Protecting personal information and keeping it private has become a top priority for Americans in a time of leaked emails, distrusted government, and hacked phone lines. Moxie Marlinspike founded Open Whisper Systems (OWS) in 2010 and has grown the company into an open source program available for the masses. He has (quietly) become the face of encryption advocacy and has pioneered air tight privacy software.
The mobile security system ensures that the transmissions between recipients are kept confidential. Currently, OWS is used by millions of users and has been adapted by the likes of Google and Twitter – bringing the total count to over 2 billion. OWS developed Signal Protocol in 2013 which encrypts instant messaging conversation. This technology was taken on by Facebook’s Whatsapp last spring and Google recently incorporated it into their messenger app, Allo, late last year. Rather than compete with the two mega companies, OWS sees the two as potential partners for their flourishing app and their increasing stand against privacy hacking.
The organization itself is still very much a start up, their team consisting of Marlinspike and a small and humble supporting team of 4. The nimble team has support from famous “whistle blower” Edward Snowden” and receives their funding from various grants and contributions. Scrolling through their blog you can see the continued development of the app. From encrypted video calls, adding doodles to content, GIF search support from within the app, and disappearing messages (a la Snapchat ).
Marlinspike and OWS show no signs of backing down.