The Methodology and Integrity of CipherShed

CipherShed is an open source project; we welcome contributions and collaborations from anyone, and we already have had numerous contributors join our project. No single individual or organization “owns” or “controls” CipherShed. CipherShed was founded by, and continues to be supported by, a community of security professionals and enthusiasts that care about open, auditable, and accountable security software.

CipherShed is stored in a public git repository because we use a strict branching model to ensure code and release integrity. We are working towards hosting our code, website, and all CipherShed-related digital objects in a decentralized fashion on mirrors across the globe. Our binaries are verified with checksums and signatures, and our developers strive to confirm that these signatures match, to ensure that the release was not tampered with.

The general direction of the project is guided at a high-level by a Project Management Committee. Prior to any full release, all changes to the code are independently audited and approved by at least three distinct members of our Security Team. (Note that this is not necessarily the case for releases intended for testing only, such as alpha-releases.) For more information about the people who have been most involved in the project at these levels, see our About page. In an open project like this, where we are all volunteers, people are free to come and go as they please, and people involved in the project are certainly subject to change and we will keep this page as up to date as we can.

We understand and support scrutinizing the people behind security-related projects. One of CipherShed’s founding principles is transparency in everything, including its key members’ identities. By openly posting our names and links to our real identities on the CipherShed website, we have tried to be as transparent and open as possible about who we are, what we represent, and how we develop CipherShed, to allow anyone to decide for themselves if they trust us (or rather, our development model).

We do not deny, nor have we ever tried to hide the fact that some of our members have been or are currently funded by governmental or corporate entities. We want to especially stress that, in fact, the one reason why we can and do have confidence in CipherShed is that, even if though we may never be certain about our individual contributors’ identities or intentions, we can rely on our strict, decentralized security auditing and review process to keep malicious additions from being introduced in a release. Before accepting any person’s contributions, they will, without exception, be scrutinized by multiple independent reviewers under the same assumption: that malicious changes may have been made. Thus, we firmly believe that the security of CipherShed lies in the development model, and that our developers’ past or existing affiliations, be they organizational, gender, race, beliefs, sexual orientation, or others, do not matter.

If you have any further inquiries, please feel free to contact us directly at contact at ciphershed dot org .

The CipherShed Project Management Committee