Privacy is becoming something that is more and more valued as technology seeps deeper into our lives, but is harder and harder to find in pure form. But as Buzzfeed's Russell Brandom points out, when you have two ex-Navy Seals and a cryptology legend working on an iPhone app called Silent Circle, privacy suddenly just got a whole hell of a lot easier.
The app mostly does what your phone already does—places calls, sends texts and emails, shares photos. But it does so under heavy encryption which is unmatched by nearly every facet of the iPhone's default security measures (iMessage is hardware encrypted FWIW). Using the ZRTP encryption technology developed by Silent Circle co-founder Phil Zimmerman (who also offered some of the first open-source cryptology tools) in the early 90s, Silent Circle's encryption is so good that mercenaries have been using the technology in the field, but it won't only be for high-end military use.
For $20 a month, anyone can call upon the services of Silent Circle, which performs all encryption on the iPhone itself, preventing a government or law enforcement agency to force a third party to hand over its logs and transcripts. It even has a self-destruct mode, which will erase a text, email or image after a set period of time, making it especially great for those adorned in tin foil. And if you're feeling extra paranoid, the company even offers voice and data plans to customers.
Of course a concern is, as Brandom points out, that this will make it easier for criminals to do wrong when the app becomes available next week (tools for Android and OS X are soon to follow). Perhaps that's the case, but it will also keep unchecked public institutions from running wild on citizen's privacy rights. It's a trade off I'm OK with. Are you? Check out the rest of the post over at [FWD]