No one summed up the issue of the Government’s growing big-brother-style surveillance quite as eloquently as the controversial Sri Lankan beauty MIA, in her catchy club tune ‘The Message’: “Headbone connects to the neckbone, neckbone connects to the arm bone, arm bone connects to the hand bone, hand bone connects to the internet, connected to the Google, connected to the government”. I’ve got chills. The Orwellian nightmare has begun and I don’t fancy sleeping next to David Cameron and his pig. Luckily there’s a new messaging app out there called SOMA Messenger (named after the area that the headquarters are based and also the acronym of Simple Optimised Messaging App) that uses end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to make sure your private messaging stays secure.
Not unsurprisingly, the government has already raised the alarm on this kind of encryption service, claiming that it was a medium such as the one used in SOMA that allowed terrorists to communicate freely before the Paris attacks. Ironically, SOMA claims that its software is ‘safe enough for the CIA’; thankfully though, corrupt government institutions don’t seem to be their target market as, “There wouldn’t be enough customers”, something that they proved by garnering over 10 million downloads in their first month of launch. As for the scrutiny that the app may be used by terrorist organisations, the CEO Gua only had this to say, “I think why is it even coming up for discussion? Would you want the government to have a key to your house?” – I couldn’t agree more.
What sets SOMA apart from the other popular messaging apps out there like Skype or Facetime is that it not only performs better, giving you a quicker a smoother connection that you can connect to via 3G, but also the ability for a group chat of up to 500. 500. That’s huge, it could be used for anything from businesses to sports teams and their fans to perhaps even hospitals.
At the moment the app is free to use and they say it will remain so, if you’re skeptical about how the app plans to make money then you’re not the only one. So far it’s completely ad-free but there’s been some talks of possible sponsored content being implemented somewhere down the line.
For now, if everything they claim is true then SOMA is definitely worth a crack at least. You know what they say, “Hand bone connects to the iPhone, connects to the App Store, download Soma…” I think that’s what they say anyway…