This question is about a hypothetical in-memory web application that is used for exchanging encrypted messages that passively self-destruct in X amount of minutes.

Here the messages would be stored at the web app, and the intended recipient would receive a link through which they could access the message before it is erased from the server RAM.

The thought is that this web application would run from some read-only media (e.g. CD-ROM) and for that reason could not be altered.

We have in-memory databases but (AFAIK) no in-memory web applications. Would something like this be technologically (or otherwise) feasible?

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    The difficult bit about creating self-destructing messages isn't preventing the server from keeping a copy. It's preventing the recipient from keeping a copy. How will you stop the recipient from copy-and-pasting the message, or taking a screenshot of it?
    – Mike Scott
    Mar 9, 2015 at 7:15
  • Thank you Mike Scott, you are correct in that, although in this case the application would be used to deliver messages to people living under a hostile government. So it would be ok if the recipient copies the message (although for their own sake they should just memorize it), as long as the message is nowhere available after that. Keeping the message only in the server memory helps to achieve this better, I think.
    – user63673
    Mar 13, 2015 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


Technically feasible? Certainly. It doesn't sound different from any other live CD, just with a server-oriented environment rather than the more traditional desktop-oriented one.

What advantages do you picture this having, though?

  • Thanks Mark, the benefit would just be in that (as long as the application or the server does not have certain type of security problems) the application cannot be altered. This would help guarantee the integrity of application and the delivered messages.
    – user63673
    Mar 13, 2015 at 2:10

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