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Secure Calling Initiative comes through GNU

GNU Telephony released their latest version of the GNU RTP Stack, GNU ccrtp 1.5, a free software framework for developing applications that use the secure RTP profile for VOIP (as defined by RFC 3711), and also a GNU GPL licensed library implementation of Phil Zimmermann's ZRTP protocol for voice encryption as used in "Zfone".

By offering a native secure RTP framework that can be directly embedded in newly developed VOIP applications, GNU Telephony intended to promote the development and widespread use of secure and intercept free voice and video communication services worldwide.

The Twinkle softphone package, immediately available with SRTP/ZRTP support, is the first complete free software package to make use of Secure call features offered in the GNU RTP Stack.

The GNU RTP stack can be used to develop secure communications for GNU/Linux hosted applications. The stack may also be used to develop application on various BSD systems including Mac OS/X, on Microsoft Windows, and even for embedded systems.

The company has tested and built the GNU RTP Stack with Handhelds Open Embedded build environment, and plans to implement a Twinkle based secure calling solutions on Linux kernel powered cell phones in the future.

By making "secure by design" encryption capabilities simple to embed, and by enabling the largest possible participation in developing such solutions through free software, the firm hope to break down those remaining barriers that prevent secure telephony from being widely deployed over next generation telephone networks.

Part of this vision includes offering TLS encapsulated SIP over TCP, and deployment of anonymous calling proxies, to further deny passive data mining of call session and connection associative information in the future.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.