New Privacy App Avoids US Wiretapping Laws Via VoIP, Introducing Silent Circle

Last year in America, 1.3 million cell records were pulled by law enforcement. Anything from stored text messages to location-tracking data. In an attempt to fight back against ‘Big Brother’, two former Navy SEALs have joined forces with Cryptography Pioneer Phil Zimmermann to develop a new iPhone app. Get ready for military-level encryption for VoIP phone calls, texts, email and video.

Here’s how Silent Circle does it:

  • encryption on the iPhone is performed using a “portable code room”
  • keys to unscramble data are deleted as soon as you hang up each call, no decoding after the fact
  • any use logs or minimal user data are stored in Canada and Switzerland, hardcore privacy laws

US law currently allows wiretapping; however, its rules and regulations don’t extend to VoIP communications. So, what Silent Circle is doing is completely legal… for now. Law enforcement agencies are working on getting the law updated to include VoIP and if/when they do, Silent Circle will be forced to shut down.

For the record, Silent Circle created this app for those people who are stressed out about identity or intellectual property theft. However, it could easily fall into the hands of the “wrong” people, making the job of police that much more difficult.

This reminds me of Burner, an iPhone app that made it into my Apps Of The Week post back in August. Created by Ad Hoc Labs, it gives you alias phone numbers to use for incoming/outgoing phone calls and text messaging. You keep the number for as long as you need it and ‘burn’ it when you’re done.

Silent Circle is launching on October 15 for both iOS and Android. For $20/month, you can get unlimited subscriber-to-subscriber conversations, encrypted video conferencing, encrypted text messaging, encrypted email, and storage.

Source: Fast Company
Image Credit: The Register

A dedicated Apple enthusiast since 2007, Suzy is the co-host of Macgasm TV and features editor for Macgasm. Got a cool story idea, hot news tip or just want a stay up-to-date with the latest tech gossip? You can find… Full Bio