back to article Pirate Bay bod and pals bag $100k to craft NSA-proof mobe yammer app

Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde and his pals have raised $114,000 to develop a snoop-proof mobile messaging app dubbed Hemlis. (which means "secret" in Swedish) is designed as an encrypted, privacy-safeguarding alternative to popular smartphone chat software, such as WhatsApp and iMessage. The plan is to build a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Our goal with HemlisMessenger is to give a safe alternative to SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, Kik etc. Technology and jurisdiction matters, we know both," Sunde said in a Twitter update on the project.

    safe for whom? Anyone involved in illegal activities?

    1. austerusz
      Thumb Down

      "safe for whom? Anyone involved in illegal activities?"

      Safe from eavesdroppers of all kinds.

      Jealous spouses, companies that think my data belongs to them (sorry, I don't like it that Google et al use skimmed information from my communication to further their advertising business) or anyone at all. I don't like the idea that someday I might piss off a former friend that just happens to be in the right position to misuse the powers of internet eavesdropping that come with his job. It's shocking I don't trust govt employees to keep to their declared purposes, no? After all, you know for sure that nobody ever abuses the powers that comes with the job for even small personal gains, right? And suing post facto it's the same as if the damage never happened and everything will be just as before.

    2. Brenda McViking

      Why should strict privacy be the exception? - it's none of anybody elses business what I say to other people behind closed doors. That I have "nothing to hide" doesn't mean you can invade my privacy to check. You will take me at my word until my actions prove otherwise - it's a basic right of respect, and fundamental right of innocent until proven guilty.

      Just because I use tools that protect my privacy != my activities are illegal, no matter what the do-gooders say.

      In a healthy society, privacy ought to be the norm, not the exception.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "it's none of anybody elses business what I say to other people behind closed doors

        Sorry, but it is. There are laws about conspiracy etc. You absolutely are not allowed to discuss or plan to break the law, behind closed doors or not.

        It isn't anyone else's business what you say to other people behind closed doors, providing it's legal.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You absolutely are not allowed to discuss or plan to break the law, behind closed doors or not.

          Really? I'm not doubting you, it just strikes me as very precog.. How do they stop people from discussing hypothetical situations, like planning for a crisis management seminar?

        2. Anonymous Coward

          @Ac 15:12 - "You absolutely are not allowed to discuss or plan to break the law, behind closed doors or not."

          <sigh> Did you get this from wikipedia ?

          Here's the thing. It's subtle. Yes there are (US federal) laws on conspiracy however they require you to act .. meaning discussion of a criminal act itself is protected speech. It rises to conspiracy if one or more of the parties involved actually carries out the discussed act.

          1. Graham Marsden
            Big Brother

            "You absolutely are not allowed to discuss or plan to break the law, behind closed doors or not."


            Developer 1: Ok, we need to think what a hacker would do to try to perform a remote SQL injection into our system.

            Developer 2: That's illegal, I'm calling the Police!

    3. Graham Dawson Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Hey anon, question for you: do you have curtains? Or blinds, or whatever?

      Why? What are you trying to hide with them? You must surely be trying to hide _something_, otherwise you wouldn't have them, right? I mean only people with something to hide will actually close their curtains...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      safe for whom? Anyone involved in illegal activities?

      Mr Clapper, is that you?

    5. Tapeador

      re: safe for whom? Anyone involved in illegal activities?

      Well exactly. Spot on. Those posting below are essentially paranoid fantasists: they think companies want to and will risk prosecution for listening to their phone calls and reading their texts. They think exes will hack their information and somehow use it to paint them as a worse human being than that which they actually are (or expose them for being a total bastard). They think da gubmint actually gives a monkeys about anything they have to say to one another.

      And most of all, they think their petty, wrongheaded fictions more worth responding to than the imperatives of keeping us safe from actual threats, i.e. terrorism and large-scale organised crime.

      States aren't built on privacy: they're built on the protection of life and property. The thieving Pirate Bay scum writing this thing may value the former over the latter two, but I'd vouch that's because they're the ones taking other people's property without paying for it, who actually ARE likely to be targeted, quite rightly, by law enforcement authorities. There is no such similar benefit for the idiots who've paid for this.

      1. Graham Marsden
        Big Brother

        Re: re: safe for whom? Anyone involved in illegal activities?

        ... says the Anonymous Coward...!

        But you and Tapeador seem to think that we should throw away the fundamental Right of Presumed Innocent Unless Proven Guilty and instead go for "We don't know that you're *not* guilty, so we'll monitor everything you do and everything you say and everyone you talk to and everything you read *just in case* you might be planning on doing something which we think is bad!"

        Double-plus Ungood!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: safe for whom? Anyone involved in illegal activities?


        what utter bollocks.

    6. Salts



      Go away study history, come back when you have grown up, even if this is flame bait, you really need to wake up!

  2. John Lilburne


    It is enough for snoopers to know that you are a lowlife git with a small circle of friends:

    The don't actually need to know whether you are planning a bombing campaign or a wikipedia meetup.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "safe for whom? Anyone involved in illegal activities?"

    for anyone on planet Earth, who doesn't want to be "monitored". Well, minus the citizens of the US of A - they're already safe from snooping, 'cause own government vouched for that!


  4. Crisp

    Pirates to the rescue yet again!

    Privacy for everyone!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Privacy supplied by convicted criminals, doesn't make me exactly comfortable. Convicted criminals who did their best to flee justice at that.

    Also, is this going to be funded by Karl Lundstrom? I feel very uncomfortable about a Neo Nazi funding private communication facilities.

  6. Matt Piechota


    XMPP with Diffe-Helman turned on in SSL?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The nothing to hide brigade

    I love them; no, I really do.

    I want to live in a world where the gears of government can look into every aspect of my communications, to build up pictures of my firends, political thoughts, plans, travel arrangements, eating habits etc etc. I want to live in that place where you can trust them COMPLETELY that having all this power will never ever be mis-used, because they are always without ill intent or with any hidded agenda. Because of this I should have nothing to hide from them.

    Sadly, for me, I have to live in a world where the police secretly bug conversations with witnesses and lawyers, or run uncontrolled undercover operations that have little governance and oversight, where the police are politicised and have their own agenda for more funding and more powers. I live in a world where people are wrongly shot in the head seven times and the police attempt to block the IPC from becoming involved in the mandatory 24hrs for "security reasons."

    Of course the UK will never become a secret state that will use information to oppress its people. Can you say that for ever more? If the framework for control and surveillence exists then of course it will be used.

    Yes I have something to hide.. that is why I am allowed a secret ballot come election time; or should we have cameras in the booths as well ... 'just in case?'

    1. Len Goddard

      Re: The nothing to hide brigade

      But if you live in the UK you don't have a secret ballot. Your ballot paper is numbered and the number corresponds to the counterfoil with your name on it. In theory this exists solely as a protection against fraud and the matching can only be undertaken by order of Parliament or a court in fairly extreme circumstances. In practice? There have been allegations of illegal matching (unproven) and more serious allegations of shoddy security of the used ballot papers (which hang around for a year before being disposed of).

      So we don't need the cameras.

      1. Rukario

        Re: The nothing to hide brigade

        > But if you live in the UK you don't have a secret ballot.

        Interesting. In Canada, the counterfoil with the number on it is removed before the ballot paper is placed into the ballot box.

  8. dave 93

    It's not what you say, but who you say it to...

    IIUC - The NSA and GCHQ are much more interested in who messages who, and not what they say, so, to a large extent this app may not help - unless of course IDs are encrypted and random delays are introduced for messages to mask sender/recipient pairs. Just sayin'

    1. phil4
      Black Helicopters

      Re: It's not what you say, but who you say it to...

      Yep, that's what they say, probably to make you feel better. Perhaps even because it's how their search page works.... but do you really think they don't and can't look at the content?

  9. MrXavia

    I look forward to some decent, easy to use, privacy minded messaging programs...

    But, how do you make something secure and easy to use..

    username & password? sure but then they can read your messages...

    encrypt your messages then where do you store the private key?

    I look forward to seeing their solution, but open source seems obvious for this, we need an open source replacement for all google/facebook etc products...

  10. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Wow, a bit late to the party..

    If they only start now it will take a whole to get it actually *right* - and that need has been already addressed.

    The program Threema has been in existence for quite a while, and it has two very important advantages: it's hosted in Switzerland, and it has an impeccable pedigree. If you've ever heard of m0n0wall - well, it's the same guy.

  11. Chris G Silver badge

    Ah Switzerland !

    The country that doesn't inform the world's police about the numbered accounts there. NOT!!

    Where did all the numpty Nothing to hiders come from? There must be a lot of dislodged stones that they should crawl back under.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the mention of subscription based Silent Circle when Wickr ( is free and is just about ranking in the Social Networking AppStore chart? Im still amazed how much publicity this crook has got for his idea for an app that already exists :-)

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