Firechat & Privacy: Lost in Translation

Rachael Tackett

Firechat

Yesterday, some people were shocked to find their private conversations posted on twitter. Here was the major problem: their conversations were never private. When many people downloaded and started to use Firechat this past week in Hong Kong, some people initially thought that their conversations were private. When people hear the word “meshnet”, they automatically assume that the software running the meshnet is encrypted and secure.

Earlier today, I called Open Garden, the makers of Firechat. A man who identified himself as the CEO of Open Garden, Micha Benoliel, answered the phone. He said that he was on a business trip from India to China when the protests in Hong Kong broke out. After seeing the protests, he has decided to stay in Hong Kong for the time being.

I asked him if Open Garden had ever received any US government funding directly or indirectly. Benoliel said that Open Garden…

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