Your Menstrual App Is Probably Selling Data About Your Body
Your Menstrual App Is Probably Selling Data About Your Body
Why a DNA data breach is much worse than a credit card leak
Amazon’s Alexa will be built into all new homes from Lennar
China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other
The surreal moment the Guardian destroyed the Snowden files
Tried posting inquiring about another post of mine getting shadowbanned, and coundnt even post that. This website just gets worse and worse.
Ill try to link to what im trying to say in the comments, and soon as this post is hopefully not banned.
Operator of world’s top internet hub sues German spy agency
What’s the threat the action was designed to address? Curious about your actions and what your personal threat model is and how those actions help mitigate the threats. Perhaps we can learn something from each other and improve our privacy as a group?
Amazon selling facial recognition technology to governments
I have tried my best to make this post as accurate as possible, citing sources where appropriate and going to great length to be very detailed. However, despite by best research and editing efforts, I am only human and mistakes do happen. I will do my best to correct any errors when they are pointed out and I have free time.
There is a HUGE Discord presence on Reddit and it goes without saying that plenty of people won’t like what I have to say. Be wary of those who solely post opinion, and always ask for sources. Should anyone notice I am lacking a source where one would be a good fit, by all means let me know and I will do my best to include it when I have time.
The Discord messenger is a complete privacy nightmare. The app has managed to claw its way into popularity despite rampant abuse of its users’ privacy. By aggresively marketing itself as a messaging platform specifically “for gamers”, Discord has amassed over 14 million daily users according to their company page at the time of this post. The team behind Discord understands that gamers carry their product, and don’t hesitate to slap their “for gamers” branding as many places as they can. Unfortunately, popularity and a “pretty” UI does NOT automatically translate into good privacy practices. I will be analyzing the Discord app in this post and hopefully we will get a great discussion below.
So What is Discord?
Discord was founded in mid 2015 by Jason Citron. Citron previously founded the OpenFeint mobile gaming social platform, which was subject to a class action suit in 2011 over abuse of its users privacy through invasive tracking services. Allegations included accessing private device information without any prior permission and selling this data to other developers. The company behind Discord initially tried their hand at game development with the production of the MOBA “Fates Forever”. Upon failing to gain any substantial popularity, the company then decided they would try playing with development of a VoIP chat app and had sold OpenFeint for $104 million. The company cited frustration with current chat applications and lack of an application they liked as their inspiration for Discord. Grabbing investment capital in the millions range, the company broke ground on the development of Discord. According to the CEO Jason Citron, Discord only promoted their app on Reddit and let the gaming community do the rest.
The Discord Team
It’s pretty apparent that the team behind Discord could care less about the privacy of its users, as has been shown multiple times through official statements and correspondence online. The Discord team has most noticably refused on multiple occasions to go open source, implement secure and proven end to end encryption, and to delete the data of users that no longer wish to use their service. The developers would rather exploit their users to make money under the guise of acting like “gamers” just like you instead of taking a honest look at how the privacy of the Discord app could be massively improved. The refusal to even consider showing us the Discord code or consider using end to end encryption to protect its userbase indicates that the devs want something in the code to stay hidden or that they can’t afford to lose out on the revenue generated by cheating their users out of privacy. Inside sources interviewed by TechCrunch claim that Discord insiders cashed out in secret while Discord quietly raised ~$50M in funding.
On Discord’s feedback forum, the Discord team sought user input on ways to improve Discord. A suggestion was posed to “Implement WhisperSystems Encryption for Voice and Text” in the interest of protecting their userbase’s privacy and boosting the security of the Discord platform. The development team said clearly that “we are not currently planning on implementing end to end encryption” and “E2E encryption is not a focus nor currently planned”. The team stated directly that “encryption on Discord is a very hard problem to solve” despite the readily availabile documentation and resources available for helping devs implement strong encryption. Coming from a development team that the very same post claims “has a huge focus and commitment to security” and has “a heavy interest and historical background in security”, it’s rather incredulous that they claim this can’t be done with millions of dollars backing them. I have provided the original posting here for reference.
When confronted on Reddit as to whether or not Discord’s source code would ever be opened, the Discord team was quick to respond, stating “We don’t have plans to go Open Source”. No further comment was given. That original thread can be found here. Another posting asking a similar question regarding an open source Discord was shot down fast with the team responding “No, we will not”. When asked by multiple users why, the team refused to give any further comment on the matter. That thread can be found here
The Business Model
Make sure you read and understand what you are signing up for online. Encourage your friends to use more privacy friendly alternatives to abusive programs like Discord. By ALL means, I would love to see this turn into a big discussion over the service, so please feel free to leave a comment and debate!
EDIT: Minor formatting issues resolved.