Briar Mailbox released to improve connectivity
The Briar Project released a new Android app called Briar Mailbox today.
Briar Mailbox is a helper app for Briar messenger that lets you receive encrypted messages from your contacts while Briar is offline. Next time Briar comes online it will automatically fetch the messages from your Mailbox.
Likewise, you can send encrypted messages to contacts who are offline, and the messages will be delivered automatically when your contacts come online.
To set up a Mailbox, simply install the Mailbox app on a spare Android device, link it with your Briar account by scanning a QR code, and leave the Mailbox device connected to power and Wi-Fi.
The development of Briar Mailbox was supported by eQualit.ie.
Private by design
Messaging apps typically use a central server to deliver everyone’s messages, so the server can see which users are communicating with each other. Some systems, like Matrix, let users choose between different servers or even run their own server. But because running a server is difficult and costly, most users tend to gravitate to a few large servers.
In contrast, setting up and running a Mailbox is as easy as scanning a QR code. A spare device running Android 4.3 or later (released in 2013) is all you need. Each Mailbox only delivers messages between its owner and their contacts, so no information is exposed to third parties. All connections are made via the Tor network to further protect against surveillance.
Briar is a messaging app designed for activists, journalists, and anyone else who needs a safe, easy and robust way to communicate. Unlike traditional messaging tools such as email, Twitter or Telegram, Briar doesn’t rely on a central server - messages are synchronized directly between the users’ devices. If the internet’s down, Briar can sync via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, keeping the information flowing in a crisis. If the internet’s up, Briar can sync via the Tor network, protecting users and their relationships from surveillance.
Briar has received funding from the Small Media Foundation, the Open Internet Tools Project, Access Now, the Open Technology Fund, the Prototype Fund, Internews, the NLnet Foundation, the Next Generation Internet programme, the ISC Project and eQualit.ie.