twitter makes a move to acquire mobile security startup

And the acquisition ‘wars’ continue with various giants and internet brands taking over various technologies and companies. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo – you name it and each of these companies has a list of acquisitions on their chest. Twitter just added another; Whisper Systems, a mobile security start-up company co-founded last year by security experts Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson, to its list! With this acquisition, Twitter has shown its serious intention to enhancing the security of its service as well as picking up ‘a pair of highly respected experts in the field of online security‘, report Reuters.

In an announcement on their blog, which comes a couple of weeks from the launch of the new versions of Flashback (an encrypted backup for android), Whisper Systems confirmed that they will be joining Twitter. The company confirmed that their initial goal of tackling the full stack of security concerns, will be ‘looking forward to bringing our technology and our expertise into Twitter’s products and services‘. With the announcement, the company also announced a series of changes through the transition period. It’s cloud backup service for Android devices, FlashBack, will be functional for a month before going offline, while it’s RedPhone, the encryption calling service, will be taken off immediately. Once the transition period is over, the services and products are expected to be back online.

There is scarce comment from either party on the nature or price of the deal and there is a lot of speculation for Whisper Systems users at the moment. But for Twitter it might be a giant leap forward in cementing its place in the market. For a site with more than a 100 million active users including celebrities, politicians and businesses, it is easy to imagine that security is perhaps a major concern for these users. Acquiring a company that deals with security over mobile devices for the Android operating system is perhaps a reassurance for all those concerned – at least for now.

How the deal fares and what Twitter does with the technology remains to be seen. Let’s hope that for Twitter and Marlinspike, it is a massive step forward.

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