What if you could call me directly through my email? No exchanging of phone numbers or searching for handles on Skype. Just plain and simple email. Now what if we can make that phone call as secure as it is easy. That’s the goal of what we’re doing here at Open Secure Telephony Network (OSTN).
The internet is already structured to be able to do this. That’s why I can have all of my emails point to one email box if I want to. Simply by changing the MX records. So why not be able to do that with phone numbers, routing them through my same email by changing the SIP records?
Guardian Project is in the process of figuring out how to make your life better by doing just that. We’re currently in the early stages of research on how to make a stack for secure telephony standards so that anybody can participate, whether a novice user who wants easy access or a power user who wants to run their own stack.
Email already handles configurable standards well for text. As a user, I can choose my service (Gmail, Hotmail, RiseUp, self-hosting, etc) and the client (Outlook, Thunderbird, Mail, etc) on whatever platform works best for me (Windows, MacOS, Android, etc) and have my custom email (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc) point to whichever of these systems I trust the most and works best for me.
We’re now bringing that ease and customization to voice communication. As a user, I’ll be able to choose my service. We’re currently alpha testing a service we built, Ostel.me, but there are others like Tanstagi, Intimi.ca. Our open protocol will make it easy for companies to host their own internal server for communication. Whatever platform works best for you (Windows, MacOS, Android, etc) has a tool that lets you make phone calls with the service. We’re working directly with open source tools like CSipSimple on Android and Telephone on MacOS to improve them for best and most secure call quality. We’re also making it easy for people using other tools like Groundwire on the iPhone to make calls using these tools.
Our goal is to make a service that’s easier to use and more secure than Skype while cheaper and more reliable than a standard phone. This is just the start, but we’re excited by the progress we’ve already made. If you’d like to help, we’re always looking for smart and passionate people who can be testers, designers, translators, and supporters. Before you can call our email for updates, you can send us a message on it telling us how you’d like to participate, sign up to be an alpha tester on Ostel.me, or follow us on Twitter. Thanks for tuning in!