Reviving this old thread to add this on Moxie Marlinspike. Fascinating character.
Moxie Marlinspike: The Coder Who Encrypted Your Texts - WSJ
SAN FRANCISCO—In the past decade, Moxie Marlinspike has squatted on an abandoned island, toured the U.S. by hopping trains, he says, and earned the enmity of government
officials for writing software
Mr. Marlinspike created an encryption program that scrambles messages until they reach the intended reader. It’s so simple that Facebook
Inc.’s WhatsApp made it a standard feature for many of the app’s 800 million users.
is effective enough to alarm
governments. Earlier this year, shortly after WhatsApp adopted it, British Prime Minister David Cameron
called protected-messaging apps a “safe space” for terrorists. The following week, President Barack Obama
called them “a problem.”
That makes the lanky, dreadlocked and intensely private coder a central figure in an escalating debate about government and commercial surveillance
. In a research paper released
Tuesday, 15 prominent technologists cited three programs relying on Mr. Marlinspike’s code as options for shielding communications
His encrypted texting and calling app, Signal, has come up in White House meetings, says an attendee. Speaking via video link last year as part of a panel on surveillance, former National Security
Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked troves of U.S. spying secrets, urged listeners to use “anything” that Mr. Marlinspike releases. . . .
[there's much more at the link]