Mobile phone security redux: Tigertext

Days after I had blogged about FlexiSHIELD, a mobile phone security product created after the infamous incident with professional golfer Tiger Woods, comes news of Tigertext, another application touting to keep SMS communications private. As Time magazine notes,

Called, coincidentally enough, TigerText, it allows users to set a time limit for a sent text to hang around after it has been read. When that life span has been exceeded, the message will disappear, say the developers, from the recipient’s phone, the sender’s phone and any servers. The message cannot be forwarded anywhere, stored anywhere or sold to any tabloid for an undisclosed sum.

Tigertext, which is free right now but will obviously not be so in the near future when this product will most certainly catch on quite a bit, is also available on the Blackberry (as a beta right now) and soon on Android as well.

Use by human rights defenders
Aside from of course the frivolous purposes noted in much of the press coverage Tigertext has received to date, including on Time magazine, this is yet another tool to add to MobileActive.org’s growing list of mobile security applications, used by of use to, for example, human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists.

While it is clear from the Tigertext FAQ that the service does NOT use the SMS infrastructure of the service provider, it is clear as to whether the messages themselves are encrypted during transmission. Ergo, while the service circumvents monitoring and filtering of messages by the mobile service provider, it may be the case that messages are still transmitted unencrypted. Still, an app worth looking into if communications security is a requirement.

A video of Tigertext, originally featured on CNN, is below.

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