Party members were left embarrassed after messages from a WhatsApp chat were leaked
Members of the Fine Gael party were left red-faced over the weekend after messages from a group WhatsApp chat were leaked. Minister Leo Varadkar has reportedly shut the WhatsApp chat down in favour of a messaging app called 'Confide'.
Reports in the Independent state the recommendation of 'Confide' came from Chief Whip, Regina Doherty. This app offers end-to-end encryption, but also auto-deletes messages once they have been read. It's also not possible to screenshot messages, as was done in the group's WhatsApp chat.
"We have two forms of screenshot protection," says Confide's website. "We alert you (and the recipient) if the recipient attempts to take a screenshot. We then kick the recipient out of the message. Plus, messages are concealed until you "wand" over them with your finger. This ensures that only a limited portion of the message is revealed at any one time. On our desktop apps, we prevent screenshots altogether."
While Fine Gael are putting their hopes of leak-free communication in the 'Confide' platform, the app is causing a stir in Washington as it is being used to release embarrassing and sensitive information to journalists.
Founder of Confide, Joe Brod says that he did not set out to create an app for leakers, but can see the appeal.
“The message is gone forever, it’s deleted from our servers, you can’t archive, print it, save it, cut-and-paste it. Again, just like the spoken word, it disappears,” Brod said. “Any newsworthy hack, leak, vulnerability of digital communication leads to a corresponding spike in our usage and engagement metrics. You can’t hack or leak something that no longer exists."
CBS News reported last week that at least three prominent White House staffers have Confide accounts. Last Thursday, President Trump vowed to prosecute leakers.