Silent Circle kills warrant canary; claims "business reasons"

SilentCircle Blackphone
SilentCircle Blackphone

Silent Circle, the privacy-focused manufacturer of the BlackPhone and security apps has discontinued its warrant canary. The Switzerland-based smartphone maker attributed the decision to “business reasons,” rather than a legal challenge.

Warrant canaries are regularly-published statements used by technology companies and service providers to circumvent legal prohibitions barring companies from disclosing when they have received a warrant or national security letter.

“As part of our focus on delivering enterprise software platform we discontinued our warrant canary some time ago,” Matt Neiderman, the company's general counsel said, according to a TechCrunch report. “The decision was a business decision and not related to any warrant for user data which we have not received.”

Last March, Silent Circle missed a scheduled update, setting off concerns that the company had been issued a request for user data. The company later issued a statement that it had not received a warrant.

Silent Circle has previously stated that its technology makes it unable to provide user data upon request. Its peer-to-peer ephemeral key exchanges ensure the company would “not have access to users' encryption keys even if we were sued or served with a warrant to provide them,” wrote Javier Agüera, Silent Circle's chief scientist, devices, in a company blog post in September.

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