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Help make Hemlis, the messaging app the NSA can’t touch, for Windows Phone

Hemlis

Security and privacy are two things that nearly every one of you value in some shape or form. Recent news about the NSA potentially spying on your communications with the cooperation of internet giants can be quite disturbing. You may have nothing to hide, but the fundamental problem is some entity other than you have access to your data. Hemlis is a beautiful and secure messenger service from the same minds that brought you the Pirate Bay. They’re launching on Android and iOS, but you could help Windows Phone launch alongside them.

Hemlis (www.heml.is) is messaging service that is being launched by Peter Sunder, co-founder of the Pirate Bay, alongside Leif Högberg and Linus Olsson. The trio is working on Hemlis to provide a messaging service that guarantees to keep communication and data secure between users. This is in response to current companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Apple allegedly working with the NSA to provide access (for what it's worth, Microsoft has publicly denied that they are spying for the NSA).

Hemlis was in a funding period, but at the time of this article have procured over 152% of their goal. Here’s a video they released a few weeks back detailing their plans.

The company initially had plans to build for just Android and iOS, giving each platform 50% of the funding. But now that they’ve raised $50,000 over their target they are strongly looking at another operating system to develop Hemlis for. Could Windows Phone be the platform? That depends on you.

One of your fellow readers was backer in the project and emailed the team at Hemlis to see if a Windows Phone application would be on the table since funding exceeded expectations. The founders of Hemlis said they would consider Windows Phone if the demand was there for it. So guys and gals, is there a demand to see Hemlis on Windows Phone?

Right now the UI mockups are designed around iOS, but it does look good so far. It’s also fun to know that Hemlis means ‘secret’ in Swedish. Questions about Hemlis and how they plan on being so secure? Check out their FAQ.

Funding is over, so how can you let the Hemlis team know you’re interested? Comment here on this article, send them Tweets, reach out on Facebook, or email them. Do you want Hemlis on Windows Phone?

Source: Heml.is

Thanks for the tip Jason M!

Our friend Vincent shared this cool link where a fan of Hemlis made a Windows Phone design to see what an app could look like. Check it out! 

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Reader comments

Help make Hemlis, the messaging app the NSA can’t touch, for Windows Phone

308 Comments

Sounds like it could become a big player in messaging apps with the right features. Also sounds like it could get taken down eventually. There will certainly be a core crowd who would not use WP without this, so let's do it.

Yes, definitely interested. And they have not been able to take down pirate bay yet, so they know what they are doing!

ALL HEIL THE BLACK FLAG, THE BANNER REPRESENTING FREEDOM OF INFORMATION AND FREEDOM OF THE INTERNET! ARR, MY PIRATE FRIENDS /sarcasm

Original post was "I'd get this app and recommend it to all my friends and family, and my wife :)"

Lmao, this is my first time back to this article since I first commented last night. I never said anything about my family. You probably subconsciously added it in your head.

However, my wife is my family & my best friend :).

You've obviously never met his wife! *rim shot* Thanks for coming tonight. You've been a great audience. I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

May I ask what banks and credit cards you are with, your address, when you will be away next?

Yeah cos the government are known to rob houses and rob money! I'm from Ireland with a stable government, if you're on about them selling the info onto a 3rd party I'd hate to know what country you're from!!

Note to self: stay away from Canada....   I wouldn't want to get rob by your government.   I'm happy where I am where my country actually protects my ****

I feel as free as I did before the whole spying thing came out, they are only looking for very serious things not what's for dinner, anyway you get to vote in 3 years or sure just overthrow the government now lol

Sure.. they are only looking for terrorists... for now. Compiling communications for years from everyone could never be used in inappropriate ways... Sarcasm.

Oh I'm sure it could but an app that can be easily decrypted by them isn't going to stop it, maybe they are behind it so people will feel free to talk lol

A founding father once said... "anyone who would sacrifice any liberties for a little security deserve neither".

You have no idea what they are looking for. Don't be so naive! Our government has done nothing to prove we can trust it. This isn't the '40s!

Thinking it is different than it is doesn't make it so Darren. Learn from history. We Americans are no different than those who came before us. Remove your rose colored glasses so you can see the true color of what is happening :)
 

We all have Darren. Back in the '60 there were bumper stickers for Conservatives that said "America. Love It or Leave It." and Liberals had one that said, "America. Change It or Lose It." I'm of the latter thinking. Churchill said, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." He was right!

I remember the Churchill comment alright, but didn't know about the bumper stickers though, least I'm learning something new!

Hopefully we all are Darren. The biggest concern is not just that the government (NSA) will be monitoring the communications of everyone in the world, for which it has no right to do that with other countries, but in conjunction with the new laws, all the DHS has to do is consider anyone to be a terrorist or terrorist suspect and you immediately are. What if you are very passionate about ecology and say negative things about Big Agra and they leverage their sway with the Gov and have you considered an "Eco Terrorist" by saying or writing anything they don't agree with? See where this can go? 

And prove that they're wrong. "Freedoms are luxuries, not necessities." It's a truism. Everyone has already proved this to be true- living under the watch by the NSA and we aren't dead! Life would sure be uncomfortable, but liveable (maybe just bearable, read 1984). Besides, there are also many double standards when it comes down to social networking as well.

It is not about what you are not doing. Believe, privacy in life is probably important in so many ways. Imagine how would your life be if someone know everything that you do.

So give away all of your freedoms and rights because "you have nothing to hide". You've just said the single worst statement anyone can say on this topic. It's putting everyone on the slippery-slope to a police state. Surveillance cameras in every home? Sure, you've got nothing to hide. All phone conversations recorded? Sure, you've got nothing to hide. You shouldn't be so willing to sacrifice your privacy for a little security.

I know exactly what you mean,but there is not much you can do about it short of mass protests to get a new government in etc

If any government truly wanted to watch you, they would. Even if there are laws against it. By the way, the government did not just start listening in and observing people.

I have your back on this. I don't care who is looking at anything I post on the internet. Not the government, not my employer, ANYONE.... I stand by enverything I do, say, etc in my life. Thats what makes a good man! You stand behind your actions.

"That's what makes a good man! You stand behind your actions"....said Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot. Hussein.

Look if there was another strike, you very people would be the ones saying the the technology was there and the government failed to use it. Think man think

You mean as happened prior to 9/11 & Patriot Act with all of the intel that came in and was ignored?

You are taking this hook, line and sinker. This is the same reasoning they used prior to invading Iraq...."come in the form of a mushroom cloud"?....'member?

Ah yeah I do, it was a complete disaster! WMD's and all that bull **** , I actually only watched the film Green Zone the other night!

Obviously you are a Obama supporter and therefore a Progressive. Educate yourself; read George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and "1984." You, not the government, can cure your ignorance.

You do understand that the Patriot Act dates to a republican president and the programs in question were likewise started under the same fascist moron and friends. That is George Bush and his evil little troll of a puppet master (Dick Cheney). Democrats are not blameless, but acting as if this all started in the past few years is beyond laughable.

I was completely against the patriot act when it was created, because there is nothing patriotic about it. When the Bush administration created it, I was pleading with everyone to have him impeached and that everyone who voted it in be arrested for treason. I knew at the time when the patriot act was voted in that what we are seeing now with the NSA and the Obama administration was going to happen.

The Conservatives started the Patriot act out of fear, ignorance and shear stupidity. The Progressives are using the Patriot act to help with their every evil Communistic ideal to try and take away all of our rights. They could have stopped the Patriot act, but no they had to use it as a staple for this Orwellian nightmare we are now living in. Remember Progressivism only leads to Socialism, Communism and even Nazism.

I too am from Ireland and I completely disagree with Darren (I dare say most Irish people would). The problem is not usually the current government but rather the gradual erosion of civil liberties slowly turning your country into a police state where people can be arrested for mere conversations held in private. It has happened many times in the past. Look at the Snowden saga in the US to see the process in action.

I just ment that personally I wouldn't be up in arms over it! Of course I believe in civil liberties do you think I'm crazy!lol , I'd say a good percentage of people have half their lives up on facebook etc anyway!!

How exactly does the Snowden case demonstrate that people have been arrested for mere conversations in private? BTW, civil liberties are still protected to a far greater degree in the US than any country on the other side of the Atlantic.

We should compare ourselves to ourselves as a measure and not of others. "Well at least we're not ....." really lowers the bar.

Are you fucking kidding me, this is not only about you. They are not only watching Americans, they watch all of us. Do you think it's "ey ok" because it's an American organisation? What if it was North Korea, would you say the same thing? Why do you trust American organisations (the biggest war mongerer in the world)?

I strongly support this notion, if they'd open up a new funding site I'd also be willing to contribute towards funding the process

It's called RSA encryption... at the moment it is unbreakable as it requires factoring very very large numbers, a task that is beyond even the most powerful supercomputers even given years of computer time. The whole of internet credit card security is based on it. Government communication is also based on it.

Well it may not actually be RSA encryption but all modern encryption is based on factoring large numbers. RSA encryption would be a good place to start if you want to read up on why it is unbreakable with todays (and the foreseeable futures) technology / computers.

Encryption is required, of course, but there is more to security and vulnerabilities than that. Social engineering is another way anyone can get hacked. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for this service to be compromised.

Yes, encryption is great, but there are a number of potential vulnerabilities to the system proposed by Heml.is. That is not to say that it won't represent an improvement in privacy for the average user, but in situations where it is important (e.g., activists in countries that are "governed" by oppressive regimes where loss of life is a very real outcome), this poses a problem. It can give people who really NEED complete privacy a false sense that there is no way for their government to obtain information about their communications. 

Yes, definitely interested. Whether I plan to use the app and whether the government cab actually hack into Hemlis us irrelevant. I am here to back the idea 100%.

I was and still am hoping this comes to WP. I was disappointed when I first heard about this app only coming to IOS and Android.

Yes! FInally! My wife can text me thr grocerylist in private!  Screw you NSA!  You will never know what we're having for dinner tonight!

Exactly! Your man up there left a comment calling me an idiot cos it doesn't bother me, he's obviously up to no good!!

For me it's about human rights and freedoms. I know that is a wacky concept but it's how I am.

Calling you an idiot doesn't help anybody.  But can you not see why such a gross invasion of your privacy is problematic?  I don't have anything to hide, but I don't want my neighbors snooping in my underwear drawer.

Maybe being Irish I'm a bit more sanguine about the whole thing but I would imagine that they are only looking out for very serious things, not what I had for brekkie lol

Ask any American black person how much they trust the local police and US government. I knew a black guy that wouldn't even open a bank account because he didn't trust ANY of the US establishment. You take a lot for granted.

That's a pretty nice looking app, I hope it would be redesigned if it came to Windows Phone, that would look amazing.
This could possibly end up being another popular messaging service!

Look up and read about public key cryptography and then come back to us... There are such things as unbreakable encryption.

Yes, there are unbreakable encryptions (predefined one time keys). The public/private key system however is not unbreakable by any means. It just takes a long time.

Whether or not you have anything to hide, is beside the point. It is a matter of fundamental principle... That we have the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy, in our personal communications. This is something we definitely need for Windows Phone!

I agree.
Most people DON'T have anything to hide, at least not anything that the gov't would care about. The point is freedom.
Unfortunately, I don't think we need products to encrypt our communications (these agencies can skirt those encryptions) as much as we need a change in the way the agencies operate and that won't come until the public reaches a boiling point & demands the gov't stops spying on its own people without probable cause.

My deed is done, I would really love to see Hemlis on WP. With live tile and lock screen support, but if not I'll just be glad to have it on my 925. Here's to Windows Phone❕

I did emailed Hemlis team earlier asking about Windows Phone app. They requested us to wait till iOS & Android app are ready. CONGRATS.  So, Please develop a Windows Phone 8 app too.. Windows Phone users are enthusiastic bunch of mobile users. You won't regret developing for WP platform in the first tier.

All you had to say was "Pirate Bay founders" and I knew I was out. Who would trust notorious criminals with a proven complete disregard for property/data rights with their own personal/private data? This whole notion is beyond ironic -- it's absurd!

Notorious criminals...right, uh you've, uh, got some red stains around your lips from sucking off the MPAA's tit of Kool-Aid, oh don't forget to wipe away the FUD, too.

LOLZ, his comment made me laugh, then yours did too... Notorious criminal's? That's a stretch. One thing to note!!! They never gave up user data from their site!!! So I'm sure you can trust them, kinda like "honor amongst thieves" thing.

Yeah, they were convicted in Sweden and then lost the appeal. That makes them criminals by definition. Now, you obviously see nothing wrong with what they do, but it is a fact that they are criminals.

That was my first thought, too.  My second thought was how sad that we are considering allying ourselves with thieves in order to escape our spying governments. The world has gone mad.

The FAQ section says no to both of those. They're going to open source it enough that people can check the work and make sure it's secure. In addition they'll invite 3rd parties to look at and audit them. They don't plan on making any APIs for third party apps because that would create a potential security compromise. 

Even if one were to fundamentally disagree that they could not in any way be affected by alleged government actions that may potentially compromise their personal privacy, any supporter of Windows Phone should be sending messages out to developers of any application that may potentially grow the Windows Phone ecosystem, even if they feel their words don't count? Why? Well, if there are ten proactive people who contact developers about developing for Windows Phone who truly want the app, the developers are simply going to shrug it off and say it's not worth their time. If we get 500 or 1000 people to bombard a developer with requests for Windows Phone development, they will think twice about shrugging off the interest, particularly if it is a paid application where they could make money. Again, why should anyone care about contacting a developer and letting them know that there are people who are interested in the app if they themselves don't care about the app? Simple. Get more developers on Windows Phone, more developers will stick to Windows Phone, the ecosystem will grow, developers will get paid, the people who truly want the application will get their application, and other developers will then take a second look at Windows Phone, e.g. Google. If we ever want to see serious support from more developers, we as a community must step up to the plate and be proactive about letting developers know there is a huge, growing community that needs their support (and is willing to pay for that where applicable). I do my part. Will you?

Yes please. It would be fundamental that all the major OSes have it. That way everyone can message everyone on it (unlike BBM and imessage)

It would be a wp8-app so i guess Microsoft will help the NSA invading my privacy. I doubt it will be a safe  messenger.

Just joking! I do miss my Pre, though! ;) MS should borrow some of the better ideas from that wonderful OS.

Interested in something that has group chat. Also, they should fix the typos on their WordPress blog.

I take great pleasure knowing that our National Security Administration is trolling through my non existent social life :)

Liquid Daffodil has apparently just offered to develop the apps for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 for free...if Hemlis folks are interested.

aww yeah! those guys are awesome. ...are you interested in helping as well? no offence, but I've always felt they could use a little help in the ui department..

Time to add a comment.
Hopefully the reaction will be big enough.
 
Also, when will these guys finally start their drone-mounted servers?

Don't care about others potentially seeing my data. I just feel sorry that some poor sap will see my dick pics.

The question are, will Microsoft allow this service in Windows Store? what kind of pressure will US government make on Google, Apple and Microsoft to ban this app? Why do you think this kind of service is not available natively in all OSs? Get ready to sign petitions, I am sure we will need it in the future.

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