back to article Wall Street protest app Vibe is secure enough, cries dev

That new "anonymous Twitter" app we wrote about last week? It is more anonymous than Twitter – but it isn't actually very anonymous. "Vibe isn't like BBM, which is encrypted," New York-based developer Hazem Sayed told The Reg. "This wasn't designed like BBM was for exchanging confidential market information, but we don't have …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Even if the police can find out about it – what are they going to do?"

    Well, i'd guess the same thing they do to motorists who warn others about speed traps by flashing their lights. Charge them with perverting the course of justice.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Always wondered about this one - how are you comitting an offense by trying to stop somebody else breaking the law?

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Pete B

        You would have to argue in court that was your intent, whereas the police would argue your intent was an obstruction of their activity, i.e. you did not want to prevent the crime but wanted to prevent the police from detecting the crime and arresting/charging the criminal. Since it is highly unlikely that you flash every motorist you see driving fast, the police would have a relatively easy time saying that, since you were only flashing after seeing the speedtrap, that your intent was the obstrcution of justice rather than road safety. If you were to claim that you did indeed drive every day, flashing every and all motorists you happened to think were going too fast, then they'd likely do you for either dangerous or careless/inconsiderate driving instead.

    2. Hombre sin nombre

      Not in America they won't

      as the courts here have decided and upheld that flashing one's lights in other drivers in a manner not meant to dazzle them is protected under the Freedom of Speech

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: Not in America they won't

        Apologies, I was using a very UK-centric view. Makes a change for the Yanks to be accusing us of limited World view!

  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    A new concept - security through apathy!

    "....Though the police have shown themselves willing to arrest protesters, Sayed doesn't think that it will be worth their while to track down phone logs and chase up Vibe messages..." So, the dev who wants you to use his app says it's secure because he thinks the cops can't be arsed to track its use? So, all the police effort that goes into things like policing the G20 protest groups (including, if rumours can be trusted, sending undercover cops in to infiltrate protest groups as they did with PC Mark Kennedy), will just ignore the simple option of monitoring the possible communications route for the protesters? In the 2013 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, under the heading "wishful thinking", I predict there will be a pic of Mr Sayed.

  3. Figgus

    PROTEST THE CORPORATIONS!!!! By using devices made by corporations and sending data over corporate networks... errm....

    Yeah. When those guys are camped out there with not a SINGLE item made by a corporate entity, then they might have some credibility. Until then, they are just rabble practicing envy economics. Oh well, at least they cut FB and Twatter out of the equation.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      erm... fail?

      As far as I can work out they're not protesting against corporations per se, they are protesting at the disproportionate influence the financial sector has on public policy, which in turns results in zero accountability for the financial sector when they f**k up, which is why a large part of the world's economy is up shit creek without a paddle.

      Using a smartphone, or any other item or service made by (non-financial) corporations, doesn't undermine that position in the least.

      And sure, for the pedants, yes the world is so interconnected nowadays that there is practically no action I can take that has absolutely zero interaction with financial institutions short of going to live in a cave. These people at least are nailing their colours to the mast

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        RE: erm... fail?

        It seems that many of the "protesers" are just sheeple riding the bandwagon rather than being deep-and-meaningful political thinkers. Over at Little Green Footballs, a centerish blog, a poll was done on 90 Occupy Wall Street protestors at their "basecamp", one of the questions being; "The Federal Reserve should be ended?", with repsondents showing their agreement in a scale of 1-to-6, with 1 = definately do not agree, to 6 = strongly agree. Of the 90 people polled, 29 of them answered that question with a 6, but not one of those 29 could actually explain what the Fed actually is/does......

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What does anonymity mean?" he replied.

    i guess we'll find out once those nutters on 4chan start using it to send CP images to everyone around the world

  5. Steve Evans


    Curiosity got the better of me...

    So I thought I'd try it... (Android flavour).

    Default shows 10 miles range, yet I'm seeing messages from 125000 miles (yes, I know, that sounds a bit wrong on a planet that's only 25000 miles round). Tried moving the range down to two miles, and it force closed on me...

    Tried it again, same result.

    I've only seen two or three FCs this year, and this app has doubled it!

    Uninstalled. Possibly a record for shortest existence on my phone.

    No wonder he just puts the apk up on his site, if he put that kind of buggy code up on the market where there is feedback he would be flamed until he was charcoal.

  6. ed2020

    "Just because Vibe is more secure and anonymous, it isn't completely secure or anonymous"

    Either it's secure, or it's not. Either it's anonymous, or it's not. There are no shades of grey here.

  7. Martin Usher

    Not in the US

    >Charge them with perverting the course of justice.

    That's England. Things are a bit different in the US. (That doesn't mean that they won't try something, but its difficult to argue about supressing free speech when its intent is to prevent the commission of a crime.)

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Not in the US

      ".....That's England....." I believe the US equivalent is interfering with a police investigation, a "catch-all" misdemeanor crime, for which you can be cuffed and removed to a cell. Punishment varies between States, but I've heard of people getting 90 days jail-time for it. You can squeal about free speech all you like from behind bars, it won't impress the judge.

    2. ratfox

      Not in Switzerland

      A group used to follow the police around and place themselves 50 meters before with large signs...

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