Protestors are turning to anonymous smartphone messaging platform Vibe to avoid law enforcement agencies snooping on their BlackBerry Messaging (BBM) and Twitter posts, helping to outwit police at the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.
Vibe allows users to send any-to-many open messages, much in the same way as Twitter. The major difference is that all Vibe messages are posted anonymously, and can be set to self-destruct after a set period of time, from 15 minutes to never - helping protestors to avoid their communications being intercepted by the authorities.
Vibe messages are also able be distributed only to users within a certain range, from a few metres away to globally.
Vibe, which is available for free on iOS for Apple iPhone and iPad and Google Android devices, has now become the messaging service of choice for Occupy Wall Street protestors - a fact that is actively encouraged by developer Hazem Sayed, who flew from California to the New York protest to deliver leaflets explaining how to use the app.
Activist Drew Hornbein, a member of Occupy Wall Street's Internet Committee, explained the app's importance to the NY Daily News:
"Let's say you're protesting and someone up ahead sees that the cops are getting ready to kettle people, they can send out this vibe that only lasts a few minutes that says, 'Cops are kettling'.
"It's anonymous too, so not only are you able to send out relevant information to a small radius, but it also disappears, there's no record of it, so no one can come after the person who sent it."