Silent Circle Ends Silent Mail Service To Preempt Surveillance Threats
Decision reflects commitment to users' privacy by focusing exclusively on peer-to-peer encrypted communications services ensuring total privacy and security between subscribers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – August 9, 2013 – Silent Circle, the global encrypted communications firm revolutionizing mobile security for organizations and individuals alike, today announced it has discontinued its Silent Mail e-mail encryption service in order to preempt governments' demands for customer information in the escalating surveillance environment targeting global communications. The decision to end Silent Mail reflects Silent Circle's unwavering commitment to its subscribers' privacy and does not affect the company's revolutionary peer-to-peer encrypted platform for mobile apps and services - Silent Phone, Silent Text and Silent Eyes. These are all completely secure end-to-end services that utilize encryption keys exclusively on users' devices. Silent Circle does not log any metadata associated with these services and does not have the ability to decipher the contents of calls and messages.
In the current environment of ongoing, escalating surveillance and privacy concerns, Silent Circle stands by its customers with resolute commitments to privacy, transparency and "no back doors," preferring to preemptively shutter a service rather than risk compromising users' protection.
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As a communications medium, e-mail's inherent privacy weaknesses mean that even encrypted messages leak metadata and other information. Ending Silent Mail means Silent Circle is no longer subject to possessing this data and preempts any government authorities' efforts to obtain such information through subpoenas, warrants or security letters - which Silent Circle has not received, to-date.
"Silent Mail was a good idea at the time, and that time has past," said Silent Circle's Chief Technology Officer, Jon Callas. "We introduced Silent Mail in response to customer demand, stating upfront that – even with encrypted contents - e-mail as we know it today is fundamentally broken from a privacy perspective. With further thought – and before we were served with any demands compounding this issue - we decided it is in our users' best interests to focus purely on peer-to-peer encrypted phone, text and videoconferencing services because the less information we have on how subscribers use our services, the better it is for everyone."
"This is an unfortunate example of the chilling effect the current surveillance environment is having on innovative communications companies," Callas said. "While the majority of our government, commercial and consumer subscribers primarily use the unaffected apps that run on our peer-to-peer encrypted architecture - like Silent Phone and Silent Text - we apologize for any inconvenience this decision caused. We want all customers to always know that their privacy is what is most important to us."
About Silent Circle's encrypted peer-to-peer communication services:
• Silent Phone: Encrypted mobile VoIP calling with ability to seamlessly switch to high-quality, secure video calls, on-demand. Currently available for iOS and Android, it can be used with Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G cellular anywhere in the world.
• Silent Text: Encrypted text messaging with attachments and "Burn Notice" feature for permanently deleting messages from device registries. Currently available for iOS and Android.
• Silent Eyes: Encrypted VoIP audio and video calls and conferencing from laptops and desktops through Silent Circle's custom HD network. Compatible with Silent Phone. Currently available for Windows.
• Out-Circle Access: Enables calls between one Silent Phone subscriber and a non subscriber.*
*Currently limited to PSTN calls in US, Canada and Puerto Rico.
ABOUT SILENT CIRCLE
Silent Circle is a global encrypted communications service headquartered in Washington D.C. that provides cutting-edge encrypted text, e-mail, mobile phone and video teleconferencing services through a secure, proprietary network, software and mobile apps. Silent Circle was co-founded by Mike Janke, former Navy SEAL and best-selling author, and Phil Zimmermann, the world famous Silicon Valley creator of Internet encryption for voice and data and 2012 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame. For more on Silent Circle, go to: https://www.silentcircle.com