Icelandic social media site targets surveillance-weary users

OSLO Mon Feb 3, 2014 1:29pm IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

OSLO (Reuters) - Upstart social media platform Vivaldi aims to capture tech savvy users seeking to avoid aggressive advertising and the prying eyes of governments, and hopes for a boost from the closure of a rival, founder Jon von Tetzchner told Reuters.

Based in Iceland, a country known for its commitment to privacy and free speech, Vivaldi is luring users with strong data encryption and a promise not to use the content of private mail to generate advertising.

"Our initial focus is on the computer geeks because they usually have higher demands for functionality, safety and privacy," said von Tetzchner, co-founder of internet browser maker Opera Software (OPERA.OL). "But a lot of ordinary people also worry about these things and we will welcome everyone."

The recently established Vivaldi.net currently offers a mail service, photo sharing, chat functions, a blog platform and discussion forums.

"There has been a lot of focus on safety lately, and it has mainly been focused on governments. But I think this is just as much an issue for the companies in this business," said von Tetzchner.

Vivaldi hopes for a boost from Opera Software's decision to shut its own social network platform on March 1 and aims to capture its several million users. von Tetzchner left Opera in 2011.

"As a society I feel that we should be more focused on limiting the massive surveillance we all are under from governments and from companies that use people's private information for advertising purposes," von Tetzchner said.

"I don't think anyone can guarantee to keep NSA away, so I won't make that promise. But we are without a doubt a safer alternative than anyone else out there. This is one of the reasons we have chosen to do it from Iceland."

(Editing by Terje Solsvik)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fashion and Technology

Reuters Showcase

Samsung vs LG

Samsung vs LG

Samsung accuses rival LG exec of vandalising washing machines  Full Article 

Auto Tech

Auto Tech

Cars that drive themselves starting to chat with each other  Full Article 

Surveillance Saga

Surveillance Saga

Deutsche Telekom says finds no evidence of NSA, GCHQ surveillance  Full Article 

New iPhone

New iPhone

Larger Apple iPhones shipments delayed amid record orders  Full Article 

Boost to Bitcoin

Boost to Bitcoin

Bitcoin gets boost as U.S. watchdog approves first swap.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage