On BitTorrent’s upcoming chat app:

To start, users will be able to choose how they use our chat app. If you are porting in contact lists, you have the convenience of signing up with email or with a phone number. You will also have the option to sign up in Incognito mode, using no such information at all.

What we are building for the Alpha will also address users communicating with a trusted source who prefer their communication to be device-to-device (decentralized). This means no hops through any 3rd party servers, and no chance of anything being intercepted.

For users who may prefer to have their metadata obscured, messages will be indirect and routed through a third node. It is all a matter of preference.

Showing users directly how their message is being routed is genius. Using relay servers to obscure metadata is cool, but how would users know which relay servers to trust? Or are they supposed to set up their own?

I’m also curious is mesh networking will play a role here. Really sets up some cool cyberpunk scenarios where a journalist and a source can “meet” by being on the same block or in the same highrise, but without knowing what the other person looks like, their real identity, or exactly where they’re at, and being able to chat without the NSA et al being able to pick up the traffic.