Feeds

Silent Circle adds private email to hush-hush communications

Demand for secure comms brings government invitation

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Silent Circle, the private communications venture set up by the founders of PGP and two former US Navy SEALs, has added encrypted emails to its protected text and voice services.

Silent Circle email

Keeping comms quiet

As expected, the new email application uses custom code developed by Phil Zimmermann, Jon Callas, and other members of the PGP encryption team to provide totally encrypted communications. It's a no-cost add-on to existing Silent Circle subscribers, and IT managers can either use their own encryption key management or use Silent Circle's system, which generates keys on native devices.

The company came out of stealth mode last June and launched a pair of iOS and Android apps that allow secure text messages, voice, and video calls for $20 per month in October. Silent Circle was one of the most talked-about applications at this year's RSA 2013 show, and has plans for a rapid expansion, based on demand so far.

So far the company has servers in Canada and Switzerland, countries which have the right legal framework for the company's operations, but CEO Mike Janke told The Register that the company would soon be setting up in Singapore at the request of that country's government.

"They came and recruited us, which was very odd," he continued. "Singapore government representatives have been to our offices four times because they are looking to rebrand Singapore as the world's cyber-defense hub, and wooed us to come out there with a lot of incentives."

The company plans another six launches by the end of the year, including encrypted voicemail, encrypted contact lists, its own mail app, and a secure service that can operate over public switched telephone networks (PSTN).

Janke said that in addition to the iOS and Android versions of Silent Circle, the company has received numerous requests from government sources for a BlackBerry build of the system, which they're looking into, he said. So far there's no mention of much demand for a Windows Phone 8 version, however.

To support this is going to take some more expansion, with 20 regional server units set up around the world, coordinated from offices in Washington DC, San Francisco, Oregon, and London.

"We don't disclose user numbers, but let me tell you this: we're had to move to bigger offices three times in four months," the ex-SEAL says. "We've outgrown anything we'd ever thought, and a lot of the growth is coming is enterprise and government. We just didn't expect the size of the bulk orders – so much or so big. We need to be at about 90 people, but we have 48." ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?