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[liberationtech] Cryptography super-group creates unbreakable encryption

Christopher Soghoian chris at soghoian.net
Thu Feb 7 09:12:42 PST 2013


> Chris,
> You have repeatedly stood up asking VoIP software to be more transparent
> about their encryption. You have repeatedly stood up when the media
> overblew coverage into hype.
>
>
I've never asked Skype to release the source code to their products, nor
have I berated Apple, Facebook or Microsoft for not releasing the source
code to their products. I have, however, asked Skype to be more transparent
about the extent to which it can provide communications interception
assistance to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. There is a big
difference.

If you don't want to use Silent Circle without seeing the source code, that
is an entirely legitimate point of view (and in fact, one that I share, and
that I expressed to Ryan Gallagher last year):
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/10/silent_circle_mike_janke_s_iphone_app_makes_encryption_easy_governments.single.html

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU's Speech Privacy
and Technology Project, said he was excited to see a company like Silent
Circle visibly competing on privacy and security but that he was waiting
for it to go open source and be audited by independent security experts
before he would feel comfortable using it for sensitive communications.


Even though I am not using Silent Circle for sensitive conversations, I am
still absolutely delighted to see them be as proactive as they have been
about embracing and documenting progressive law enforcement policies.
https://silentcircle.com/web/law-compliance/

My area of research is the intersection of law, policy and technology. As
such, I am most interested in companies' surveillance policies, their
commitment to transparency, and their stated willingness to tell the
government to GTFO if they come and ask for backdoors. On this front,
Silent Circle is extremely interesting, probably more so than any other
Internet company.

For many people on this list, source code is their #1 priority. That is
fine. However, it is not my priority. I am more concerned with surveillance
policy, because that is what I study and where I think I can be most
effective in applying pressure.

What I resent though, is Nadim's repeated, malicious attempts to drag my
name through the mud, simply because I will not join his witch hunt against
Silent Circle. Since he cannot find a single example of me saying anything
false in the handful of interviews I have given to journalists writing
about this company, instead he criticizes me for not throwing rocks at Phil
Zimmermann.
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