Free Speech Software

Blueprint Sponsors Secure, Anonymizing Chat Tool

Blueprint is pleased to be the first sponsor of Ricochet. This new software program will provide a free, secure tool for journalists, bloggers, activists and human rights defenders to communicate online in internet-repressive countries without leaving behind an electronic trail of metadata that could identify them.

Metadata is like an electronic breadcrumb trail. It lets you find out who talked to whom, at what time, for how long, and how often. Even if you don’t know what was actually said in the conversation because it was encrypted, you can learn a great deal just from metadata.

When journalists talk to sources, it can be dangerous for the source because the metadata of the conversation can reveal the source’s identity. Using disposable email and chat accounts isn’t enough – the metadata created by these connections can still finger a journalistic source who might want to remain anonymous. In some countries, just talking to a journalist can be life-threatening for those who expose corruption. Few chat programs even try to eliminate the identifying metadata, and these are unmaintained, poorly implemented or not secure. Unlike most chat software, Ricochet will not use third-party messaging servers.

Blueprint is developing a free library of research tools to support freedom of expression for all people. Ricochet is a new type of addition to our library, but we think it will compliment our other work in supporting journalistic freedom.

When completed by the highly skilled tech team, Ricochet will make it safer for sources to communicate securely and anonymously with journalists – thus improving the climate for freedom of expression. This is why we are supporting the software. You can link to download a development copy of Ricochet via our free library here.