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[liberationtech] Silent Circle Redux

Nadim Kobeissi nadim at
Sat Dec 22 12:32:09 PST 2012

For public record, here's the email I sent to both the Le Monde reporter
and my contact from Silent Circle.

"Dear Yves and Jon,

In case you don't know each other, Ydes is a reporter at Le Monde that
recently wrote a piece on Silent Circle. Jon is the CTO of Silent Circle.

Silent Circle has been claiming for almost three months, to the media, that
its software is open source and publicly reviewable. It has been making
this claim to international press, and has been consciously marketing
itself towards activists whose lives may depend on secure applications.

In this Le Monde article, Silent Circle makes the claim that "all of its
software is open source and independently reviewable:"

Jon has also personally informed me that he was to release source code as
soon as possible. Jon and Silent Circle have been lying to the media, and
to activists *whose lives may be at stake over the security of Silent Circle
*, for almost three months.

Silent Circle has released very little source code. All of the source code
it has released is incomplete. There has been no public review, only some
private, unpublished review.

Please get your facts straight. And Jon — find your conscience before
someone gets killed by your company's bullshit."


On Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM, Nadim Kobeissi <nadim at> wrote:

> I know this is a touchy subject, but I cannot stay silent on such grossly
> irresponsible behaviour.
> Silent Circle has been actively promoting itself to activists and claiming
> to international media that it has actually released its source code (and
> even all (!) of its source code) for public review
> Le Monde:
> The quote in question: "*"Nos logiciels sont en open source*,*des experts
> extérieurs peuvent vérifier à leur guise leur intégrité et leur
> efficacité." — "Our software is open source, independent experts can verify
> its integrity and effectiveness at will."*
> Silent Circle has barely released any source code, and is acting very
> irresponsibly towards activists. There has been no code review and review
> remains impossible.
> However, the security community still refuses to speak up, and I daresay
> mainly because of Phil Zimmermann's close relations with many researchers
> in the community.
> This is unacceptable and embarrassing. Stop engaging in patronage and hold
> Silent Circle accountable. They have been advertising towards activists for
> three whole months with almost NO source code released. I've had enough.
> NK
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