Phil Zimmerman, the creator of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption for email in the 1990s, has come to the forefront yet again as the spokesman for Silent Circle, a company planning to beta test an encrypted phone call and text message app for the iPhone and other smartphones. The app will be free when it’s released in July of this year, but the service itself will cost somewhere in the $20 per month range.
Zimmerman, long a proponent of technological solutions to civil liberties, thinks people will pay for the privacy.
“I’m not going to apologize for the cost,” he told CNET, “This is not Facebook. Our customers are customers. They’re not products. They’re not part of the inventory.”
That may well be the case, but getting consumers to pay subscription fees is notoriously difficult. Silent Circle plans to offer a solution for easily encrypted email, phone calls, and instant messaging to start, with plans for encrypted SMS in the future.
In addition to the iPhone release, Zimmerman told CNET that the company was planning to roll out an app for Mac and PC as well, but that it’s not ready, yet. They’ll focus on the mobile app first, allowing customers to communicate securely if they both have the app installed. If only one does, the information will be encrypted to Silent Circle’s servers, but not from there to a recipient’s phone.
This sounds great for most consumers needing to keep their legal communication safe and private, but it’s unlikely that lawmakers will see it the same way. It’s possible that Phil Zimmerman may yet again fall under scrutiny as he did when he released his first encryption product nearly two decades ago.
Disk images are the way most software came packaged before the Mac App Store, allowing developers to pack entire folders full of installers and files into a single compressed image, ready to send acros the internet at a moment’s notice (and the payment of a shareware fee, hopefully). DropDMG makes this process super simple.
Securing business data on employee-owned devices like the iPhone and iPad is one of the biggest challenges for IT departments when it comes to operating bring your own device (BYOD) programs. The mobile device management (MDM) approach taken by most companies is an excellent starting point because it aims to make devices themselves more secure. Unfortunately, it also tends to impose limits on what workers can do with an iPhone or iPad that they bought and paid for out of their own pockets.
Another approach to the challenge is to carve out a specific niche of secure storage on each employee-owned devices. Good Technology has always offered this mechanism for securing business emails and related technologies like shared contacts and calendars. This week, Good took that concept and made it available to iOS developers in a product called Good Dynamics.
Windows Phone 7 hasn’t been the runaway blockbuster that Microsoft probably envisioned when it launched nearly a year and a half ago. Despite advertising campaigns and a strategic alliance with Nokia, Windows Phone use still ranks well below iOS, Android, and BlackBerry use. But new details about the platforms future that were leaked earlier this week show Microsoft may have a solid strategy for gaining marketshare with the next major Windows Phone update, which will likely coincide with the launch of Windows 8 for PCs and/or tablets.
One thing that seems very clear from this new information is Microsoft seems to be taking cues from Apple’s playbook when it comes to creating an ecosystem of devices – like making it easy to shift apps from a phone experience to a larger tablet experience.
The question is, can Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 on tablets challenge Apple’s iPhone and iPad dominance in the business realms?
Yesterday, I wrote a tip about using FileVault 2 encryption in Mac OS X Lion to encrypt a variety of external devices and SD cards. Although I like FileVault 2, I mentioned that it had some caveats.
The most glaring caveat is that media encrypted using FileVault 2 won’t work on other platforms. That might be fine in a home or business that uses only Macs, but it isn’t fine if you are also using computers running Windows or Linux.
Today I’ll show you how to encrypt drives that will work on computers running Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.
Since iOS 4, Apple has been securing your iPhone’s data with 256-bit encryption. That encryption has just been cracked, and just by running a simple program, anyone with access to your handset can access the full data stored even in encrypted iPhone backups.