Friday, January 10, 2014

Christie’s Aides Should Have Used Snapchat

Says MarketWatch:
Not all electronic messages can be unearthed by subpoena[...]

Millions of people already send files and messages using secure apps like Wickr, Tiger Text, Silent Circle and Snapchat, which can be timed to disappear after a specified amount of time. Launched in September 2011, Snapchat is one of the most popular. The company recently turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook. Users can send “Snaps”—photos or videos and short messages—that last between 1 and 10 seconds, depending on the time limit set by the sender. It has over 100 million users and shares up to 400 million snaps daily. Wickr was founded by a team of privacy experts “who believe that anonymous communication is important to our political and social discourse,” according to the company’s mission statement.

The bad news for media, the public and the authorities: Such messages may be zapped from servers and unavailable to investigators. More political operatives may start to emulate the social networking habits of sexting politicians and young adults—and many recent political scandals may not even have been uncovered by the media or authorities if they were sent using these apps, says Derrick Daye, managing director at Los Angeles-based consultancy The Blake Project. What’s more, they could also make it easier for people in public life to engage in inappropriate and—in the case of the George Washington Bridge closure—potentially illegal activities, he says. “As long as there are private channels available, they will be used and certainly preferred,” Daye says.
This is important to know and private individuals should take note and use when it is appropriate. Of course, it should be made illegal to use by government officials who are "serving the public."


  1. Two points here:
    1) why did Bridget send an email instead of making a phone call? Is there really anyone left who doesn't understand that emails can be dug up for later use by the prosecution, black mailers, etc? I can't get that through my head.
    2) don't delude yourself in thinking that the slate is wiped clean when a snapchat 'disappear'. For one thing, someone was on the visual receiving end - so a screenshot could very well preserve that incriminating selfie. For another thing, there's bound to be a backdoor that we don't know about yet... only for appropriate authorities, of course.

    1. Actually, given that Android and iOS are both thoroughly compromised by NSA... they certainly have the capability to capture snapchats of the selected targets.