Zero Knowledge Systems
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|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Austin Hill (CEO) and Hamnett Hill (COO)|
freedom pseudonymous mail system
Number of employees
Zero-Knowledge Systems (also known as ZKS) was a Canadian privacy technology software and services company, best known for the Freedom Network, its privacy network. It was founded by brothers Austin Hill & Hamnett Hill and their father Hamnett Hill Sr. (aka Hammie Hill) in 1997. Its headquarters were in Montreal, Quebec. Early investors and board members were Mike Santer and Alex Hern co-founder Inktomi. The company still exists under the new name Radialpoint though is no longer a developer of privacy-enhancing technologies.
Zero-Knowledge Systems was one of the first large scale commercial attempts to combine cypherpunk principles with a for-profit technology. During its heyday ZKS captured the media's imagination and successfully drew attention to the privacy risks of unsuspecting internet users.
Being based in Canada allowed it to circumvent US ban on strong cryptography, considered "munitions" at the time. ZKS was featured in Wired magazine as early as 1999.
The ZKS Freedom Network was a pioneer of anonymous networking technology, predating the Tor network. Some of the enterprise privacy research was also inherited by the IBM Tivoli digital rights management suite.
Several of the company's employees were from an academic privacy-enhanced technology background: Stefan Brands (senior cryptographer) and cypherpunk background Ian Goldberg (chief scientist) and Adam Back (architect & cryptographer). Other employees included Mike Shaver (chief software officer), Adam Shostack, Anton Stiglic, Jonathan Wilkins and Ulf Moller. Stephanie Perrin served as Chief Privacy Officer for the firm before she became Director of Research and Policy at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and helped to draft PIPEDA, the Canadian privacy law.
- A New Kind of Mafia in Montreal? How a Culture of Startup CEOs are Playing the Angel Game BetaKit. September 3, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2014
- Oakes, Chris (9 February 1999). "Zero-Knowledge: Nothing Personal". Wired. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- "Dr. Stefan Brands Joins Zero-Knowledge Systems". CANADIAN CORPORATE NEWS. February 23, 2000. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- Akin, David (13 May 2002). "Zero-Knowledge learns a valuable lesson". The Globe and Mail. Montreal. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
- Silverman, Craig (9 June 2004). "Zero-Knowledge Systems Inc., on Behalf of Synomos Inc., Files Motion to Institute Proceedings Against IBM". Business Wire (Press release). Montreal. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Clark, Don (5 October 2001). "Zero-Knowledge to End Service That Allowed Online Anonymity". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Silverman, Craig (4 May 2005). "Radialpoint, New Name of Company Formerly Known as Zero-Knowledge Systems". Business Wire. Montreal. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Lemos, Robert (23 October 2000). "Zero-Knowledge open sources Freedom". ZDNet. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Emergent Chaos (12 June 2007). "Whatever happened to Zero-Knowledge Systems?"". ITProPortal. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
- Edwards, M (10 January 2002). "Zero-Knowledge Systems Introduces Security and Privacy Tool Suite". IT Pro. Retrieved 13 May 2020.