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 apps, 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.
Tor is free software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is derived from an acronym for the original software project name “The Onion Router”. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity to the user: this includes “visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms”. The intent for Tor’s use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored.
Briar, the peer-to-peer, end-to-end encrypted messaging app that sends and receives messages using the Tor network, entered public beta last July. The app is now out of beta and has released version 1.0. Briar says it’s a service for “activists, journalists, and anyone else who needs a safe, easy and robust way to communicate.” You can grab it now on the Play Store.