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Middle-School Dropout Codes Clever Chat Program That Foils NSA Spying


Stashed in: Privacy does not exist.

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Why It May Be Better Than the Competition

Although a number of encrypted communications solutions already exist for email and chats, many are not entirely secure or are difficult to use. What’s more, few solutions purport to eliminate the metadata problem. Ricochet’s absence of metadata, and its ease of use, means it has a good chance of going mainstream in a way others have not.

Wickr, for example, is a competing encrypted chat program that doesn’t preserve the communication or metadata of users, so there’s nothing recorded by default for spy agencies or law enforcement to collect from Wickr with a court order. But unlike Ricochet, it uses central servers to transmit the communication, which Brooks says make users vulnerable to timing attacks. Anyone tapping the connections to Wickr’s servers could conceivably map the parties who are communicating and establish relationships between them.

“If you have two people communicating and someone is [passively] monitoring one or the other party, this will protect them,” Moore says. “Unless someone is [directly] monitoring that person and you at the same time, it will be very hard to identify the communication.”

“AT NO POINT DO YOU EVER CONTACT ANYONE DIRECTLY,” BROOKS SAYS. “THERE IS NO WAY YOU COULD FIND MY IP ADDRESS OR ANYTHING ABOUT WHO I AM OR WHERE I AM.”

Eh. Not useful for most communication you'd want to do. 

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