CyanogenMod has just made an announcement that takes its security and privacy thrust to the next level. In the coming nightly builds, the team will be integrating a new WhisperPush feature that will allow CyanogenMod users to have the option to send and receive encrypted SMS.
The custom ROM’s privacy and security oriented features revolve around the new CyanogenMod Account that was introduced last August. The first feature that was implemented that used CM Account was an end-to-end encrypted service for locating and, if necessary, remotely wiping a device. However, the developer team has made it known that they plan to use CM Accoounts as a gateway for other features, such as secure messaging. CyanogenMod is now making those plans into reality with WhisperPush.
The CyanogenMod team will have some outside help in maintaining this new feature. Open WhisperSystems and its lead engineer Moxie Marlinspike will be lending a hand and will make sure that WhisperPush also works with TextSecure, the open source client that encrypts messages not only locally but also over the air. The TextSecure client is available on both Android and iOS, so WhisperPush users will be able to send encrypted SMS not only to other CM Account holders on Android but also to iOS users. WhisperPush will also integrate with whatever default SMS app you are using so you don’t have to give up using your favorite app just to send secure messages. It will also fall back to regular SMS in case the recipient doesn’t have a CM Account or a TextSecure client installed.
CyanogenMod will first be integrating WhisperPush into the CyanogenMod 10.2 nightly builds before it pushes it to CyanogenMod 11. This is to test and adjust the server once people start using the feature. WhisperPush is being developed as an open source software, so those with a knack for reading source code are free to take a peek.