We believe everyone has a fundamental human right to privacy. We believe people should be able to conduct their lives and business in private if they wish. This is why Sky Global was founded. It’s why SKY ECC was created. People need to have conversations privately with their friends and colleagues. Lawyers need to be sure conversations with clients can’t be intercepted. Journalists need to protect their sources and investigate corruption and wrongdoings wherever the investigations take them. Businesses need to work on advanced technologies and collaborate securely, without fear of corporate espionage.
These aren’t edge cases, these examples are essential to our modern life. Without these protections, our press is less free, our economy can’t grow, and we, ironically, will be less secure. We’ve come to accept evermore invasive encroachments on our privacy, and sometimes we have no one to blame but ourselves, but it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to accept eroding privacy rights. We can use technology to both protect ourselves and help change things for the better.
Let’s turn the tide towards better privacy for all of us
We’ve gotten used to sharing our daily lives on social media. All those status updates, pictures, the “Which cartoon character are you most like” quizzes, built amazingly accurate pictures of ourselves online. So accurate algorithms can guess your politics, sexual orientation, and broad interests—even if you don’t ever expressly state any of them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed an amicus brief in a case to block the U.S. government from requiring applicants disclose their social media profiles:
Social media profiles paint alarmingly detailed pictures of their users’ personal lives. By monitoring applicants’ social media profiles, the government can obtain information that it otherwise would not have access to through the visa application process. For example, visa applicants are not required to disclose their political views. However, applicants might choose to post their beliefs on their social media profiles. Those seeking to conceal such information might still be exposed by comments and tags made by other users. And due to the complex interactions of social media networks, studies have shown that personal information about users such as sexual orientation can reliably be inferred even when the user doesn’t expressly share that information. Although consular officers might be instructed to ignore this information, it is not unreasonable to fear that it might influence their decisions anyway. EFF to Court: Social Media Users Have Privacy and Free Speech Interests in Their Public Information | Electronic Frontier Foundation
As we let our privacy slip to the wayside, we gave tacit approval for others to encroach on our privacy even more—and those are just the “good guys”. State-sponsored espionage, hackers, phishers, and scammers have taken invading our privacy to whole new levels. We’re tempted to look to technology to solve this problem, but technology can only do so much, technology isn’t perfect. Technology alone can’t fix this for us, we have to employ technologies ourselves to take proactive control of our privacy.
SKY ECC is one of those solutions. SKY ECC protects your privacy with more than strong encryption and device settings (the technology), but also with a philosophical approach to privacy that means we don’t need or want to know who you are, what you’re talking about, or who you are connected to. It’s none of our business. And as much as it makes “knowing your customer” harder, it makes your lives more private and secure.
SKY ECC was built with protecting your privacy first and foremost in our minds. Here are some of the features we built into SKY ECC to protect your privacy:
- All IDs are randomly assigned. All SKY ECC users are assigned a random 6 character username of numbers and letters.
- Your ECC ID isn’t connected to any personally identifiable information like your email, phone number, or even your name.
- Your ECC ID isn’t discoverable within the app. You can’t browse through a list of ECC IDs and add them to your contact list.
- Must approve new connections before someone can chat with you. Conversely, before you add someone to your contact list, you must request to connect before you can chat with them.
- ECC IDs are usually exchanged directly between people who know each other or through a trusted third person. We allow people to forward contacts to each other, but you still have to request to connect before you message someone
- We encrypt your message metadata to mark sure tell-tale bits of information can’t be intercepted by third parties
Our entire system is designed to not collect, capture, or store any personally identifiable information about you. We believe you have the right to conduct your life and business in private. We believe it’s important to protect privacy as an integral part of protecting your identity, your business, and your security.
Learn how we protect your contact list and your privacy within SKY ECC.
Great privacy protections aren’t worth much if they aren’t backed with equally stringent security measures as well.
SKY ECC is built on a “zero-trust” security foundation—we assume all parts of the system have been compromised or under active surveillance—so we have built layers of protections from the device up. Every part of the system from device to OS to network to app is protected with layers of security. These layers of security ensure the privacy protections we’ve put in place can’t be compromised.
We only use devices from Apple, Google, and BlackBerry that include tamper-resistance built in and have passed stringent security tests. We manage all devices with a leading enterprise UEM to disable features like Bluetooth, NFC, screen shots, access to app stores, biometrics, and other services that pose a risk to security and privacy. Our devices connect to our private, secure mobile data network through SIM-based APN settings. Regardless of how a device connects to the internet, all communications are encrypted with 2048 bit encryption and pass through anonymizing gateways ensuring complete network protection. Unknown devices cannot connect to our servers, further protecting our devices, network, and users. We also restrict devices from freely accessing the internet, preventing most phishing and malware attacks.
We then install the SKY ECC app itself in a secure container preventing apps outside the container accessing data from SKY ECC and keeping data from inside the container leaking out insecurely. This protects the app in the unlikely instance malware is installed on a device.
Our app and network is designed to protect and encrypt every facet customer communications. Our app is protected from brute force attacks and won’t allow users to login over insecure connections. Once logged in, all messages, files, and information is encrypted with a 521 bit ECC (elliptic curve cryptography, Elliptic-curve Diffie–Hellman secp521r1 ) using a proprietary encryption algorithm. Our file Vault for saved chats, images, and notes, is protected with its own password and encrypted with 521-bit ECC as well. Unlike many other secure messaging apps, SKY ECC encrypts message metadata with AES 256. We do this even though the network connection is already encrypted.
Our app includes several failsafes to ensure messages and information remain private. An ECC ID can only be associated with one device at a time, preventing people from impersonating another user. If someone triggers brute force protections by exceeding at set number of password attempts (3, 5, or 10 attempts), SKY ECC resets itself deleting all information, chats, and data from the device. Only after contacting SKY ECC Support can the device be reactivated. In case of emergency, customers can use a duress password to reset and delete SKY ECC with a single click. For people like activists or journalists who might need to disguise a secure chat app, SKY ECC stealth mode makes the app appear as a fully-functioning calculator. When a user enters a secret equation, they can log into SKY ECC as normal.
We don’t offer SKY ECC through any app store because there is no way we can ensure SKY ECC is being installed on a secure device. No matter how secure an app is, no matter how many other precautions are taken, if you install an app onto a device compromised with malware—the app is compromised as well.
Privacy and security are fundamental to our DNA
We’ve already taken a stand against putting backdoors in encryption apps or solutions, embedded in that stance is an inherent belief in protecting privacy. We believe protecting encryption and protecting privacy go hand-in-hand. However hacks, malicious apps, and even the social media tools we love, are slowly eroding our privacy. SKY ECC is here to stand against this trend and stand for creating apps and platforms that protect privacy and make us more secure, not less.
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