(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – More than ever, there is a need for secure and private communication. To address the public outcry against increasing threats to online personal privacy and revelations of widespread government data gathering, an app is now available called YouThisMe ™, read as “This is between You and Me.” It enables users to send private texts, email and images in a secure Transport Layer Security (TLS 1.2) format over the Internet, all hidden behind ironic, amusing or mundane ‘stealth’ messages. This cover communication, “hidden in plain sight,” differentiates YouThisMe™ from all other secure messaging platforms.
These “UTM” messages become indicators or signals to intended recipients that there is a real secret communication waiting for them within the YouThisMe™ application. By logging on, recipients can view their messages and respond privately. Users can send messages through SMS texts, normal email servers or create posts to Twitter or Facebook. YouThisMe™ can be found on the Apple App and Google Play Stores.
According to Seth Lachterman, one of YouThisMe’s founders and inventor of the patent-pending YouThisMe™ technology, “We simply wanted to develop a solution which would truly allow users to communicate privately without the risk of unwanted public exposure, all while being ‘hidden in plain sight.’ We’re very encouraged at the early interest we’ve received from the market, there is a clear need for consumers and companies to communicate through a trusted channel where personal privacy and digital speed co-exist. YouThisMe™answers this need with a convenient app that is now available globally.”
In December 2013, the internationally recognized software security company, Cigital, Inc., closely examined this new technology especially in light of increased concern about secret surveillance in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. Cigital’s white paper emphatically validates that YouThisMe’s camouflaged messages ensure that sender and receiver communication is unequivocally “private.”
In the white paper entitled, Assessment of Recent Cryptographic Revelations in the YouThisMe™ Application Context, Cigital research finds, “although YouThisMe’s architecture is centralized, messages travel in different venues. When a user submits a secret message, it is transmitted via TLS 1.2 to UTM’s servers. The resulting notification to be sent to the recipient is generated and sent independently through a different channel and initiated by UTM and not the sender. The contents of the random faux message have no correlation with the secret message. […] the UTM message content cannot be reversed engineered to the original message, nor will the SMS or email meta data connect one user to another, instead users could only be traced to the UTM service. As a result we conclude that UTM’s secret message service is resilient to the mass collection of metadata done by the phone companies and the agencies and without access to UTM’s database, an observer is not able to “connect the dots” as there is no clear path between sender and receiver.”1
The YouThisMe™ app can automatically destroy messages and images upon reading (sort of a “burn after reading”). It completely liquidates a user’s messages and pictures from all recipients’ devices and mailboxes, even before they’re read. This feature makes YouThisMe™ unique among the wave of apps for secret text and picture messaging.
The founders of YouThisMe™ know that they’re not the first to the market and there are other competitors in what is becoming a very hot vertical. According to co- founder David Ackerman, “The existing competition validates our position that privacy is a huge concern. As this industry segment evolves, we have produced a more secure app that goes beyond the capabilities of the market. Users demand reliable privacy and YouThisMe™ delivers with expert validation from Cigital, Inc. We are excited to offer another dimension to online personal private messaging.”
Cameron Melville, whose family formed the philanthropic foundation Melville Charitable Trust is a musician and entrepreneur, who has been a partner and stakeholder in YouThisMe™ since August, 2012. Cameron is devoted to the YouThisMe™ cause. “I find myself both troubled and concerned about the debilitating erosion of First and Fourth Amendment rights in our country. I see this technology as a unique and simple way to combat this erosion.” Cameron continues, “We are seeing the rise of oppressive governments abroad and millions of people needing to be shielded in their quest for free speech. I think our venture can have an important role on this horizon.”
1P. Hakimian, C. Ketkar, N. Hannon, Assessment of Recent Cryptographic Revelations in the YouThisMe® Application Context, December 17, 2013.
About YouThisMe: YouThisMe is developed by UThisMe, LLC, One Hudson City Centre, Hudson, NY 12534.
YouThisMe is a privacy application designed to allow users to communicate securely and privately and control their risk of public exposure. For more information about YouThisMe please visit http://www.youthisme.com.