BitTorrent has launched BitTorrent Chat in private alpha testing phase. It’s billed as ‘private instant messaging via secure, distributed technology,’ a server-less system designed for the security concerned user.
The system is designed so Chat doesn’t store any of your messages on servers, so there is no data for government agencies to request from BitTorrent. Messages will be sent using ‘an encrypted peer to peer network’, although no amount of encryption makes a 100% secure system. BitTorrent Chat will be completely free.
The usual model for free services is that you ‘pay’ by allowing the service provider to use some of your data for things like advertising. It’s not clear how BitTorrent Chat will work in this respect.
You can sign up for the closed Alpha testing by entering your email. For some Reddit users, this already undermines the privacy claims of BitTorrent Chat. Redditor mist0r_wiggles commented, ‘and yet they require you to enter your email to use. Sounds like a trap,’ although that is a pretty paranoid position to take. They also criticize the lack of open source documentation on the project.
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