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As I suggested last week, those who want to preserve their privacy and the secrecy of their communications will always be a step ahead of those in authority who seek to snoop on our every move.
This story from The Register highlights a new secure communications service that, in one fell swoop, effectively puts the spooks and snoops on the back foot.
I wonder how long before this system, like the original PGP, will be defined as a weapon by governments and thus its possession or use will, in itself, be incriminating.
On the face of it, Silent Circle sounds like a pretty good solution to the ever-more intrusive eyes and ears of the state -- however, I'm not so sure I'm convinced.
While I might believe that Phil Zimmermann is keen to bring us a totally secure comms channel, I'm not so certain that "former US Navy SEALs" would be as inclined to thumb their nose at Uncle Sam.
Since this product is not open-source, how do we know that Silent Circle haven't delivered a back-door facility to the US Government and others?
Let's face it, who would really want to take the risk of being extradited and carted off to Camp Delta if it is alleged at some time in the future that Silent Circle played a role in some terrorist attack -- or even a conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism?
Given the US government's propensity to exercise its massive legal might without respect for borders or sovereignty, it's a brave bunch who dare to invite such action -- far better to simply work in concert with "the powers that be" -- isn't it?
It's almost certain that simply using this service will be enough to attract the interest of authorities to your online or communications activities so will it fly?
I guess only time will tell, however I'm still of the belief that anything which uses an existing physical layer will eventually cause alarm bells to ring. How long before carriers are required to identify and report "unidentified or encrypted traffic" occurring on their networks?
I'm still in favour of building a new physical layer that can operate completely outside the purview of authorities and those who seek to censor, control or surveil our completely legal activities.
And no that note -- I'm pleased to say that I received my Raspberry Pi ID number this weekend, although it's only for a single unit (ugh!). Not much use when you want to implement a network is it?
Never the less, for those who are interested, here is the latest delivery schedule for these boards. It appears as if pre-registering wasn't really much value -- since even though I registered three months ago, my Pi will be delivered in about 10 weeks but someone who registers today will only wait an extra four weeks longer than me.
Oh well, I guess that means I'll have a month to get familiar with the hardware and software environment before my second unit arrives and allows me to get serious about creating the laser-based networking system.
Would you trust Silent Circle?
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