While most people know the name “BitTorrent” from the popular p2p transfer protocol used to transfer media files, the company BitTorrent is actually using the technology to build an ultra-secure chat application called Bleep.
And today BitTorrent released a public alpha version of Bleep on Windows, Mac, and Android. The app itself is based on the “principles of BitTorrent technology,” which means it can connect people directly without using centralized servers — thus eliminating the possibility of someone eavesdropping on your conversation by gaining access to that centralized service. Bleep can also be used for both voice or text-based conversations that are encrypted and stored locally on your device.
BitTorrent said there are some features that are noticeably absent when compared to other chat apps. For instance, you can’t sync your conversation across multiple devices, as doing so would make the app less secure. Also, the company noted that you can currently set a username that works on multiple devices on Mac and Windows, but not for Android right now.
As VentureBeat previously pointed out, Bleep could definitely be a boon for confidential conversations. However, those wishing to use it on an iOS device will need to wait a bit longer. BitTorrent said a Bleep iOS app is planned, but probably won’t be available until a full version of the service is completed.
Prompted in large part by whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s efforts to bring the U.S. government’s spying practices into the public spotlight, Bleep is far from the only secure-chat application released over the last year. Some others include Secret, Wickr, and YikYak.