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[liberationtech] Wickr app aims to safeguard online privacy

Brian Conley brianc at
Tue Feb 5 12:06:52 PST 2013

My impression is that this could work in any system that delivers encrypted
messages to a third-party non SMS client. In fact, it could work in an SMS
client as well, though an encrypted version of the message would of course
be stored by the mobile service provider.

As Jacob says its certainly not fool-proof, but where we are talking about
"fools" specifically, it would avoid this problem:

Joe, Billy, and Susan are all planning a super secret action to disrupt
Authoritarianistan's hosting of the olympics. They all agree to use
SuperSecretMessageSender™ to communicate in super secret mode.
Unfortunately Billy is kind of an ass, and despite repeated discussions and
collective agreement, he failed to delete his messages upon reading. When
Authoritarianistan state operatives detained Billy, they tortured him to
release his passwords, and then read messages from Joe, Susan, and Billy's
mom, all of whom were detained and have not been heard from since.

In this case, self-destruct would potentially save Joe and Susan from the
"fool" Billy's lazy security culture.

Certainly this is not a be all and and all, but does seem like a
potentially valuable feature based on my own broad observation of "fools"
amongst many activist and journalist groups.


On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 11:11 AM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at>wrote:

> Brian Conley:
> > Apparently Silent Circle is also proposing such a feature now.
> Such a feature makes sense when we consider the pervasive world of
> targeted attacks. If you compromise say, my email client today, you may
> get years of email. If you compromise my Pond client today, you get a
> weeks worth of messages. Such a feature is something I think is useful
> and I agreed to it when I started using Pond. It is a kind of forward
> secrecy that understands that attackers sometimes win but you'd like
> them to not win everything for all time.
> Seems rather reasonable, really. Hardly malware but hardly perfect.
> All the best,
> Jake
> --
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Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

m: 646.285.2046

Skype: brianjoelconley
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