Gov. Eric Greitens and his senior staff use an app that deletes text messages after they’ve been read, raising concerns among transparency advocates that it could be used to subvert Missouri open records law.
The app, called Confide, allows someone to send a text message that vanishes without a trace after it is read. It also prevents someone from saving, forwarding, printing or taking a screenshot of the text message.
Because the app is designed to eliminate a paper trail, it is impossible to determine whether the governor and his staff are using it to conduct state business out of view of the public, or whether they’re using it for personal and campaign purposes.
Self-destructing messages also mean there is no way to retain texts to decide whether they should be considered a public record.
Use of a secret texting app, critics and open-government advocates contend, is yet another example of Greitens’ penchant for secrecy.