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Silent Circle launches encrypted text messaging app on Android

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silent text
silent text

Silent Circle is launching its secure file sharing and text messaging app, Silent Text, on Android today, almost a year after the service first launched for iOS. The app allows mobile users to transfer 100MB files of any type, or to just send one another simple messages. It protects the data using end-to-end encryption, and it stores those encryption keys on users' devices — not Silent Circle's own servers — which makes the people in the conversation the only ones with the key to decrypt it. It also includes a Snapchat-like feature that can destroy messages after they're viewed, though the company doesn't say if it can actually delete files permanently.

"Network monitoring is making ... businesses' privacy policies almost moot."

The launch of Silent Text for Android is just the company's next step in its fight against surveillance. "Large-scale network monitoring is making many cloud, telecommunications and other businesses’ privacy policies almost moot," Silent Circle co-founder Jon Callas says in a statement. Callas says that Silent Text, on the other hand, is "designed to be inherently more secure than other mediums."

The app is only available to Silent Circle subscribers, who can use its entire suite of encryption products for $9.95 each month — a price that might be worth it for those unsettled by the recent NSA leaks. That suite is a little bit smaller than it was a month ago, however, in part because of those very leaks. Silent Circle decided to shut down a similar service for email that seemingly couldn't be secured as well as Silent Text's proprietary backend.