San Francisco supervisors using messaging app that lets texts vanish

An encrypted messaging app that allows users to delete their texts automatically after just a few seconds has become a favored way of communicating among some San Francisco supervisors and their aides, raising questions about whether technological advances are subverting public-records laws.

The app, Telegram, was created by a Russian entrepreneur and claims to be 100 percent encrypted. It is one of several apps, including Snapchat, Wickr and Frankly, that offer self-destructing messages.

The apps delete messages from the phones of both the sender and the receiver, and they use technology that makes it impractical and sometimes impossible for law enforcement or other third parties to decode. Continue…