Attorney: Ban on Text App Violates Missouri Governor’s Speech Rights

JEFFERSON CITY — Ordering Gov. Eric Greitens and his staff to stop using an app that erases text messages would violate their free speech rights, attorneys for the governor argued in a brief filed Tuesday.

Greitens and his senior government staff use an app on their personal phones called Confide that erases text messages after they are read and prevents someone from saving, forwarding, printing or taking a screenshot of texts. Because the app is designed to eliminate a paper trail, it is impossible to determine whether the governor and his staff used it to conduct state business out of view of the public, or whether they’re using it for personal and campaign purposes.

Two St. Louis County attorneys filed a lawsuit late last month accusing Greitens and his staff of engaging in an ongoing conspiracy to violate Missouri’s open records laws by using Confide. And they’ve asked a Cole County judge to issue a temporary injunction blocking employees of the governor’s office from using the app.

A hearing on the injunction is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m.  Read more…