BitTorrent unwraps chat app Bleep
“We never see your messages or metadata,” said Jaehee Lee, the senior product manager for Bleep, in a blog post announcing the new app on Wednesday. “As far as we’re concerned, anything you say is ‘bleep’ to us.”
The chat application promises real messaging secrecy that slices through the technological Gordian knot of encrypting instant message traffic by using the same decentralized approach behind torrents.Windows 7 and Windows 8 users can sign up now for the Bleep pre-alpha.
While BitTorrent would no doubt love for the entire world to start using Bleep, Lee said that the app should appeal immediately to people in four kinds of situations: friends who want to keep a conversation private, reporters looking to have privacy-protected or anonymous conversations with sources, private communiques among diplomats, and businesses wishing to keep message content safe from leaks or industrial espionage.
BitTorrent’s Director of Communications Christian Averill said that the company is focusing on building Bleep, and it’s not concerned with making money from it at the moment.
“We will explore the monetization opportunities at an appropriate time,” he said.
In the works for close to a year, the previously-unnamed instant messaging app and the engine that powers it improve messaging protocol security by decentralizing it, the same way that BitTorrent decentralized downloads. Bleep is available today as a Windows-only download, but it’s a rough pre-alpha. While anybody interested can request an invite, it’s best to stay away from Bleep until it becomes more stable.
Other platforms are expected to get their own versions of Bleep as the Windows version becomes more usable. Bleep doesn’t store any metadata ever, so it wouldn’t be subject to the legal standards that govern metadata collection. Contacts connect to each other through others nodes in the network, so there’s no central address lookup, and its end-to-end encryption relies on advanced encryption protocol such as curve25519, ed25519, salsa20, poly1305. Assuming that they have been properly implemented, this would make Bleep very secure indeed.