Secure messaging app Confide for iOS finds popularity with White House staff, reporters

Posted:
in iPhone edited February 2017
A messaging app available for both iPhone and Mac called Confide is finding unusual success at the Trump administration White House -- both among government staff and journalists.




Staff are using the Confide app to avoid being blamed for leaks to the media, currently the subject of an internal investigation ordered by Trump, the Washington Post said. Business Insider also noted that the app is appropriately popular with reporters who work on the White House beat.

President Trump is said to be upset about repeated leaks of normally confidential confirmation, such as the details of calls to foreign leaders.

The app's newfound adoption extends to others in the Republican Party, according to Axios sources. In these instances though concern is said to have been spiked by Russian hacking of Democratic Party emails, rather than Trump's investigation.




Confide is available for iOS, Mac, Windows, and Android, with iMessage and Apple Watch versions as well. It's different from some other secure messaging apps in offering not just end-to-end encryption, but permanent deletion of messages and files once they're received, or if a certain amount of time has elapsed. This ensures that there's no trail to follow, even if someone manages to get physical access to an unlocked device.

On phones the app also requires that users hold their finger down to reveal a message, making it difficult to take a photo or screenshot.

On Wednesday, Confide president Jon Brod claimed that the attention put on his company has made things "absolutely bananas." The developer is in fact launching a verified badge for reporters, similar to the badges for verified Twitter accounts -- this may make it easier for leak sources to trust who they're talking to.

Apple has come under fire from politicians like Trump for its own privacy practices, which include end-to-end encryption on iMessage and FaceTime, and full disk encryption for iOS. The company does comply with police warrants and national security letters when it considers them legitimate and it has access to the requested data.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    NemWanNemWan Posts: 114member
    Great for reporters, but White House staff need to be sure they are not using it for any communications that would be required to be preserved by the Presidential Records Act.
    Solicecil444mknelsonDonvermobsimpsendominikhoffmannosx-frogjbdragonpeterhartwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Tyson LondonTyson London Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
     He wasn't so upset about the leaks a few months ago. I wonder what's changed 🤔
    singularitynyctraviswatto_cobralostkiwistantheman
  • Reply 3 of 11
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    That is interesting. Is the government suggesting that personal communications should be private? 
    dbolanderDonvermoSolicoolfactorMacsplosiondws-2watto_cobralostkiwi
  • Reply 4 of 11
    It seems there's a double standard starting.... http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/republicans-epa-signal-encrypted/index.html It's not good for employees in the EPA to use Signal, another encrypted messaging system, but the WH is allowed to do it!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    jaribbs said:
    It seems there's a double standard starting.... http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/republicans-epa-signal-encrypted/index.html It's not good for employees in the EPA to use Signal, another encrypted messaging system, but the WH is allowed to do it!
    No, they aren't. As NemWam points out, the nature of a self-destructing message is forbidden by the Presidential Records Act.
    osx-frogwatto_cobrastantheman
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Shouldn't all govt employees be required to only use apps which pass messages through govt servers to retain all data for archiving and so forth? If you don't like those restrictions, you shouldn't be working in govt.
    dominikhoffmanncoolfactoricoco3buzdotswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 191member
    Confide needs a back door to allow citizens to monitor the secret communications of elected personnel. 
    gnnonidominikhoffmanncoolfactoricoco3osx-frogdws-2jbdragonphone-ui-guywatto_cobralukei
  • Reply 8 of 11
    tgr1tgr1 Posts: 33member
    Except on Twitter many security experts aren't convinced Confide is actually all that secure. But it has done a masterful job of marketing.
    watto_cobrastantheman
  • Reply 9 of 11
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,678member
    tgr1 said:
    Except on Twitter many security experts aren't convinced Confide is actually all that secure. But it has done a masterful job of marketing.
    That would lead to yet another major upset and fuck up for this administration if the messages could be retrieved. Flynn used a system where calls were known to monitored to commit treason so can you imagine what they are saying under the assumption of having no consequences for their words?
    MacProwatto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Soli said:
    jaribbs said:
    It seems there's a double standard starting.... http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/republicans-epa-signal-encrypted/index.html It's not good for employees in the EPA to use Signal, another encrypted messaging system, but the WH is allowed to do it!
    No, they aren't. As NemWam points out, the nature of a self-destructing message is forbidden by the Presidential Records Act.

    Pretty sure they don't want records of what they leaked to journalists...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
     He wasn't so upset about the leaks a few months ago. I wonder what's changed 🤔
    What's changed is that he's on the butt-end of it. That's all.
    singularity
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