Secure Communications App Reline Opens Registration For Beta Testers
Aulia Masna - 26 June 2013
At AngelHack Jakarta, a number of teams produced quite a few solid product prototypes but none incited more debate than Reline, an app that facilitates secure communications for mobile devices. Never mind that the app isn’t the first of its kind, many in the audience, especially some of the judges thought the app shouldn’t have been made at all as it will encourage illegal activities. Last week however, Reline’s developers announced open beta for testers.
Faisal Heswara and Panggi Libersa Akadol, both currently working at Indonesian payment gateway company Veritrans, joined up at AngelHack to create Reline. During the pitching session, the pair demonstrated how regular phone calls can be easily tapped, but by using their prototype app, the line becomes scrambled and anyone trying to listen in will get nothing but noise.
Reline isn’t just a phone app, Heswara told us. For the time being, Reline will start with providing a secure phone connection but “the goal of Reline is to secure the communications line. It can be used to send text, file transfer and video call as well. We will also develop the desktop version of it”.
The developers will reveal further information about its Android app in July. Android was chosen first mainly because it was the most feasible to work on during the 24 hours provided during AngelHack. “After we published the stable version of Android app, we will develop the BlackBerry and iOS as well. For the long run we want to have our own package of devices preinstalled with Reline applications”, said Heswara. In other words, Reline will be used as a platform to develop applications that transfer data in a secure manner.
For many purposes, secure http implementation generally is enough but because Reline is a communications app, it uses AES-256, a security key that is essentially unbreakable and provides end to end security by encrypting communications at the source which can only be decrypted by the recipient. End to end encryption is the kind of method that is used by Apple’s iMessage which we recently wrote about on our Indonesian site.
This sort of app is actually already available for Android devices on Google Play. There is one called Red Phone, built using Open Whisper Systems which is an open source project to develop mobile security and privacy software. Whisper Systems itself was a company that developed mobile security software but was acquired by Twitter in late 2011. Some of its software were made available as open source by Twitter following the acquisition.
When asked about Whisper Systems, Heswara said, “Whisper Systems is one of our inspirations to create our product and we admire what they’re doing”.
He explained that there are certain differences between the services offered by Open Whisper Systems and Reline. “As a product we offer different services. What Open Whisper Systems provides right now is calling and messaging on different apps, while at Reline it’s all in one package. As we grow we also plan to secure more and more types of communication line as this is our main goal and philosophy”.
Right now, Reline has opened registrations for beta testers through Facebook (yes, ironically, we know) and will notify registrants in July of further information about its launch. Feel free to head on to Reline’s website and sign up for beta testing if you’re interested.
This mobile channel is brought to you by Samsung Developer Competition 2013. SDC ’13 is an app competition for Android apps that leverage Samsung’s mobile technologies. For more information please visit http://techne.dailysocial.net/