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10 Case W. Res. J.L. Tech. & Internet [i] (2019)

handle is hein.journals/caswestres10 and id is 1 raw text is: 






JOURNAL OF LAW, TECHNOLOGY & THE INTERNET - VOLUME 10 -ISSUE 1 . 2019


           KILLER APPs: VANISHING MESSAGES,

           ENCRYPTED COMMUNICATIONS, AND

  CHALLENGES TO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS

           WHEN PUBLIC OFFICIALS Go DARK

                        Dr. Daxton R. Stewart'



                             ABSTRACT

Government officials such as White House staffers and the Missouri governor have
been communicating among themselves and leaking to journalists using apps such
as Signal and Confide, which allow users to encrypt messages or to make them
vanish after they are received. By using these apps, government officials are going
dark by avoiding detection of their communications in a way that undercuts
freedom of information laws. This article explores the challenges presented by
government employee use of encrypted and ephemeral messaging apps by
examining three policy approaches: (1) banning use of the apps, (2) enhancing
existing archiving and record-keeping practices, or (3) legislatively expanding
quasi-government body definitions. Each of these approaches will be analyzed as
potential ways to manage the threat presented by killer apps to open records laws.

Keywords: government, encryption, messaging, freedom of information, record-
keeping, communication, privacy


I Ph.D., J.D., LL.M., Professor at Texas Christian University.

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