Monday, January 21, 2013

Silent Circle Adds Android For Encrypted Voice And Video Calls

By Jon Matonis
Forbes
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2013/01/16/silent-circle-adds-android-for-encrypted-voice-and-video-calls/

Silent Circle announced today that they have released Silent Phone for Android users which is now available for download in Google Play. As the Apple iOS version has already been available, this new release is good news for the many business users that require a cross platform communications solution. However the encrypted text capability is still pending on the Android version.

Headquartered in Washington D.C., Silent Circle is a global, private encrypted communications service that provides cutting-edge encrypted text, e-mail, mobile phone and video teleconferencing services through a secure, proprietary network and software apps. The company was co-founded by Mike Janke, a former Navy SEAL, and Phil Zimmermann, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and other Internet encryption for voice and data.

Silent Circle CEO Mike Janke said, "We are pleased to offer Android users, who comprise approximately 75 percent of the total smartphone market, a robust service offering. Encryption of this strength and performance has never been this easy for top executives and other espionage targets to use in support of their job requirements, mobility and missions. Our customers have the crucial advantage of placing highly secure calls anywhere they can find a signal."

A Silent Circle account requires a $20.00 per month subscription which includes a unique Silent Phone number for "inside the Circle" calls between two Silent Phone subscribers over the company's network. This makes it a very viral service offering because users tend to recruit each other. Silent Phone is the first and only smartphone service that enables secure video over 3G, 4G, EDGE or Wi-Fi networks.

Silent Phone deploys the ZRTP peer-to-peer encryption protocol which is recognized as the leading standard for secure end-to-end communication in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone call.

Initially, this service will have broad applicability for large enterprises that maintain a dispersed work force in the field. With increasing corporate espionage and other surveillance threats, the ability to communicate in a secure and private fashion can not be taken for granted anymore. Unfortunately, intercepted communications can mean a significant loss of revenue for corporations that have unknowingly revealed trade secrets or business information that an agile competitor can exploit. Silent Circle addresses those threats without requiring any new hardware or changes in the customer's preferred devices.

Standing out in the industry, Silent Circle also prides itself in offering private, encrypted communication services for enterprises and individuals with absolutely no back doors. According to the company, this means that there is no password recovery option and there is no ability for Silent Circle to reveal anything other than encrypted voice and encrypted data in complying with a court-ordered subpoena.

[Disclosure: Author is consultant for a Silent Circle reseller based in Japan.]

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