Signal, WhatsApp Co-Founder Launch ‘Open Source Privacy Technology’ Nonprofit

One of the first messaging services to offer end-to-end encryption for truly private conversations, Signal has largely been developed by a team that’s never grown larger than three full-time developers over the years it’s been around. Now, it’s getting a shot in the arm from the co-founder of a rival app.

Brian Acton, who built WhatsApp with Jan Koum into a $19 billion business and sold it to Facebook, is pouring $50 million into an initiative to support the ongoing development of Signal.

Continue reading

Orchid Labs Introduces the Orchid™ Protocol and Tokens to Create an Internet Free from Surveillance and Censorship

The following is an announcement written by Orchid Labs Inc.:

SAN FRANCISCO–Orchid Labs Inc. has unveiled itself publicly today, along with the launch of the private alpha version of its Orchid Network accompanied by a whitepaper. The Orchid protocol is an open-source network intended to end internet surveillance and censorship, while protecting users’ personal data from being harvested by ISPs or other entities. Early in 2018, the blockchain-based Orchid network beta will launch to the public, enabling people across the world to freely communicate, collaborate, and access information.

According to Freedom House, two-thirds of all internet users live in countries where censorship and surveillance limit their ability to access information and communicate. For these individuals, a click or a share can mean imprisonment, or worse. And wherever you live, ISPs and VPNs are profiting from the sale of users’ most sensitive and private information.

Continue reading, a Distributed, Encrypted File Storage Service Where Only You Have Access to Your Data logo (pronounced “Storage eye oh) is a proposed new service for storing data in the cloud. The data can be anything you wish. I suspect most users will use as a file backup service, keeping copies of critical files off site and available at any time.’s primary goal is to provide a cloud storage solution that is substantially faster and 50% less expensive than traditional data center-based cloud storage solutions provided by Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Storj uses distributed peer-to-peer storage. That is, there are no centralized servers with huge disk drives. Instead, the software breaks the file(s) to be stored into thousands of tiny segments, encrypts each segment, and then stores the segments in available disk space of other customers. Each segment is stored in multiple locations. The result is that the information can be restored to the user’s system at any time, even if some or even many of the other customers turn their computers off. There are so many segments saved in so many locations around the world that the possibility of any segment being unavailable at any time is mathematically almost impossible. The developers of expect the system to provide 99.99999% availability, higher than most any competitive system in use today.

Continue reading

BitPhone Shuts Down Service, Cites Regulatory Privacy Issues

BitPhone is, or soon will be “was,” an encrypted voice and video calling service. It offered services to anyone, never asking for any identifying information.

bitphoneNow the BitPhone web site at says:

Bitphone closing due to regulatory requirements
After 1.5 years in operation, is shutting down.

WE DIDN’T GET HACKED, NOT ONCE! – And believe me, they tried!
All customer funds are secure and accounted for!
(and we are happy to say that!)

Unfortunately we’ve had too many users abuse our phone service!

Our underlying carrier service now requires we collect your identification when placing calls. – We won’t do it… To quote Roger Ver:

Continue reading

Chinese Consortium buys Opera browser for $600 Million

I wrote about the free Opera web browser three months ago at Opera says its light, quick browser is used by more than 350 million consumers worldwide. I praised the Norwegian company’s inclusion of a high-security VPN in the product at no charge. Norwegian laws offer strong protection of the privacy of individuals. However, a Chinese consortium now is purchasing the Opera internet browser for $600 million (543 million euros), its Norwegian developer said Monday, after a public share offer for the company failed. I now am not so certain that I would trust a VPN being offered by a Chinese company.

Continue reading