This Post Will Self Destruct In…

While reading Blood on the Street: The Sensational Inside Story of How Wall Street Analysts Duped a Generation of Investors, Joseph Collins had a unique thought reports

“I was reading Charlie’s book and I thought it was very unfair that Eliot Spitzer could just walk into companies and demand their email,” Collins recalled.

Spitzer was New York’s Attorney General when the Internet busted, and he exposed a steady stream of embarrassing emails from Wall Street cheats.

What the world really needed, Collins decided after reading Gasparino’s book, were emails that couldn’t be copied, forwarded or saved. That way, people could speak candidly without worrying about overreaching snoops like Spitzer.

Collins, 32, a Northwestern University graduate, was struggling to build a chain of gas stations amid rising real estate and gasoline prices. He saw a brighter future in designing disappearing emails. The result is VaporStream electronic conversation software.

“It’s just a new form of instant messaging or email,” Collins said. “We like to think of it as the natural evolution of online communications.”

I don’t know why the default setting on most digital communications is “save so the lawyers can find it later.” I grew up watching “Mission: Impossible,” the CBS series that ran from 1966 to March 1973. It would often begin with tape-recorded instructions “Good morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you decide to accept …”

After detailing the mission, the recorded voice would say, “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.” And then came a surge of smoke, destroying all evidence that an exchange of information even took place.

So why can’t we do this with emails?

Image from VaporStream

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