Secure P2P Messenger Releases First Version, Receives New Funding
May 9 2018
The peer-to-peer messenger Briar released its first stable version today. It is available for Android devices from Google Play or F-Droid. This release follows a security audit and a 10 month public beta period during which many bugs were fixed and lots of feedback was received. The Briar Project wishes to thank all beta testers for their contributions.
The development of Briar will continue with help from the Open Technology Fund, which has previously supported the project as part of its mission to promote internet freedom worldwide. New features planned for 2018 aim to address the most urgent needs of the community. They include the ability to add contacts remotely without first verifying identities in person. Also planned are image attachments for messages and improved battery life. During this work, the Briar team will also lay the groundwork for an eventual desktop client.
Lots of people have asked for an iOS version of Briar, but bringing the P2P messenger to the iPhone is challenging, because Apple does not allow long-lived network connections in the background which are needed for P2P messaging.
The German Prototype Fund is supporting Briar in developing a feature that will allow users to send each other messages even if they are not online at the same time. This will increase users' reachability and further improve battery life.
Briar is a messaging app designed for activists, journalists, and anyone else who needs a safe, easy and robust way to communicate. Unlike traditional messaging tools such as email, Twitter or Telegram, Briar doesn't rely on a central server - messages are synchronized directly between the users' devices. If the internet's down, Briar can sync via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, keeping the information flowing in a crisis. If the internet's up, Briar can sync via the Tor network, protecting users and their relationships from surveillance.