth questions and comments here. I will try to clear up any of the misconceptions that always happen when things hit the press. At Silent Circle- we are a small tribe of only 30 people, so it's important to us that we try our best to clear up any questions about what we do- and how we do it...I will try my best to give this a shot and address some of the above comments..
- we offer Peer-to-Peer encrypted mobile voice, video and text. Our email is encrypted using Phil's PGP protocol. We use a newer stack of his ZRTP voice-video encryption for voice- video. If a silent circle subscriber calls another subscriber on our silent phone app- that call is encrypted phone to phone- the callers generate the keys- when the call is done- the keys are deleted.
- we are not subject to CALEA or any similiar European law- why? Because they all explicitly allow end to end encrypted VOIP or communications previously encrypted before hitting the cell network- to be allowed without requiring a wiretap capability. We are doing our best to ensure this right is not taken away from the citizens. We are trying hard to educate the law enforcement agencies of US, Europe and around the world- that hundreds if studies have shown that if a Backdoor is mandated- this can be exploited by criminal hackers, competing intell agencies and others- exposing everyone to risk.
- SEALs and SAS. Yes- part of our tribe is made up if two SEALs and three SAS members- they are communications experts in hostile and austere environments, but are highly trained in navigating and understanding the threats of communication networks in not only countries with horrible human rights records- but first-world countries that have sophisticated wiretapping and data collection technologies. Think France or Italy or Brazil...most people don't realize that all of us came together because there was no viable commercial encrypted communications service for the citizens of the world- no way to call home when deployed as a military member, human rights activists or just a businessman protecting his company's secrets. The SEALs and SAS members had the same problem. Prohibited from using the militaries system- it became impossible or even dangerous just to say goodnight to the kids...until now.
- law enforcement leaning on us does no good. We cannot decrypt anything that runs thru our servers- the keys are generated and destroyed on the users device- we have nothing but encrypted junk. That is why peer to peer using ZRTP is so powerful when built correctly. We hold the least possible data - only a username, hashed password and 10-digit phone number we issue the subscriber. Our IP logs are aggregated and deleted after 5 days- we expect to get this down to 24 hours shortly.
- we will offer a Secure Calling Plan feature here in December with 3000 minutes per month.This add-on option allows subscribers to also call someone or reciece calls- to any regular phone number- not just silent phone users. This is to allow everyday functionality and still provide encryption on one end of the call. If you want your call encrypted end to end- both people should use silent phone.
Hope this helps- we are not the answer to everything, and not for everyone- we want to let people know what we can and cannot do-feel free to send any questions thru our site.