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[liberationtech] Silent Circle experiences rapid growth in wake of NSA surveillance scandal

Brian Conley brianc at smallworldnews.tv
Mon Jul 1 14:30:43 PDT 2013


Nadim, I hope you, Arturo, and other clueful people will reach out to
reporters who may be interested in covering these issues. Let me know if I
can assist with making contacts.

Brian


On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM, Nadim Kobeissi <nadim at nadim.cc> wrote:

> Silent Circle's response to critical security vulnerabilities has been
> *extremely* bad. They recently quietly fixed numerous critical
> vulnerabilities that could lead to a full compromise, without informing
> their users or submitting and advisory in any way.
>
> Pointing to the vulnerable code on their GitHub led to both myself and
> Arturo (from GlobaLeaks) to be censored.
>
> More information:
> https://github.com/SilentCircle/silent-phone-base/issues/5#issuecomment-20232374
>
> NK
>
> On 2013-07-01, at 2:35 PM, Yosem Companys <companys at stanford.edu> wrote:
>
> >
> http://gcn.com/blogs/cybereye/2013/06/agencies-sudden-interest-encrypted-comm.aspx
> >
> > Agencies showing sudden interest in encrypted comm
> >
> > Silent Circle, the company that provides end-to-end BYOD encryption,
> > has introduced a Web-based management console to support large
> > deployments of crypto licenses. It was developed largely in response
> > to government demand for a tool to manage enterprisewide licensing,
> > said CEO Mike Janke.
> >
> > Government was always a primary market for Silent Circle, but the
> > speed of adoption has caught the company by surprise.
> >
> > “We had no idea that government customers would need a thousand
> > subscriptions,” said Janke, a former Navy SEAL. “We didn’t see any of
> > this coming. We envisioned 10 special ops guys, reporters in Sudan or
> > some individuals around the world.”
> >
> > Silent Circle’s secure voice, text, mail and video communications have
> > gone in less than a year from being a point-to-point solution to an
> > enterprise tool. There has been strong adoption in the financial
> > industry and with oil companies, but “most of it was from [the Defense
> > Department] and other government agencies,” Janke said.
> >
> > The company has benefited from current events, particularly recent
> > revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of
> > Internet and telephone communications. Growth, already a strong 100
> > percent month-over-month, rocketed to 420 percent in the last
> > two-and-a-half weeks. Agencies that were buying 50 subscriptions now
> > are buying hundreds as concerns grow not only about government
> > snooping, but also of government leaking.
> >
> > Encrypted communications is not new. What Silent Circle has done is
> > make it practical for bring-your-own-device environments by harnessing
> > the computing power of smart phones for crypto key management, cutting
> > the middle man out of the security equation. Keys remain in the hands
> > of the end users rather than a server, eliminating the need for trust
> > in a third party.
> >
> > Secure peer-to-peer connections with Silent Circle Android and iOS
> > apps use the Zimmermann Real Time Transport Protocol, a crypto key
> > agreement protocol for voice over IP that uses the Diffie-Hellman key
> > exchange and the Secure Real Time Transport Protocol. Encryption is
> > done with NSA Suite B cryptography, a public interoperable set of
> > crypto tools that include the Advanced Encryption Standard, Secure
> > Hash Algorithm 2 and elliptic curve digital signature and key
> > agreement algorithms. The company operates its own network with SIP
> > servers and codecs, but all encryption and security remain on endpoint
> > devices.
> >
> > Just 35 percent of the company’s business is in North America, with
> > the rest of it off-shore in countries where security has long been a
> > bigger issue than here. “We look at things in a bit of a bubble here
> > compared to the rest of the world,” Janke said. People in Europe and
> > Asia not only have to worry about NSA snooping, but also about their
> > own intelligence agencies.
> >
> > Although it is available in time to take advantage of the post-PRISM
> > boom in secure communications, the new console was in the works well
> > before the NSA leaks. “It took five months for our team to create
> > this,” Janke said, primarily because of the security required for the
> > portal. The console is a business management tool only and has nothing
> > to do with encryption. It does not hold or manage keys and does not
> > have access to message content. “It in no way, shape or form touches
> > the technology.”
> >
> > Despite the unexpected growth, Janke said Silent Circle is holding to
> > its course for releasing new products this year, several of which,
> > requested by government customers, now are in beta. These include
> > encrypted file transfer from desktops, secure video conference calling
> > and encrypted voice mail.
> >
> > Posted by William Jackson on Jun 28, 2013 at 9:41 AM
> > --
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-- 



Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

http://smallworldnews.tv

m: 646.285.2046

Skype: brianjoelconley
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