Want to use popular iOS app Snapchat as a way to communicate covertly within your criminal empire? In a new blog post, Snapchat Director of Operations Micah Schaffer explains how Snapchat handles requests from law enforcement agencies for Snaps. And there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news, as Schaffer explains, is that Snapchat is just as obliged to release your data to law-enforcement types under the right circumstances as any other company. However, because of the way Snapchat works — an image is only stored until it is viewed, then deleted forever — this only applies to Unopened Snaps.
So far, Schaffer says, Snapchat has produced unopened Snaps to law enforcement agencies “about a dozen” times. It has also been occasionally asked to preserved Snaps while a search warrant is pending.
What’s the lesson here? If you want to use Snapchat to send covert messages to your drug mule, make sure they open the message. An unopened Snap could very well get you thrown into prison.