Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Twitter Buys Moxie Marlinspike's Crypto Startup

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the break-out-the-140-character-one-time-pad dept.

Encryption 50

Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Twitter has confirmed that it's acquiring Whisper Systems, the mobile encryption startup founded by hacker and security researcher Moxie Marlinspike. Marlinspike has built some of the most noteworthy tools in applied cryptography over the last few years, including the encrypted calling app Redphone, the hardened Android OS WhisperCore, and Convergence, a system for fixing the broken SSL certificate authority system. Twitter won't yet say how it plans to integrate Marlinspike or his products."

cancel ×

50 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Great (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194482)

A social networking company buying a company that makes security & anonymization software, what could possibly go wrong?

Re:Great (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194514)

Heh.

Maybe between the two of them, they can find a business model.

Re:Great (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38194700)

Well, I'm pretty sure Whisper System's business model was finding some stupid, bigger company to buy it. And Twitter's business model is definitely to find a large group of stupid people to buy their IPO. So as my PHB would say, there's definitely a sort of synergy to their respective corporate strategies.

Re:Great (3, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194996)

In Corporate Amerika, Bank robs YOU! :-)

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38196178)

It would have been funny if it wasn't true. No actually, it's funny because it's true and so absurd!

Re:Great (1)

defaria (741527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38196300)

Maybe they'll change the name... ;-)

Great (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194694)

Twitter is not a social network but a messaging system with an outstanding record in defending it's customers' private data.

Re:Great (3, Insightful)

sigjuice (769539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195626)

Twitter is not a social network but a messaging system with an outstanding record in defending it's customers' private data.

Can you cite some specific examples? I don't care much for Twitter, but I am curious.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38196446)

Twitter is actually one of the more useful services that have appeared, sure it is just intended as an extension of SMS but it has enabled lots of things (one being I can instantly send a photo from my phone to the webs). I aren't sure what this aquisition brings the service, but it is good to see they are adapting and planning things.

Re:Great (4, Informative)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38196820)

When information was requested about some people associated with Wikileaks [wired.com] they didn't just hand it over silently to the feds, and maybe increment their statistics by one later like Google. They notified the users in question ASAP, and held back the information until the final court order forced them to hand it over.

Re:Great (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194884)

I would have thought Google would be throwing money at him for his Android encryption stuff. It looks very good but is currently only available for a couple of phones. It would have been a fantastic advantage for getting corporate users on Android in a big way.

Re:Great (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38194914)

You do realize that his work on Android detracts from the ad revenue used to support its development, right?

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38194944)

Only some of it does. Stuff like encrypted VoiP and SMS could easily be a value-add.

Re:Great (2)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38200510)

That and the operators don't want it, if google started including certain things by default, the operators are stupid enough to stop allowing android phones on their networks, then HTC, Samsung... stop making them and bam, no more android.

Re:Great (1)

hardtofindanick (1105361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195212)

Same thing was said for a book seller and cloud services.

Regarding this story though, first thing that came to my mind was occupying the space that will soon to be created by Blackberry's downfall.

Re:Great (4, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195246)

What could possibly go wrong?

If you're a totalitarian regime that cripples the communication of your country to beat the shit out of the populace, plenty.

Twitter has been fucking up countries. Once you get encrypted twitter, it's going to get a lot harder to stay in charge.

Re:Great (1)

lonecrow (931585) | more than 2 years ago | (#38198778)

Why in the world do people call twitter social networking like say a faceboook ?

What makes Micro-bloging? or text message syndication? a "social network". No personal information need be involved, there is no friending or circles or cliques or whatever.

Or perhaps it IS a social network and what we need is a new name for things like facebook? Like maybe "social disease"?

I know (1)

ManuelH (1303433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194492)

I know where their works come, his name (Awesome and cryptic)

Re:I know (2)

DataDiddler (1994180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194654)

Cryptic? What's so cryptic about the best soda ever created [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:I know (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195834)

You mean the worst cold medicine ever created?

Twitter has confirmed.... (1)

cyberkahn (398201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194516)

Twitter has confirmed it, but has Netcraft? Until Netcraft confirms it I won't believe it!

Re:Twitter has confirmed.... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194642)

Old meme is old?

Re:Twitter has confirmed.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38196328)

Newfag is fag.

Re:Twitter has confirmed.... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38196670)

Anonymous Coward is Coward, and should go back to 4chan.

Done with red phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38194522)

Yea... fuck that. Red phone is now uninstalled... the calls never connected anyway. The secure txt worked and was nice though... we need a replacement!

Not so great (-1, Flamebait)

somethingtoremember (1530149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194592)

I really don't agree with him selling his software to such a large corporation, on moral grounds. Will the software stay free and open? That's my concern. Hopefully they gave him a large chunk for it and he's going to use it buy a really nice sailboat.

Re:Not so great (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194724)

Yep, it's not moral, he sold out, but who can blame him? While being a security researcher is fun, doing it on a sailboat in your "free" time is funner to just about anyone. What I'm curious is which of projects is twitter after? None of them seem to really fit into what it's currently doing. I don't c a twitter android os in the future, nor do I see them doing telemarketing, so...? :)

Re:Not so great (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195832)

Please, explain how this is a moral issue, or how his actions are amoral. I'm genuinely curious to understand where you're coming from with that.

Re:Not so great (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38196664)

of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical;

It is my belief his research and tools would have faired better without twitter intervention, Moxie's is a private security firm, twitter is a corporation. Moxie will have little say in the long term as to the direction of his projects, thereby he chose to sell out, which most people would consider amoral.

This is equivalent to me making a website / forum kind of thing, supporting it, building the community and then selling it to google w/o care for my supporters, or users.

Just my opinion, but you genuinely asked :)

Re:Not so great (1)

emc (19333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38199832)

This is equivalent to me making a website / forum kind of thing, supporting it, building the community and then selling it to VA Linux w/o care for my supporters, or users.

Fixed it for you...

Re:Not so great (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38194766)

On moral grounds? lolwut? Fucking ungrateful freetards...

Re:Not so great (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194966)

seconded

Re:Not so great (4, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194798)

I really don't agree with him selling his software to such a large corporation, on moral grounds. Will the software stay free and open?

I realize you probably aren't trying to be hypocritical (and aren't strictly speaking), you probably just didn't realize how hypocritical this sounds. Of course you are free to "disagree" with him selling his software... but it's his, and as his, he is free to do with it as he likes. That is fundamentally a part of freedom. And, ultimately, the goal of most human productivity is to profit by it (or at least one of the goals: it doesn't have to be the only or even the main one).

Also, it is most probable that Twitter realized their security is crap and wants tools, and / or people, who can improve that. Whisper Systems provides both. The moderately recent high-profile Twitter hacks have brought this problem to light, I cannot find fault with Twitter in trying to fix that problem. In fact, I laud them for doing so, if that is why they bought his company (and that seems extremely likely).

Re:Not so great (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195034)

Also, it is most probable that Twitter realized their security is crap and wants tools, and / or people, who can improve that. Whisper Systems provides both. The moderately recent high-profile Twitter hacks have brought this problem to light, I cannot find fault with Twitter in trying to fix that problem. In fact, I laud them for doing so, if that is why they bought his company (and that seems extremely likely).

I can find no fault with the sentiment (find a fix for our security problems) but I might find fault with their methods....
FWIW, I find your line of reasoning quite insightful. I'm picturing the management pow-wow (called after the umpteenth "high profile" account was hacked) ending with the directive "fix it now" and someone suggesting that "That hippie dude, Moxie Something-or-other is really good with security...", and the corporate wallet was whipped out with nary a further thought.

On the other hand..., the thought of a seriously promising fix to SSL's shortcomings now residing in those particular hands to be more than a little troubling.

Re:Not so great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38198440)

Why twitters got a good history with privacy, and they'd likely benefit from any fix to SSL, and the propagation of that fix.

I think they'll be fine.

Re:Not so great (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38200516)

Well, convergence isn't actually under the whisper systems banner, so it's probably staying with Moxie.

Maybe they bought exclusive rights to his name (2)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194756)

So he'll be forced to use something less grating?

Re:Maybe they bought exclusive rights to his name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38195194)

+1 Heh.

His projects have disappeared (1)

Bradmont (513167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194856)

Interestingly, all his projects seem to have disappeared from the web. Redphone is nowhere to be found on the android market, and Whispercore has a little note on his website saying, "temporarily unavailable."

Re:His projects have disappeared (4, Interesting)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195148)

From their updates page:

"The Transition:

The Whisper Systems software as our users know it will live on (and we have some surprises in store that we're excited about), but there is unfortunately a transition period where we will have to temporarily take our products and services offline. RedPhone service will be interrupted immediately, but FlashBack users have a month to pull off any backup data they would like before that service also goes offline. "

"Arab Spring" (2)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 2 years ago | (#38194882)

Possibly Twitter is buying into all the hype about how they're basically responsible for revolution and social change in the Middle East and is doing this to become further entrenched as the tool of choice for political dissidents? I'm pretty sure that's the type of business model that lands your products on trade restriction lists prettt quickly, but I can't see what else they want this for.

Re:"Arab Spring" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38195924)

maybe to give features to their users? some companies do still try to improve their products...

Re:"Arab Spring" (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197222)

...social change in the Middle East...

What social change? The cops are still shooting at people. And, as the old cliche goes, the 'new boss is the same as the old boss'. Individuals come and go. The system stands forever.

Re:"Arab Spring" (2)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 2 years ago | (#38197548)

I think things are going relatively well in Tunisia at this point, if not Egypt/Syria/Yemen.

Re:"Arab Spring" (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38200622)

Apparently this is actually harming attempts at social change in the Middle East, because people there that were previously using RedPhone to communicate have found it totally disabled without any advance warning.

Can somebody please think of this and answer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38194898)

Why does my keyboard have a ^ and when do I need to use ut?

Borg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38194922)

What are they the Borg? "Twitter won't yet say how it plans to integrate Marlinspike"

Uh oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38195124)

"how it plans to integrate Marlinspike or his products."

How many times can you say "resistance is futile" in a tweet?

Trademark (3, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38195682)

Well besides the talents of Mr. Marlinspike and associates which will no doubt be useful, there is the trademark "Whisper" that Twitter is gaining.

So in addition to Tweeting you will be able to Whisper.

He is the bomb with the ladies... (1)

JohnnyBGod (1088549) | more than 2 years ago | (#38196570)

Did that guy come from a blaxploitation movie?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?