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[liberationtech] Wickr app aims to safeguard online privacy

Nathan of Guardian nathan at guardianproject.info
Sat Feb 2 18:53:23 PST 2013


Wow, a patent-pending closed-source app for Freedom(tm) only available on iPhones!

All of our problems are solved. ;)

Yosem Companys <companys at stanford.edu> wrote:

>Wickr app aims to safeguard online privacy
>February 3, 2013, 4:33 am AFP
>
>SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Wickr co-founder Nico Sell is working toward
>"geek utopia," a world where people hold the power when it comes to
>who sees what they share on the Internet or from their phones.
>
>The startup's services -- giving users of Apple gadgets uncrackable
>communications that can self-destruct -- were beefed up this week,
>just in time for reports of cyber spies trying to snoop on Western
>journalists covering China.
>
>The free software, available at Apple's online App Store, was enhanced
>to let people send encrypted file attachments programmed to erase
>themselves. The original service, released in June, only worked on the
>data within text, picture, video and voice messages.
>
>"It shows the bigger vision of where we are going," Sell said Friday.
>
>"We plan on overlaying this protocol on every communication channel
>that exists in the online world," continued Sell, a key
>behind-the-scenes figure at the famous Def Con hacker gathering that
>takes place annually in Las Vegas.
>
>"It's geek utopia, and we think we can get to it."
>
>Wickr has a patent pending on technology which Sell said could give
>people ways to safeguard anything they send or put online, even
>digital bytes in Internet telephone calls or posts to leading social
>network Facebook.
>
>"We expect to have it all covered by the end of the year," Sell said.
>"The idea is you would use Wickr to interact with all the other
>networks."
>
>Wickr will evolve to be able to hide pictures posted at Facebook
>behind "decoy images," with permission needed to look behind the
>masks, according to company co-founder Robert Statica.
>
>"There will be a decoy image that the public sees, and you clear your
>friends or your group to see the real image," explained Statica, a
>professor of information technology at the New Jersey Institute of
>Technology.
>
>"We will let people make regular Facebook posts if they don't care
>about privacy."
>
>Unlike many other apps, Wickr is designed not to store any information
>mined from people's contact lists.
>
>"Right now Facebook has all my contact information even though I
>boycott Facebook, because a bunch of my friends uploaded it with their
>contact lists," Sell said. "This needs to change as an industry."
>
>The Wickr app has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in
>more than 110 countries since the software crafted for iPhones, iPads,
>and iPod touch devices hit the App Store, according to the
>co-founders.
>
>"Private communication is a universal human right," Sell said.
>"Freedom: there's an app for that."
>
>The San Francisco-based startup behind the software is working on
>versions of Wickr for smartphones or tablets powered by Google-backed
>Android software.
>
>Wickr's business plan is to have hundreds of millions of people
>globally use the free versions of the application while a small
>percentage opt to pay for premium features such as being able to
>control larger data files.
>
>"We are trying to flip messaging on its head and give control to the
>sender instead of the receiver or the servers in between," Sell said.
>
>"We can't expect these cloud services to protect our privacy; we need
>to do it ourselves."
>
>More information about the application was available online at
>mywickr.com.
>--
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