The NSA – and others – have been in the news over and over again in recent months for spying on users, both American and not. The Cyanogen team have decided to combat this menace by implementing the open-source TextSecure project. Already available on Android, and with iOS support coming soon, the TextSecure software encrypts all of your texts both locally, on your phone, and when sending them out to another user of the software.
CyanogenMod hired the lead engineer of the company responsible for the software to integrate it into their third-party Android ROMs, which will let any CM user text any other TextSecure user (which will soon mean any CM user at all) and encrypt their communications, all without the users having to configure any sort of complication apps.
CM’s implementation means that regardless of what messaging app you wish to use – and on Android, there are a number – it can take advantage of the system-wide encryption.
Open WhisperSystems, which created the TextSecure system, also wrote software to perform the same sort of encryption for voice calls. There’s no public talk of incorporating this functionality into CM, but it seems a logical next step, as the company has already experimented with the sort of middleware that would enable this to work – it’s how their tight integration of Google Voice functions.
According to the CM blog, the text encryption will be built into nightly builds of CM 10.2 starting today, and if it proves stable, they’ll add it to CM 11 builds as well.