TMCnet Feature
September 12, 2013

Silent Circle Announces New Encryption Bundles for Desktop and Mobile

By Michael Mayday, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Silent Circle, a Washington D.C. based startup founded by Michael Janke, a former United States Navy SEAL, and Phil Zimmermann (News - Alert), a 2012 Internet Hall of Fame inductee, announced a new bundled service offer for its peer-to-peer encryption services.

The service, Silent Circle Mobile, doesn't log user metadata, such as message recipients and location, and encrypts keys on devices rather than from a central server.

Users can subscribe to Silent Phone (News - Alert) and Silent Text services for $9.95 a month or $99.95 per year, per subscriber. Additional services include Out-Circle Access, allowing users make non-encrypted phone calls from the service if they so choose for $249.95 a year. Other options include Silent Circle Desktop and Silent Phone for Desktop for Windows PCs ($69.95 a year) and subscription-based enterprise solutions.

"As demand for our service increases daily, we have updated our service offerings with new bundle options to accommodate customers' secure communications priorities – offering easy to use apps that enable peer-to-peer encrypted calling, messaging and file transfer on employees' smartphones and tablets," Silent Circle Chief Revenue Officer Spencer Snedecor said in a prepared statement.

Silent Circle made news last month for shuttering its Silent Mail service in response to revelations concerning the National Security Administration (NSA). Former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, leaked details of NSA surveillance capabilities and the organization's past actions. Those actions include the storing and decrypting e-mails and purposefully having deficiencies built into cybersecurity standards for surveillance purposes.

Janke, CEO of Silent Circle, told David Gewirtz of ZDNet the decision to shutter the mail service was taken to prevent metadata, information which surrounds any given message, from falling into the wrong hands. Silent Circle is working on a peer-to-peer e-mail-like service to replace their mail offering, Janke said.

Lavabit, another communications encryptions company specializing in email, shut its encrypted mail service after founder Ladar Levinson hinted the United States government issued subpoenas and a gag order to the company to gain access to e-mails. Levinson said he'd rather shutter his service than "become complicit in crimes against the American people."

It's believed Edward Snowden used Lavabit's service.

Regardless, it seems that peer-to-peer security options will only grow in popularity as time wears on, an important development as mobile security grows in importance across the globe.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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