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Whisper open-sources Android text-encryption app

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Whisper Systems has open-sourced TextSecure, its secure text messaging client for Android smartphones.

The move follows the acquisition of Whisper by Twitter last month and comes 18 months after TextSecure was first released.

"We hope that as an open-source project, TextSecure will be able to reach even more people, with an even larger number of contributors working to make it a great product," Whisper said in an entry on its blog announcing the release.

Whisper employs famed former hacker Moxie Marlinspike as a security consultant, giving Twitter extra muscle in its development of a more secure service. Even so the purchase came as a surprise because technologies such as voice encryption and cloud storage are not part of Twitter's core services.

Whisper Systems' RedPhone service – which encrypts voice calls – was suspended at the time of the Twitter acquisition, amid some controversy, in order to allow Twitter the chance to integrate some of its privacy-enabling technologies into the microblogging site. ®

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