Create your own private disappearing chatroom with hack.chat

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Now you can chat in your own private, disposable room in seconds.
Now you can chat in your own private, disposable room in seconds.
Photo: hack.chat

There are a dozen-odd ways to chat with people these days, from IM to Twitter direct messages to apps like Slack, Snapchat and GroupMe.

If you want to create your own with no more fuss than typing in a unique URL in your web browser, though, you can’t go wrong with hack.chat, a new, bare-bones, no-frills approach to private chat that looks like something out of the DOS era. And I mean that in a good way.

It’s dead simple to use (though you can also run your own server) and incredibly disposable. Perfect for those quick chats you need to make happen that you may not want on something like Slack, which keeps an archive of all the inappropriate comments you’ve ever written.

Edward Snowden leaks with praise for Apple’s privacy stance

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Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden
Photo: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films

Apple has been eager to point out lately that unlike Google and Facebook it doesn’t collect or sell your personal information. It’s been a great way for the company to differentiate itself from its competitors and Apple has apparently won over Edward Snowden in the process.

In a recent interview, Snowden was asked whether he thinks Tim Cooks perspective on privacy has been genuine and honest, to which Snowden replied, “it doesn’t matter if he’s being honest or dishonest,” but “that’s a good thing for privacy. That’s a good thing for customers.”

Snowden pointed out that Apple obviously has a financial incentive to differentiate itself from competitors, and we should incentivize other companies to follow their path:

Tim Cook: ‘Morality demands’ security with privacy

Tim Cook addresses the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. Photo: White House
Tim Cook addressed the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection in February.

In a speech to nonprofit research firm Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) at its annual “Champions of Freedom” awards dinner last night, Apple head Tim Cook had some strong words about online security, government monitoring, and corporate data mining.

Cook was the first business leader to receive recognition from EPIC, which lauded his “corporate leadership” on matters of maintaining Apple customers’ privacy.

How to hide your location from Facebook stalkers

Facebook may be telling people where you are.
Facebook may be telling people where you are.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Anyone you exchange messages with via Facebook Messenger could know where you’ve been at any point. Chatted with your boss? He could use a newly discovered hack to figure out your sick days weren’t spent at home.

Facebook intern Aran Khanna found he could figure out where his friends were going daily with a bit of code, based solely on whether he had Facebook Messenger conversations with them. It even worked with people he wasn’t Facebook friends with if he had been in the same Facebook Messenger chat group.

He calls this code Marauders Map, and anyone can use it. Luckily, it’s fairly simple to hide your location from potential stalkers.

Apple urges Obama to block government snooping

Apple has taken steps to avoid snooping.
Apple has taken steps to avoid snooping.

Apple has put its name to a letter which will be sent today, appealing to the White House to protect individual privacy rights in the face of suggestions that law enforcement should be able to access encrypted smartphone data via a backdoor.

“Strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security,” argues the letter, which is signed by more than 140 tech companies, technologists, and civil society groups.