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[liberationtech] Cryptography super-group creates unbreakable encryption

scarp scarp at
Thu Feb 7 08:09:43 PST 2013

Hash: SHA512

Nadim Kobeissi:
> Small follow-up: Maybe it's true I look like my goal here is just
> to foam at the mouth at Silent Circle. Maybe it looks like I'm just
> here to annoy Chris, and I'm truly sorry. These are not my goals,
> even if my method seems forced.
> I've tried writing multiple blog posts about Silent Circle,
> contacting Silent Circle, asking journalists to *please* mention
> the importance of free, open source in cryptography, and so on. All
> of this has failed. It has simply become clear to me that Silent
> Circle enjoys a double standard because of the reputation of those
> behind it.
> Silent Circle may be developed by Gods, but this is just quite
> plainly unfair. If someone repeatedly claims, towards activists, to
> have developed "unbreakable encryption", markets it closed-source
> for money, and receives nothing but nods of recognition and
> applause from the press and even from *security experts* (?!) then
> something is seriously wrong! No one should be allowed to commit
> these wrongs, not even Silent Circle.
> I feel like I'm fighting for our own sanity here. Look at what
> you're allowing to happen!

I've been monitoring this discussion about Silent Circle and the one
on cryptography at

Software such as TrueCrypt would never have gained the popularity and
widespread usage if it were closed source. Likewise things like SSL
and TLS would not have gained widespread usage without standards
bodies and technical specifications.

I don't see Silent Circle being anything revolutionary. Encryption
software which encrypts the contents before uploading it to the cloud
already exists, see Cyphertite. They have actually released their source.

I also don't see how any "burn" function of software on sensitive data
has any useful purpose. I see that as a false sense of security. If
someone were to take a photo of the phone with another phone, it would
be circumvented.

I also don't see any problem in Silent Circle releasing source, and
using a restrictive license if they so please, the point is while it
is closed source we're really just expected to "trust" these big names.

Rich and popular men can be bought and sold, so really their
identities or names mean nothing to me. We need independent verifiable
proof by people who understand the most inner workings of the
implementations of the encryption to say "yes this works", and also
people attempting to break it.

Also by saying "unbreakable encryption" do they mean to say they've
developed encryption technology using unbreakable ciphers? or is it
just the implementation of them. To me it seems like a massive
marketing campaign if they're using social media as much as people say
they are this would further support this.

Also "unbreakable encryption" is similar to saying to you've made an
unsinkable ship, and we all know what happened last time someone said

I also think journalists publishing about "Secret Circle" should find
independent qualified sources to verify the claims of it being
"unbreakable" before publishing it. To  me that seems like good
journalism vs bad.

- -- 
scarp | A4F7 25DB 2529 CB1A 605B  3CB4 5DA0 4859 0FD4 B313


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