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BitTorrent's peer-to-peer Chat service will use strong encryption to protect your identity

Steve Dent , @stevetdent

In the NSA age, being paranoid really doesn't mean they're not out to get you, so placating your fears has suddenly become a cottage industry. BitTorrent, for one, has just spilled more beans about Chat, it's peer-to-peer, encrypted messaging service that recently sent out a call for alpha testers. Rather than receiving a username, you'll actually be given a so-called cryptographic key pair, making it nearly impossible for others to guess your identity. Security is also enhanced with distributed hash tables (DHTs) -- like those used in uTorrent -- so that message requests are passed securely along the network to your intended recipient. That also avoids the use of a central server which could give a single point of attack for snoopers. There's no word yet on a release date, but the group is busy upgrading its backend for the service so you might be able to put the tinfoil hat in mothballs soon.