As Elites Switch to Texting, Watchdogs Fear Loss of Transparency

From an article by Kevin Roose in the New York Times:

“Secure messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal and Confide are making inroads among lawmakers, corporate executives and other prominent communicators. Spooked by surveillance and wary of being exposed by hackers, they are switching from phone calls and emails to apps that allow them to send encrypted and self-destructing texts. These apps have obvious benefits, but their use is causing problems in heavily regulated industries, where careful record-keeping is standard procedure.

“‘By and large, email is still used for formal conversations,’ said Juleanna Glover, a corporate consultant based in Washington. ‘But for quick shots, [secure] texting is the medium of choice.'”

Also:

“The appeal of these apps is no big mystery. Cyberattacks on prominent people — like the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures executives and the WikiLeaks release of emails from John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman — have put the Davos class on high alert. And President Trump’s election in November led to a boom in business for encrypted texting apps among those who feared he would intensify surveillance tactics. Whether they are trying to evade the law, arrange fragile deals or just talk candidly without fear of being snooped on, business executives and other leaders have many reasons for wanting a private back channel.”

So here is the question of the moment: Do you continue to use normal communications channels, including normal text messaging, where your supposedly private words can be intercepted and even publicized without your permission? Or should you switch to a secure messaging app such as like WhatsApp, Signal, or Confide, to keep your words private?

You might want to read Kevin Roose’s article at http://nyti.ms/2uDNeMg before you decide.

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