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Google Allo: Don’t Use It, Says Edward Snowden


By Liam Tung | 22 September 2016

ZDNET — Google’s Allo messaging app and its Assistant bot have finally arrived, but Allo has been slammed for reneging on a promise that it would, by default, make it more difficult to spy on.

Because of the missing privacy feature, NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden’s first take of Allo after yesterday’s US launch is that it’s just a honeypot for surveillance.

The latest controversy over Google app stems from an Allo product developer from Google’s communications division telling The Verge in May that chats sent on the app would be “transiently” stored on its servers. But, according to The Verge, Allo developers have decided to ditch transient storage.

Had Allo been designed so that chat logs vanished by default from Google’s servers after a short time, they would have been difficult to access if law enforcement presented Google with a warrant. And, as Snowden pointed out, the US foreign intelligence surveillance court approved every one of the nearly 1,500 communication intercept requests made by the NSA and FBI last year. []

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