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State Police Drops Phone App That Makes Texts Disappear

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The Michigan State Police told officers to remove a phone app that keeps no record of outgoing text messages, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Col. Joseph Gasper issued the order in a memo obtained by the Detroit Free Press, which had published stories about the use of the Signal app by high-ranking members of the department.

“Members who currently have a non-standard communications application installed on their department device shall remove the application no later than February 10, 2021,” Gasper said.

Text messages sent using Signal are gone without a trace once deleted, the newspaper reported.

The use of Signal was recently disclosed in a lawsuit involving state police. Critics say it can help officials dodge public records requests and frustrate attorneys during litigation.

“To ensure the integrity of our recordkeeping processes and to avoid the appearance of impropriety, the use of non-standard communications applications on department-issued mobile devices, including cellular phones and tablets, will now require prior authorization,” Gasper said.

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