Spy Turned Privacy Pro Mike Janke Talks Secret Codes Oct. 16

By Aliya Sternstein

August 21, 2013

Veteran Navy SEAL Mike Janke, a businessman who shifted from facilitating clandestine military operations to facilitating clandestine civilian communications, has joined the roster of speakers for Nextgov Prime, a two-day event this fall. The co-founder of Silent Circle, a secure communications service, will share his personal story on Oct. 16 in Washington. How he upholds loyalties to law enforcement authorities like his former supervisors, private individuals like his family, and intellectual property owners like himself is the core of this narrative. 

Sharing the stage will be Foreign Policy senior writer Shane Harris, an award-winning journalist who has written about the likes of Janke and other national security officials for much of his nearly 15-year career. 

Harris will interview Janke about attempting to provide secret codes to feds and activists alike, without going out of business or violating his principles. Silent Circle might lose some customers in the wake of revelations by ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the government can snoop into most any type of email. The company felt obligated to shutter Silent Mail, its email service, to preempt any government attempt at email eavesdropping. Secure texting, video and call services remain available.

While Janke says he understands the government's need to spy on foreign adversaries, he draws the line at monitoring U.S. citizens.

"I don't believe that there needs to be any friction between the need for a private individual, a need for a company, a need for the government. Where that friction comes in is when one's duty, which is the government's, frictions against the private individuals," he has said.

Following Janke's discussion, you can join me for to learn how hackers are trying to undermine government and industry programs big and small by taking advantage of network vulnerabilities. Prevention isn't always possible, but responding early is. Based my effort to launch ThreatWatch, a new Nextgov tool cataloging successful hacks across the globe, I'll outline the failure all federal information technology programs face without good security.


Join former Navy SEAL Mike Janke as he and leading leading cyber and intelligence journalist, Shane Harris, dissect the sometimes-competing priorities of U.S. intelligence gathering and citizens' rights to privacy at Nextgov Prime. Request an invite here.


By Aliya Sternstein

August 21, 2013

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