Converso was a messaging app meant to change the way people talked over the internet. It was released on the 21st of January, 2023 and is now gone from the internet. The only things left are a blog post exposing the absolutely rampant security flaws in their "state-of-the-art" encryption, and a couple of sponsored articles.
The article by Crnković was the catalyst that spun into the downfall of Converso. The post reads like an adventure book, telling the story of a great adventurer hacking and slashing through a field of broken promises.
The article begins by Crnković explaining how they heard about the app Converso. They had heard an ad for Converso on a podcast that presented Converso as an app that knew nothing about you or what you were talking about. From the perspective of someone who focuses a little bit on privacy, those sound like absolutely amazing promises. But from the perspective of a developer, I am a little skeptical, and so was Crnković.
This led them to digging into what was actually happening behind the scenes at Converso.
What they found is absolutely astonishing. I won't spoil a single bit here so go read it over at https://crnkovic.dev/testing-converso/!
Before writing this post, I decided to do some research into what Converso used to look like.
Here are the archives of the Converso website once at release and the other before the close
This quick essay by Steph Ango is an amazing 1 minute read. The essay explains that as we travel through the digital world, we deposit our data across hundreds of proprietary formats and servers. What happens when these formats and servers disappear? Where does the data that we have created go?
It just disappears to be lost forever.
There is a beauty in the way Steph Ango expresses their drive to durable data. They relate the files and data we create to the history our ancestors have left behind. Stone tablets, hieroglyphics, and ancient books have stood the test of time, proving to be information that is truly durable.
Making information that is durable is at the center of what Steph thinks tool makers need to account for when creating software. The tools that they create will not exist forever, but the data that their tools create should exist forever.
This is why Steph urges tool makers to give users access to their data in durable, transportable, and archivable formats. This way, if a user wants to see what they were doing 5 years or 5 decades ago, they can.