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[liberationtech] Silent Circle Going Open Source

Micah Lee micahflee at riseup.net
Sun Nov 11 18:38:11 PST 2012


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That's great that they're releasing the source code.

I'm confused about whether or not it's actually free software though,
and if people are allowed to release derivative works or not. It looks
like it's not, even though the license says "Redistribution and use in
source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted
provided that [...]".

Because Silent Circle hosts servers that the clients interact with, I
wonder if the server software source code will be released. And, more
importantly, I wonder if it will be simple to run your own server and
configure your client to use yours instead of Silent Circle's. My
guess is probably not.

I don't think that's necessarily a security problem. If designed
correctly you could be sure that even if Silent Circle's servers are
malicious (or get hacked, or governments force them to be malicious,
or users get MITM'd) your communications can still be safe.

Here is the license that I found as a comment at the top of a source
file:
https://github.com/SilentCircle/silent-text/blob/master/SilentChat/SilentChat/SilentChat/main.m

/*
Copyright © 2012, Silent Circle
All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are
met:
    * Any redistribution, use, or modification is done solely for
personal
      benefit and not for any commercial purpose or for monetary gain
    * Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
      notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
    * Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
      notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
      documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
    * Neither the name Silent Circle nor the
      names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products
      derived from this software without specific prior written
permission.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS
"AS IS" AND
ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL <COPYRIGHT HOLDER> BE LIABLE FOR ANY
DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
(INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR
SERVICES;
LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER
CAUSED AND
ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT
(INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE
OF THIS
SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
 */

On 11/11/2012 05:15 PM, Nadim Kobeissi wrote:
> A huge thanks to Silent Circle for doing the right thing! 
> https://github.com/SilentCircle
> 
> NK
> 
> 
> -- Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech
> 


- -- 
Micah Lee
https://twitter.com/micahflee
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