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The app that could have prevented Chris Christie's traffic scandal

January 8, 2014: 11:33 AM ET

ConfideDisappearing text messages aren't just for high schoolers anymore.

FORTUNE -- We all know that email is forever, but that doesn't mean we always act like it is.

The latest example comes this morning from New Jersey, where a smoking gun has emerged over allegations that Chris Christie closed local access lanes near Fort Lee as political payback for that city's mayor not supporting Christie's reelection bid. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," wrote a senior Christie staffer to a Port Authority official, thus specifically tying Trenton to the tie-ups.

But now there is a new app that could eliminate such scandals in the future (albeit not the rotten underlying acts). It's called Confide, and basically acts like Snapchat for professionals. Private, end-to-end encrypted, screenshot-proof messages (which leverage email addresses rather than phone numbers) that disappear shortly after they are sent. Uses could be everything from discussing the next employee to fire or complaining about your boss or... well, causing massive traffic gridlock out of spite.

The company is being led by Jon Brod, a former senior AOL (AOL) executive who stepped down early last month. His fellow co-founders are Yext co-founders Howard Lerman (chairman) and Dan Sutera (COO). The trio bootstrapped Confide for its launch, although they plan to raise venture capital funding within the next several months.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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