Anti-NSA Phone Developers Vow to Keep Their Product Away From Terrorists

Silent Circle, the developer of the self-proclaimed NSA-proof smartphone has announced that it is making sure to distances itself from criminals and terrorists like the ISIS.

The rapid rise in surveillance and spying from governments and hacking groups challenged IT professionals to come up with solutions that can restrict all this stuff and keep cyberspace safe. Silent Circle was one of the best responders to this situation as they not only brought forward encrypted communication services but also encrypted device: The Blackphone.

Their solutions were applauded by everyone in the market until the recent leak of security guide from ISIS to its members which urged the usage of Blackphone for keeping their identities hidden online.

This has really opened up a new argument, such as, is this solution really made for the right purpose? Because if they really can safeguard criminals, governments’ surveillance and spying programs might be justified as according to them absolute encryption without the option to install backdoors allows criminals and terrorists to carry out their activities without any danger of getting caught.

In June 2015, Michael B. Steinbach, assistant director at the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, said that ISIS and similar militant organizations are utilizing commercially available encryption tech for veiling their actions. This leads law enforcement surveillance to venture into “darkness”.

The FBI’s director Jim Comey also claimed that Apple and Google are actually helping ISIS and encouraging terrorism by offering users encrypted communications. However, Silent Circle has vowed to keep their product away from such groups and organizations.

According to a letter from the Silent Circle’s CEO Bill Conner:

“We provide secure communications—not anonymity—and we will not tolerate bad actors using our service.”

This argument has challenged Silent Circle to come up with something that can eliminate criminals and terrorists to mask themselves behind their solutions. Though CEO of silent circles has said they will be making sure, no subscription is bought from stolen credit cards or fake addresses, as that’s the way criminals or terror groups buy stuff online.

But, they can’t simply provide data on demand to the government as their solutions are designed for the purpose of protecting users from governments’ surveillance and spying and if they start delivering data requests to the government, their solutions would be of no use.

About Black Phone: 

Post-Snowden revelations about NSA snooping on private data of almost every individual, Silent Circle, a Switzerland-based encryption firm partnered with the Spanish phone manufacturer, Geeksphone to produce Blackphone — the most secure smartphone in the world, according to the developers.

Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.