DARPA wants to make a better, more secure, version of WhatsApp

The Defence and Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seems to be in the process of developing its own communication platform

DARPA is the U.S government agency primarily in charge of developing tech for the U.S military, but their new RACE program, standing for the Resilient Anonymous Communication for Everyone will, if the name is anything to go by, be for everyone to use.

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The objectives of the program are to create a distributed messaging system that can do three things.

  • Exist completely within a network
  • Provide confidentiality, integrity and availability of messaging
  • Preserve privacy to any participant in the system.

DARPA seem to be putting security front and center, and the description of the project claims that “compromised system data and associated networked communications should not be helpful for comprising any additional parts of the system,” meaning that DARPA are keen that one breach shouldn’t also give them a leg up on access to other parts of the system.

So, will we soon be using a U.S government branded DARPA? Probably not, but the chances are that RACE will go some way to creating a messaging app that’s resilient to attacks, with the protocol and security they find no doubt dripping through to consumer tech and features in the coming years.

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“The goal of the RACE program is to create a system capable of avoiding large-scale compromise,” reads the program description. “As such, RACE research efforts will explore: 1) preventing compromised information from being useful for identifying any of the system nodes because all such information is encrypted on the nodes at all times, even during computation; and 2) preventing communications compromise by virtue of obfuscating communication protocols.”

Information is thin on the ground right now, but when we know more, you’ll know more.

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