Briar is an open-source software communication technology, intended to provide secure and resilient peer-to-peer communications with no centralized servers and minimal reliance on external infrastructure. Connections are made through bluetooth, WiFi, or over the internet via Tor and all private communication is end-to-end encrypted. Relevant content is stored in encrypted form on participating devices. Long term plans for the project include “blogging, crisis mapping and collaborative document editing.” The initial target audience for Briar includes “activists, journalists and civil society” with plans to make the system “simple enough to help anyone keep their data safe.” As the ability to function in the absence of internet infrastructure may also make the project valuable to disaster response and aid organisations, the developers are working with the Open Humanitarian Initiative and Taarifa. Ultimately, the developers aim to create a system which is “as simple to use as WhatsApp, as secure as PGP, and that keeps working if somebody breaks the Internet.” Briar’s source code is published as free software and is distributed under the terms of the GPLv3 license. It was audited by Cure53 and spoken highly of in a report delivered 20 March 2017, and was recommended to be given a second audit after development completes.
It is also available for Linux https://www.tromjaro.com/briar/ – so it is not only for mobile phones 😉
First I thought you need to have a phone number or a sim card in order to use it, but I found out that “Briar differs from other messengers in that no personal information such as SIM card, phone number, email address or messenger ID is required to register.” (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briar_(Instant_Messenger)) – however it seems like it’s only available for phones. You can install it in the F-Droid Store, Google’s Play store (mind you – that’s trade-based) or you can download it on the website: https://briarproject.org/
So if you call it a “trade-free messenger for phones” then I’d give 5/5. If I ask W.A.I.T – What am I trading? It seems nothing – no data, no attention (via ads), no money or anything else.