By Aliya Sternstein
With economic espionage and domestic surveillance creating a climate of cyber insecurity, some intellectual property attorneys now employ encrypted communications to correspond with federal contractor clients.
Tools such as RedPhone, a mobile voice app, and Silent Circle, a text, video and voice service, are among the more user-friendly technologies in use. Civil liberties activists, dissidents and some journalists have long resorted to cryptography to protect information, but some assembly was always required. The new secret message techniques still require trading a little convenience for confidentiality.
In an attempt to promote wider adoption, and perhaps his business, James Denaro, a patent litigation attorney with the CipherLaw Group, tweeted Friday night: “We use@Silent_Circle phone and text and encourage our clients to use it to contact us.”
The firm started using Silent Circle about a month ago for calls and texting, and six clients are now active users, he told Nextgov via PGP-encrypted email. About 90 percent of the practice’s federal contractor clients use some sort of secure communications to talk or type with counsel. Adoption is lower among companies outside the government sector, with only a bit more than half of all clients, total, using encrypted correspondence. “Our federal contractor client base is relatively technically adept,” Denaro said.