Encrypt Your Smartphone Communications for Free

266aredphone and textsecure Encrypt Your Smartphone Communications for Free

I’ve
written before about the promise of encrypted communications
for defeating
snoopy government officials. But the most promising product
seemed to be Silent Circle, which is a bit spendy. Fortunately,
somebody who actually knows what he’s talking about has reviewed a
few alternatives, and he gives another offering a pretty
enthusiastic thumbs-up. Even better, it’s free.
Writes
Matthew Green at Gizmodo:

RedPhone and TextSecure are developed by Moxie Marlinspike’s
Open Whisper Systems. Note that OWS is actually Moxie’s second
company — the original Whisper Systems was purchased by Twitter a
couple of years back — not for the software, mind you; just to get
hold of Moxie for a while. ;
RedPhone does a much of what SilentCircle does, though without
the paid subscription and termination to POTS. In fact, I’m not
quite sure if you can ;terminate it to POTS [regular
phone numbers] (I’ll update if I find out.)

Specifically, RedPhone encrypts phone calls between smartphones
that both use the software, and TextSecure does the same for text
messages. Green, who works at the Security and Privacy Applied Reasearch
(SPAR) Lab at Johns Hopkins University, adds:

After reading Moxie’s RedPhone code the first time, I literally
discovered a line of drool running down my face. It’s really
nice.

RedPhone and TextSecure are open source software products of
WhisperSystems, which
means that those in the know can keep an eye on the guts of the
software to make sure no errors creep up or, worse, that something
nasty gets inserted. They’re available, at least for now, only for
smartphones running Android. If I had any storage space left on my
bargain-basement phone, I’d give ‘em a try.

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Encrypt Your Smartphone Communications for Free

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