Story 2014-02-22 3EP Some emerging open-source secure messaging systems

Some emerging open-source secure messaging systems

in security on (#3EP)
story imageIn these paranoid post-NSA times, you'd be forgiven for worrying about the security of your communications. Are your private conversations on Twitter, Facebook or Skype really private, or are they being stored on some shadowy organisations' servers in perpituity? Is something you thought was said in confidence going to come back to haunt you at some unknown time in the future? A lot of developers are asking themselves these kinds of questions, and we're starting to see the emergence of decentralized messaging systems. Here are a couple of these projects which look promising. Although still under active development, they both have clients available which are usable right now by adventurous alpha testers:
  • Project Tox is a FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) instant messaging application aimed to replace Skype. It aims to be an easy to use, all-in-one communication platform (including audio, and videochats in the future) that ensures their users full privacy and secure message delivery. Outlines of the DHT and Lossless UDP protocols used, and a recent post on reddit has more information, and details of different client apps available.
  • twister is built on Bitcoin and BitTorrent protocols to deliver a peer-to-peer microblogging system, a secure decentralized alternative to Twitter. The download page has links to source code and Win32 binaries and an installable Android package is available for users who have 'Unknown sources' enabled.
  • And while it's not a messing system per se , I2P may also be of interest as an 'anonymous overlay network' which also provides access to secure blogging and email among other features and is available on many platforms .
One thing to bear in mind -- communication software is only as useful as the people using it, so if you want to talk to your friends with either of these, now's the time to start convincing them to adopt...
Reply 2 comments

I have many problems and this is one of them (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-02-23 02:54 (#4Y)

I like that people are aiming to create safer more secure software but unfortunately I have no reason to trust any hardware :|

Re: I have many problems and this is one of them (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-02-23 16:42 (#54)

Indeed. The application software is only one of the many interfaces that may be vulnerable. There's also the operating system, the hardware beneath that, the communications infrastructure, not to mention the guys on the other end of the communication. And even the most robust systems are dependent on the math that makes the encryption possible, and much of that was produced by the very agencies we've come to distrust.

Still, I guess it's all baby steps at first. Refusing to make any advances because they won't completely solve the problem won't get us anywhere either. And anything to make the task more difficult - even if it doesn't make it more impossible - for eavesdroppers is welcome.