secure your tele-coms

There’s several options competing in the encrypted online comms space. Some better than others – take Telegram as an example fail, Whisper another (very embarrassing) example. Skype used to be a secure platform, but then the NSA laid into Microsoft and that was the end of that.

And you know what? Privacy is a basic human right, fuck it. NSA, GCSB, FBI, acronym city – all of you can fuck right off and quit your paranoid spying. You are invading my space and reducing my freedom, simply because the USA thinks it’s the world’s policeman. Fuck up.

My main channel for comms that’s open to interference is SMS-style text messaging. It’s probably yours too. To secure my texts, I use the Open WhisperSystems TextSecure app. I spent many hours investigating before making my decision, the information is laid out on their website in plain English – go check it for yourself. The Axolotl forward secrecy ratchet is a premium example of  TextSecure’s innovative features that ensure your long-term privacy.

O83bIgEKIQWtBfqx7sBT6sOcHf/1tNhL
PSGNDw63mefq4nJX+kisTxADGAAiP/
lLFqYoKGzR1W+TpVfDEbQJCC7wK6D
USTx0ThBD29e6QRZaA3cj6I6IuOVeGh
EKqBJKA3MGuJSkMSP5QN9trONw8H
w9LxyY

Any idea what that garble says? Of course not. The original message was just one word – Test, received on a phone with TextSecure app installed but not activated. Not only is it patently unintelligible, because of the Axolotl ratchet, the above code does not ever get repeated for the same message. Oh, BTW, TextSecure is free.

What we need is mass adoption of one standard app so we can all communicate with each other without prying/spying eyes and ears examining our personal traffic. Disparate apps used by pockets of friends here and there will never achieve the critical mass required for universal adoption. WhisperSystems took a big step toward becoming THE defacto Android SMS crypto app in January 2014 when Cyanogen selected TextSecure as the OEM Cyanogenmod ROM text messaging app. This gave TextSecure an immediate 10million strong user base, a powerful platform to grow from.

We need the encryption to be cross-platform, ‘Droid to iOS, for sure. Windows phone? Stop it. If it wasn’t for M$’s deep pockets the whole Winphone project would be over already.

But the two dominant mobile OS’s definitely need a crypto comms app that operates seamlessly between the two. Of course the API rules are substantially different for each OS, so there simply isn’t the opportunity to build a working Android app then pop it into an iOS-ifier for an immediate two-way solution. Stink.

But they’re working on it, and in July 2014 released Signal, an encrypted iOS talk solution equivalent to their Red Phone Android app.

All Whispersystems project code is open source, freely available to anyone for inspection. This community approach guarantees a robust solution that will keep your info private. Look, if you care about your right to privacy & use a ‘Droid phone, go get TextSecure now. If you don’t care about privacy, well, please don’t text me.

Update: Signal Private Messenger, that’s what you search for in the Apple App Store to integrate perfectly with the Android Text Secure protocol. Take this as gospel, you must install this product to protect your privacy. Signal Private Messenger requires iOS 8, so iPhone 4S & newer.

Update v2.0 TextSecure as a brand is no more. Search Signal Private Messenger on Google for proofs & recommends (Edward Snowden amongst many prominent figures) then search in your phone’s app store.

Same delicious code, just now the brand is platform-agnostic.

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