One lesson President Trump is learning– the hard way– is that you can’t play hardball with government employees. The vast majority are career employees, not appointees, so spitting in their direction is not much of a motivator.
We can see some of the calculated responses with a few well-timed government leaks which have disrupted Trump’s administration, not even a month into his presidency. The question I have is, ‘what do government snitches use to communicate with outsiders?‘
Email? Text messaging? Phone calls? Starbucks? Dark alleys? Park benches late at night?
The first of government entities to cast a few stones in Trump’s direction probably involved the intelligence community, so those members know what to use and what not to use to avoid an audit trail.
What do they use to communicate with reporters? What do reporters use?
Everyone knows email is staggeringly insecure– and if you don’t, you shouldn’t be around classified information– but a dozen messaging apps offer so-called end-to-end encryption. The only problem with that kind of messaging system– and iPhone’s Messages fits in that category– is the end-to-end has an end. Sender and receiver. If government spooks are tracking government spooks all they need to do is get to one of the ends to see who is sending what.
Now, there’s more to it than just the name on a Messages message. Meta data– including IP addresses, phone numbers, and more– would need to be tracked down, unless burner phones were used and then destroyed (I watch N.C.I.S., too), and it’s likely the government has the capability to listen in on phone calls if not outright conversations between snitch or spook and whomever they’re snitching too.
That question got me to look around on my iPhone for various and sundry messaging apps and I came across one that works the way I would work if I had something important to say but needed full anonymity thanks to various and sundry retribution laws.
Traitor hero Edward Snowden says he prefers Signal, which you can get on the iPhone. What might be even more valuable than simple end-to-end encryption would be a messaging app that actually destroys the message on both ends– once it is sent, and once it is read– and leaves no audit trail.
I found one. It’s called Confide. It’s free but the Pro version has a few features you might like if you’re into snitching, criminal activities, or really paranoid. After all, once a message is decrypted it become visible on the receiver’s device, and those devices can be compromised.
Confide runs on iPhone and Android, of course, but also Mac and Windows. iPhone users also have a Watch app. The idea behind Confide is a good one. Yes, the messages are encrypted end-to-end, but to avoid the sent message and received message being left behind, messages are deleted on both devices– sent and received– once they’re read. There’s even built-in screenshot protection so a receiver cannot capture a screenshot of the message.
Think self destructing text messages.
The only problem I see here is whether or not a reporter for the Washington Post or New York Times or Breitbart News can transcribe a snitches text message fast enough to get it down before it destroys itself, but that’s not an issue I’m likely to worry about.
I don’t know if government employees use such seemingly incriminating apps on their smartphones, but one thing is for certain– the intelligence community of the government should know how to cover their tracks better than anyone, and if they don’t, they probably shouldn’t be in the intelligence field.