Proponents of online anonymity, or at least the access to it, might have high praise for Trsst, an encrypted blogging and messaging platform that will even allow the sending of anonymous messages.
Trsst, which is in development after getting funded via Kickstarter, is built on top of the RSS platform. At the most basic level, users can subscribe to RSS feeds, follow one another, friend one another, and message one another.
The big selling point, though, is that everything — blog posts, messages — is encrypted, and users alone hold their own encryption keys. This is done in the spirit of privacy from, say, the NSA.
“We couldn’t sell you out even if we wanted to,” says the Kickstarter promotional video.
Creator Michael Powers has billed his platform as looking like Twitter, “but encrypted and anonymized and decentralized.”
This is so content can be routed around, under and through national firewalls. Snooping governments that want to quash investigative journalism within their borders will be unable to intercept or decipher messages.
Anything publishers want to make public will be readable via RSS feeds.
A unique signature will be attached to each post to verify it, stringing posts together along what’s called a “blog chain.” Think of it as a wax stamp on the back of an envelope.
Another key feature will be its distributed nature: The database itself will be decentralized, a la Bitcoin, so that no one can control it.
In the TechCrunch comments section, a Trsst representative has addressed some user concerns.
It’s complicated to imagine in action without seeing it, but perhaps Wired’s description of Trsst as a “Twitter and Google Reader open source love child” helps with the visualization.
One point the representative pointed out is that by default posts will be public, like Twitter, but the platform will support both direct messages and the creation of groups, like on Facebook.
What is different from the end user’s perspective is Trsst will be unable to turn over user data to governments or board members, as it is designed not to have access.
“Lots of smarter people have broken most of this ground already,” the commenter says, “We’re just trying to keep it really really simple and bush for broader consumer adoption.”