August 17, 2009
A team at Washington University has developed a free program that will make emails self destruct eight hours after being sent.
The program has been developed by Professor Hank Levy and Roxana Geambasu as a reaction to the fact that everything one does on line is remembered. Every email sent is not only stored on your computer, but on the computer you send it to, the internet service provider you use to send the message, and every computer server it bounces between as it flies through cyberspace.
Vanish is a program that will make an email unreadable after eight hours, even to the person who originally wrote it. It does this by scrambling the message into nonsense and then splitting the digital key that created the nonsense into ten parts that are then sent off to a random set of computers out of a choice of 1.5 million existing in any of 200 countries across the globe. As the computers that retain the fragments are turned off and on, the fragments will gradually be erased forever making it impossible for the original message ever to be reconstructed.
The program will be especially useful for those who have ever sent an email they’ve regretted, and according to research that is a fifth of all Americans. Vanish might also come in handy for the one in eight American teenagers who admit to having posted nude or revealing pictures of themselves online.
Thanks to www.timesonline.co.uk for the above quotes, for more information on this article please visit their website.