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[liberationtech] Suggestions on low-tech, free secure mobile messaging app

Griffin Boyce griffinboyce at gmail.com
Sun Mar 10 19:02:19 PDT 2013


On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 4:17 AM, Alex Comninos <alex.comninos at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi All
>
> I  would like to:
>
> 1> Request opinions on the security of WhatsApp and Viber (I understand
> the security of the previous has been discussed extensively on Libtech)
>
> 2> Request suggestions on secure mobile messaging apps. These apps should
> not just run on Android and iPhone devices, but should also run on the most
> basic and cheapest of internet enabled phones (feature phones or dumb
> internet enabled phones, particularly Nokia and older versions of Symbian).
> These apps must also be free and easy to use.
>

  Somewhat amusingly, I tested out Cryptocat on some cheap internet-enabled
phones, and it was somewhere between difficult and impossible to get it to
run. Not because it was bad, but because the computing power required just
wasn't available in these phones. (This was back when it was a site, and
not apps/extensions).

  It seems pretty tricky to develop something that is both secure and will
work well on a cell phone.

Things to consider:

   - Define "secure."
   - Malware on phones is a thing -- not just viruses, but keyloggers as
   well
   - Forensic software is plentiful. Does it store data? If so, is it
   securely deleted afterward?
   - People other than users might check their phone. Is the app itself a
   giveaway that something secret is going on?
   - What is the real adversary? It's easier to keep data secret from a
   curious sibling than from the NSA.

best,
Griffin Boyce
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