Missouri governor fighting lawsuit over disappearing messages app

Missouri governor fighting lawsuit over disappearing messages app
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Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is defending his and his staff's use of Confide, a messaging app that automatically deletes text messages after they're viewed by the recipient.

The governor says that preventing him from using the app is a violation of his right to free speech, a Missouri news outlet reported.

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Greitens's argument comes after two Missouri lawyers filed a lawsuit against the governor’s office over its use of the app saying it violates Missouri’s public records laws, according to a report from the technology website Ars Technica.

Attorneys Mark Pedroli and Ben Sansone are set to appear in court on Friday to ask for a restraining order to stop Greitens's and his staff’s use of the app.

"You can't have civil liberties if you don't know what the government is doing with regard to the Fourth Amendment," Pedroli told Ars Technica. “It's wildly important that government officials not communicate through ephemeral communication devices. We need a paper trail. That's what we want."

Sansone had previously filed an injunction to get Greitens and his staff off the app at the beginning of January.

“The use of automatic communication destroying software by elected officials and government employees is illegal and constitutes an ongoing conspiracy to violate the Missouri Sunshine law and Missouri State and Local Records law, not to mention a significant affront to the open government and democratic traditions of Missouri and the United States,” the opening to his lawsuit reads.

Confide had become popular with Republicans in Washington, D.C., as well. As of February 2017, there were reports that staffers in congressional offices and in the White House frequently communicated on the app, raising similar public records concerns.