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Tools for Communication Security

| By: Liz Pruszko Steininger

The Open Technology Fund has supported the development of tools that can be used for secure communication in the field. These tools include encrypted end-to-end cell phone conversations, encrypted text messaging, encrypted group chat and document sharing, anonymous communication on the Internet and secure instant messaging. We’ve created a short guide describing these tools, including available languages, use cases and where to access the tools for use today. You can download the May 2013 edition of the guide as a PDF document.

Download the Guide [pdf]

Tools Included in the Guide

  • RedPhone is an Android app that secures your calls for free, with iOS support coming in the summer of 2013. RedPhone provides end-to-end encryption, securing your conversations so that nobody can listen in.
  • TextSecure is an Android app that secures your SMS/MMS communication, which encrypts your text messages in transit and on your phone. It’s almost identical to your normal text messaging application, and is just as easy to use.
  • Cryptocat is an open, accessible instant messaging platform that encrypts your conversations right in your browser. Android and iOS apps are expected in the summer of 2013. Cryptocat aims to leverage both the ease of use and accessibility afforded by web applications and the security provided by client-side cryptography.
  • Orbot is an android application that allows mobile phone users to access the web, instant messaging and email without being monitored or blocked by their mobile internet service provider. Orbot brings the features and functionality of Tor to the Android mobile operating system. Tor prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.
  • Orweb is an android application that works hand in hand with Orbot to provide web access that is able to circumvent web filters and firewalls, while also improving a users ability to remain anonymous online.
  • Gibberbot is an android application offering private, encrypted chat for Google, Facebook, AOL and any Jabber or XMPP server using true verifiable end-to-end encrypted communications.
  • ChatSecure is an iOS application that offers private, encrypted chat and instant messaging for Google, Facebook and any Jabber or XMPP server using true verifiable end-to-end encrypted communications.

Projects Mentioned