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Two New Privacy Tools to Keep Your Secrets Safe

Peter Z. Scheer
Managing Editor
Peter Scheer grew up in the newspaper business, spending family vacations with his mother at newspaper editors\' conferences, enjoying daycare in editorial departments and begrudgingly reviewing his father\'s…
Peter Z. Scheer

The hottest text message app isn’t the one Facebook just dropped $19 billion on. It’s the nonprofit Telegram, which its founders say was designed to keep Russia’s clandestine services from reading your chats.

The Durov brothers, who also built the Russian Facebook, VKontakte, are offering $200,000 to anyone who can crack their encryption. Also, they promise not to sell ads and never to sell the company.

Pavel Durov tells TechCrunch, “The no. 1 reason for me to support and help launch Telegram was to build a means of communication that can’t be accessed by the Russian security agencies.” It can be yours for free on both Apple and Android devices.

Another announcement in the war for privacy: For-profit security outfit Silent Circle, which has encryption legend Phil Zimmermann among its founders, has come out with a new privacy-centric phone called the Blackphone. It’s basically a typical upper-range Android phone with Silent Circle’s encryption services baked in. It’s not as simple or cheap as Telegram, assuming you trust the brothers Durov, but it is a complete solution, including secure phone calls.

Check out more on The Verge.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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