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Apple rehires security and encryption expert

The Mac and iPhone maker rehires Jon Callas, who co-founded PGP and Silent Circle, two well-known firms devoted to secure communications.

Jon Callas speaks at Mobile World Congress in 2015.

Jon Callas speaks at Mobile World Congress in 2015.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple is continuing its efforts to foil iSpies.

The company confirmed Tuesday that it has rehired security expert Jon Callas. Callas co-founded several companies devoted to secure communications, including PGP and Silent Circle, which sells the Blackphone, an encrypted device that CNET Reviews last year called "the most secure smartphone you can get your hands on today."

Callas previously worked at Apple in the '90s and again earlier this decade, when he designed a system to encrypt data on Macs.

He also apparently has a sense of humor. As of this writing, his most recent job listing on LinkedIn is a bit unorthodox. He's filled in the job-title field with "Personal Stealth Mode" and the company-name field with "I Could Tell You But Then I'd Have To Kill You and Associates."

Apple was, of course, recently embroiled in a conflict with the FBI over whether it should be required to help the agency hack into an iPhone. Sources tell us that Callas will be helping Apple with security on its whole range of products.

Callas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.