Open Whisper Systems, an open-source project has released Signal app that would encrypt calls between iOS devices that would disable the surveillance by government agencies and snooping by hackers.
The open source project based in San-Francisco had earlier developed Android applications, RedPhone and TextSecure for encrypting calls and messages. Signal will the first free app on iPhones that offers encryption for calls between iOS devices. Once the user verifies the device via an SMS code the user can use the app without a password or user ID. The app will display only random words on both the users’ devices during calls.
One of the Open Whisper Systems’ developers said in a blog post:
“At open whisper systems, we want everyone to have access to advanced secure communication tools that are easy and reliable to use as making a normal phone call or sending a normal text message,” said the developers in a blog post.
The open source code will allow developers to ensure that the code in the app is not accessible to hackers or government agencies. This also shows the authenticity of the app as many similar priced apps are said to include backdoor in their codes for helping government surveillance. The company mentioned that they worked for a year to bring the software to iOS devices.The voice calls made over data connection would be encrypted and the random words will thwart any middle man attack attempt.
Though there are many similar encryption apps like Silent Circle’s Silent Phone and Silent Text priced at $12.95, Signal is the first free app for iOS devices.