Meet Peerio, A Cloud-Based Open-Source End-to-End Encrypted Messaging Platform
There are several available options for secure online messaging and document sharing. A new entry in this field is Peerio.
Peerio combines messaging, group chat, and document sharing capabilities on one platform, similar to services like Gmail and Dropbox. However, unlike other platforms, Peerio features complete end-to-end encryption of all communications sent via the service. Because of this feature, messages and files can only be decrypted by the intended recipient. All communication and files are encrypted on the originating device before being sent to the Peerio servers, protecting the content even from those with direct access to the servers. The ISC Project believes these features make Peerio a good option for those working in difficult or sensitive environments.
What makes Peerio especially noteworthy is that it offers this encrypted communication solution in a simple, user-friendly format that only requires downloading a single app or installing a Chrome browser extension. The platform is intuitive to use and does not require one to invest significant time learning how to use it, unlike other encryption tools such as PGP, which is notoriously difficult to use for novice users.
Another unique feature of Peerio is that it is built using the miniLock protocol, which simplifies authentication by deriving private encryption keys from a passphrase. This means one can login to a Peerio account and access encrypted data by typing a few key words instead of an obtuse password. When you close the application, the key disappears from the device’s memory, leaving no risk of key theft or decryption from a stolen, confiscated, or public device. The private encryption key (passphrase) is not device-specific, so the same passphrase can be used to log into Peerio and decrypt messages from any device.
Peerio is currently in beta-testing stage. Its development team welcomes review and comments on its code, which is publicly available on GitHub (https://github.com/PeerioTechnologies/peerio-client). Peerio is currently available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian, with more translations being crowdsourced through Transifex (https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/peerio). The software is available for as a stand-alone program for the Windows and Mac operating systems, as an extension for the Google Chrome browser, and will soon be available as a mobile app for Android and iOS. Peerio is available for download at https://peerio.com.