In the past couple of years the issue of personal privacy and just who has access to your online or mobile data has become increasingly contentious. Since its launch in late 2012, Silent Circle has tried to assist individuals, businesses and governments that value their privacy. Initially, they achieved this by developing a suit of encryption software that provided an easy way to ensure secure communication. Next they made the move into secure mobile hardware with the launch of the Blackphone. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Silent Circle’s mobile privacy solutions are now used in more than 130 countries.
Silent Circle’s key products include:
- Silent Phone: Encrypted voice and video calls on mobile devices. Available for iOS and Android, it can be used with Wi-Fi, EDGE, 3G or 4G cellular networks anywhere in the world. It also facilitates encrypted VoIP (video and voice) teleconferencing from Windows computers.
- Silent Text: Encrypted text messaging and secure cloud content transfer with “burn notice” feature for permanently deleting messages from devices. Available for iOS and Android.
- Blackphone: A smartphone that provides encryption as well as other security privacy features for phone calls, emails, texts and internet browsing. It utilises a fortified Android operating system, combined with tailored security apps – known as Silent Suite – to provide the user with absolute privacy.
Silent Circle recently announced that it would be releasing an upgrade to its Blackphone device, the Blackphone 2, which goes on sale in July. Blackphone 2 will run on an upgraded Android operating system (called PrivatOS 1.1) that will have the ability to allow users to manage, lock and wipe devices when necessary. Subscribers will also be able to make encrypted calls to friends, colleagues etc who have not purchased an encrypted device.
A new security feature – Spaces – will allow the user to separate work and personal activities into segregated virtual compartments. These separate compartments can be set up with their own unique pass code. This is done with the intention to make things easier in the event that you need to delete information pertaining to one aspect of your life, without rendering the phone unusable.
What’s next for Silent Circle?
With the Blackphone 2 and its accompanying feature upgrades, Silent Circle is making a strong push to pick up a bigger share of the enterprise market. In a recent interview, Silent Circle CTO Jon Callas commented that “enterprise markets in Europe, South America, Middle East is where we’re going rather than what we started off with – which was the prosumer market. They’re still very important to us and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing with Blackphone…but in an organisation you’re going to have wide mix of devices.”
To this end, the Blackphone 2 will be followed later in the year by Silent Circle’s first tablet device. To be called Blackphone+, it is understood to include all the privacy and security features that clients have come to expect from Silent Circle.
For anyone concerned about personal or business privacy and the security of their mobile device, it is hard to go past the Silent Circle range of software and hardware. In the increasingly important world of consumer data protection, they are at the head of the field.