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Briar Darknet Messenger Client For Android Secures Chats With Direct Peer-To-Peer Connectivity

Do you want to keep your private conversations, well, private? The beta of Briar, a darknet messaging system for Android was just released today. The messaging app is intended for users like activists and journalists who need a safe and secure form of communication.

Briar does not require servers to function, but instead utilizes a peer-to-peer network. The “messages are synchronized directly between the users' devices” and can sync through Bluetooth, WiFi, or the Tor network. Briar also encrypts all data end-to-end and hides metadata. Overall, Briar promises that identity of the users as well as the content of their messages are private.

Briar also published an independent security audit from Cure53 along with their beta. Six testers examined Briar for thirteen days and determined that “the quality and readability of the app’s source code was rather exceptional”. They recommend the messaging app and argue that it is able to offer a “good level of privacy and security”. Cure53 has also done audits in the past of SecureDrop, Cryptocat, and Dovecot.

There has been a great deal of concern lately over the lack of privacy offered by traditional messaging systems. Google recently promised to stop scanning users’ inboxes for the purpose of targeted ads. This change was done in order to bring its regular consumer email service on par with G Suite for businesses, since G Suite does not scan emails for ad personalization. There have also been numerous complaints that Windows 10 still tracks too much of a user’s actions even when advanced privacy controls are in effect.

Briar's development team plans on further improving its system through user feedback. Beta testers can anonymously submit their feedback through the app or post publicly in the project's issue tracker. Briar is expected to alter its peer-to-peer protocol before the final release, therefore, user accounts and data will expire with the beta. You can learn more here.

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