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[liberationtech] About "Confide"

Mustafa Al-Bassam mus at
Sat Apr 26 12:50:42 PDT 2014

So yesterday a very user-friendly mobile application called "Confide"
was released that claims to be "your off-the-record messenger"[1]. It
has been getting a ton of press attention recently and has raised $1.9m
in seed funding[2].

It claims "with end-to-end encryption and disappearing messages, Confide
is bringing off-the-record conversations online".

What do people think of this?

It is obviously a joke and a no-go to be used as something to be relied
on for encrypted communications given that there is literally no
information about the encryption used and it's closed sourced/can't be

However, the interesting thing about this is that it seems to be more
focused around preventing the client itself from archiving chat messages
rather than the server. For example, it boasts "screenshot protection"
(Snapchat style?), and the FAQ states "more specifically, we think
common use cases will include: Job referrals, HR issues, deal
discussions, and even some good-natured office gossip"[3].

Nevertheless, the unverifiable claims it make about encryption are
worrying, and what's more worrying is a future of multi-million dollar
funded weak sauce "encryption" applications that give a false sense of
security that feed on an actual desire by users for privacy following
the NSA leaks, that are more successful at attracting users than open
source alternatives that are verifiable secure, thanks to the vast
amount of resources they have in marketing.

"Confide has raised $1.9 million in seed funding from WGI Group, Google
Ventures, First Round Capital, SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, CrunchFund,
Lakestar, Marker, David Tisch’s BoxGroup, Yelp CEO and co-founder Jeremy
Stoppelman, Entourage creator Doug Ellin, and Access Hollywood host
Billy Bush."[4]


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