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Secure communications service Perzo will be open source

Exclusive Founder tells of plans for open source encrypted communications
Thu Dec 05 2013, 17:47
Top secret envelope

INDUSTRY STALWART and Skype co-founder David Gurle has told The INQUIRER that his new venture Perzo will be released as open source software.

Gurle explained that is the only way to prove his software product's secure credentials.

Perzo is a communications service for collaboration that encompasses instant messaging, filesharing, email and SMS from the same web interface.

At the heart of the Perzo software is a 512 bit encryption key that is broken up between users, meaning that neither the unencrypted data nor the key to access it is available to anyone outside the conversation.

Should Perzo's servers be compromised, the data is useless without direct access to all of the machines involved in a conversation. The decision to take the platform open source has not been taken lightly.

Gurle told us, "The code that encrypts the streams needs to be validated by the world's security experts. They need to be confident that there is no Trojan horse in the code. They need to know we do what we say and say what we do and there is no back door to anything. The only way you can gain that trust and credibility is to be completely transparent and say, 'go ahead - this is what we have.'"

Gurle believes that in the post-Snowden age the internet has to evolve, and the idea of his code being used to tread on the toes of his income stream doesn't arise.

"If someone copies us, it shows we're doing something right, and maybe there are things that we haven't seen, or we haven't foreseen, or that they can do better than us. But in an open source philosophy, people discover those things and share them back with us too."

The INQUIRER talked with David Gurle for 90 minutes about his thoughts on Microsoft's direction with Skype, the nature of open source, security, snooping and of course, Perzo. You will be able to read the whole story here soon. µ


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