The creators of Silent Circle, which is the secure communication solution trying to encompass many methods of secure communication, including voice calls, video calls, text and until recently e-mail (they shut it down for fear of the government forcing them to put backdoors into the e-mail platform, like they did with Lavabit), have just launched Silent Text for Android, too. Silent Text is an app that provides secure text messaging, and includes these features:
- Burn Notice feature allows you to have any messages you send self-destruct after a time delay
- Send map locations encrypted and controlled
- Peer-to-peer key management — keys are on each device, not on Silent Circle's servers
- No one but you and the person you are texting can decrypt and read the information
- Send any file up to 100MB
- Revolutionizes secure business and personal communications with a tap of the finger
Silent Circle has been founded by Phil Zimmerman, the creator of PGP e-mail encryption system, and a few other top cryptographers, so they know what they're doing. That's not the problem. The problem is that they don't open source these apps. Yes, they've just closed down their e-mail service because they thought it's not secure enough, and that the government can force them to monitor their user's e-mails somehow, so at least that shows that they aren't sell-outs to governments, like Google, Microsoft and other big companies.
They really do care about user privacy. But it's common sense to only trust open source apps. We don't know if in the future the government finds a way to gag them and force them to monitor their other apps for them, or introduce some kind of backdoor in them, that gives the government the passwords and whatnot. Plus, to use the app you need to pay $10 per month, so by default this app will only be used by businesses, for the most part.
Right now it's best to stick to open source apps for now, such as TextSecure or Surespot. Personally, I like TextSecure more, and it's also going to be available on iOS, and even better, it should be integrated into CyanogenMod ROM's soon. CyanogenMod has partnered with the creator of TextSecure and RedPhone to integrate TextSecure into the CM ROM's, but under the hood, so all text messages being sent from any 3rd party app, will be encrypted in the same way as TextSecure.
However, this feature (encrypting all 3rd party text apps) will only work between CyanogenMod users. Everyone else, whether on regular Android or iOS will have to use the TextSecure app. But they will all be compatible with each other. Hopefully, this will lead to more people using really secure messaging apps with each other, to reach mass adoption.