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Awareness, Education & Training
on CyberBullying Prevention

Bleep! BitTorrent’s new chat app is released

 

And it’s only for Windows phones!!! What? I hear you say? I know we are very much Apple here at Beat The Cyberbully and as such we can’t actually download this one to test it! But we’ve been reading up on it and below is what we think about this one.

 

Some of you may have heard of BitTorrent and it wouldn’t have been in the context of chat apps. That’s because if you have heard of it, it was probably in the vein of downloading movies and music without paying for it. It’s a peer to peer platform that allows you to ‘share’ content. But now, even they have branched out into the world of chat apps. And of course it’s an anonymous one!

 

What also makes this stand out, apart from it’s Window’s phone only approach, is that this app may actually be the only one that does offer anonymity and real privacy. It’s a server less service, so in the same way that LastPass never actually gets your master password (very secure – believe me, you better not forget your master password, as it’s a nightmare – but very secure which is good) Bleep never actually sees your messages or your meta data. In fact you can even sign up incognito and be completely anonymous (or you can use an email or a phone number)

 

That aside, there may actually be a legitimate real world use for this app, unlike the other anonymous chat apps, that seem to have been designed so teens can send each other pictures of various parts of their bodies. This one could be used for journalists to have privacy protected conversations with their sources, diplomats to keep private things private and even for businesses to communicate information safe from leaks and industrial espionage.

The nature of the app, as you would expect based on who created it, is in line with how BitTorrent works, so that your information is not sent to a centralised server before being delivered to the recipient – the message element is stripped out so that only the necessary locate and lookup function is carried out on a server, the message element gets sent straight to the recipient. And all this is done in an encrypted manner.

 

The idea of this is actually something we have discussed with a company that does military grade encryption software and equipment. The question we have, which was posed with our military encryption friends, and is the dilemma really; is it better to provide a secure environment where communication can take place away from the prying eyes of third parties, but we have no way of seeing what is being communicated, or do we find another way to try and patrol an open environment where we can see what is being communicated but so can third parties? Our scenario involved  a school. Would it make sense to provide a completely secure environment within the school so that the kids could communicate with each other, but NO ONE could see what was being sent back and forth?  This meant that third parties, such as grooming gangs who target young vulnerable girls and boys could not identify and target those youngsters by prying on what was being sent between friends. Or is there more danger in what the kids are sending between themselves? And is that where we need to focus our efforts?

 

Either way Bleep is out there for Windows phone users at the moment, the app itself is really still in BETA version so we will wait for it to be cleaned up and of course designed for iOS and Android before we download it and test it comprehensively.