Silent Circle's encryption app could revolutionize mobile privacy, if Uncle Sam lets it

If CEO Mike Janke's boasts are to be believed, his company Silent Circle and its eponymous encryption apps could stand to "revolutionize... privacy and security." And he's willing to push the tech forward at all costs, even if that means raising the ire of the federal government. While the feds have yet to officially weigh in on his startup's novel software -- and Janke's certain they will -- others who've tested the peer-to-peer service's new Silent Text app claim its benefits for human rights activism worldwide far outweigh its potential use as a criminal aid.

This isn't the company's first crack at the mobile security space, though. A prior version of Silent Circle's subscription-based app was released last fall, granting Android and iOS users secure transmission of texts, as well as voice and video calls. But now, the controversial app in question has been beefed up, adding the ability to send encrypted files (up to 60MB) with a set "burn" (read: deletion) time. And since Silent Circle doesn't host the required encryption key on its servers, there's no way for the company to access users' data. What's more, the company's also pledged to not cooperate with surveillance requests from law enforcement, nor will it compromise the service's integrity by introducing a "backdoor" for the FBI.

That's a mighty strong stance to take against Uncle Sam, but Janke's not concerned. If the United States government does eventually prove an impediment, he's ready to move Silent Circle's shop to a locale that understands "...every [citizens'] right to communicate... without the fear of it being... used by criminals, stored by governments, and aggregated by companies that sell it." Based on that quote alone, we'd say Janke's what you might call a freedom fighter. For now, the souped up app's set to launch on the App Store February 8th, with an Android release to follow soon after. When it lands, we'd advise you to get it while it's hot -- preferably, before Capitol Hill deems it too hot to handle.