What comes to mind when one talks about disappearing text messaging? You know, the "now you see it, now you don't" type of communique that might have saved the career of one "what was he thinking" politician with the unfortunate name of Weiner.
Yes the answer to that former Democratic representative's proclivity for letting it all hang out (literally) might have been avoided altogether had the messaging software application called Snapchat launched just one year earlier.
Well, while the founders of Snapshat are busy rebuffing billion dollar offers from such social media luminaries as Mark Zuckerberg and putting out fires where privacy leaks are concerned, a would-be competitor has ponied up as the "next shiny thing" contender to steal some of its thunder. And had this one only been around a wee bit earlier - it could have been the solution for yet another political scandal.
Confide is what's been touted as "Snapshot for Professionals" and what many believe wouldBridget Anne Kelly have been a god-send for one former deputy chief of staff in New Jersey. Bridget Anne Kelly, while serving as one of Governor Chris Christie's key strategists was unfortunately let go when her now-infamous 8-word vendetta email was released with the cryptic message: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
For those that who are not familiar with the "Bridgegate" scandal, this music video with the help of one of Katy Perry's top hits, "Firework" will bring you up to speed on the cast of characters that not only emerged in this scandal, but also the Hoboken "Quid Pro Quo" gambit that immediately followed:
With Confide, Ms. Kelly could have sent a private, end-to-end encrypted, screen-shot-proof message which works with email addresses versus text messaging -- that, like Snapshot -- would have disappeared shortly after it was sent. Contributing writer Dan Primack from CNNMoney described how in addition to Kelly, Christie's team could have benefitted: "Uses could be everything from discussing the next employee to fire or complaining about your boss or... well, causing massive traffic gridlock out of spite."
Promoted as "Your off-the-record messenger" at Apple's iTune Store, downloads of the app are currently free and features the following:
- Messages disappear forever once they’re read
- Swiping prevents screenshots
- Instantly send messages to any email address
- Messages you send are private and encrypted
- Read receipts tell you when your message is read
The way it works is fairly intuitive. The text comes in with blocks over it. To read the text you simply swipe across the blocks and the words are revealed. The beauty is, dissimilar to Snapshot, you can't take screen shots of the messages.
Daniel Gross at the Daily Beast writes in his post titled, Confide Is the Best Way to Keep Your Dastardly Deeds Hidden, "if you’re a professional who needs to communicate without a paper trail, Confide is for you—atJon Brod & Howard Lerman least until it gets hacked or bought by a big, privacy-invading tech firm." The company’s founders are Howard Lerman, the current CEO of geodata firm Yext, and former AOL executive Jon Brod.
Could of, should of, would of. All is hindsight at this juncture. And regrettably for one sitting governor he, like Mr. Weiner is coming up a day late and a dollar short. Fortunate however, for Mr. Christie [and the rest of the world, I might add], he's only let a few items of his dirty laundry out to dry -- and not his entire package.
[Cartoon by Lisa Benson at the Washington Post]