July 18, 2020

Session - Send Messages Not Metadata

For awhile now, I have been following the Loki project and their development team. Loki is a cryptocurrency based on the same protocols as Monero, however they offer some other unique privacy solutions as well. Lokinet (a unique, blockchain enforced and incentivized onion router, where you can browse the internet anonymously, visit and host private websites all without exposing your identity or IP address) being one and Session Messenger being another.

Today I will be discussing Session, and why you should be using it now or at the very least, paying attention to it.

What is Session?

Session is part of the Loki Foundation, a non-profit organization without a permanent seat. The CEO is Simon Harman. Even though the project is not profit-oriented, it wants to monetize Session. Parts of the infrastructure are based on a blockchain network, $LOKI.

The network provides important infrastructure for anonymizing its users, including an onion router to hide your IP address. Neither your counterpart nor the Loki Foundation can determine your location.

So, if a state were to obtain a court order to inspect the session servers, investigators would find nothing but meaningless session IDs and TOR-IP addresses. None of this information would allow us to draw clear conclusions about the identity of the messenger app's users.

Session is a decentralized messenger that was forked from the popular encrypted messaging app Signal. However, unlike Signal and other popular encrypted messaging apps, Session does NOT require any of your information to start using it. No e-mail address or phone number required! This is because Session uses private keys, like Bitcoin, to facilitate the communication! Neat!

Features

Session masters the usual chat functions. There are voice messages, a GIF search (with privacy warning), file sharing and group chats. You can add new contacts by scanning a QR code or exchanging the session ID. You can share your groups via a link.

https://fscl01.fonpit.de/userfiles/6473453/image/2019-11/session-begin-2020-03-03-w782.jpg

Another advantage over Signal or Telegram is end-to-end encrypted group chats. Up to ten people can network fully anonymously via Session. Yes, WhatsApp also has encrypted group chats. But your metadata, phone numbers, and IP addresses remain visible to Facebook. Session is completely unsuspecting.

https://fscl01.fonpit.de/userfiles/7446224/image/AndroidPIT-session-messenger-id2-w810h462.jpg

Session is available in the Play Store (or as APK), in the App Store and for download for Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can use the same Session ID on all your devices at the same time. I currently access mine from my Samsung Note 10+ and Pop_OS 20.04 desktop.

When you install Session for the first time, it creates a - hence the name - new session. This is protected by a recovery phrase. So if you change your smartphone, you can continue your session on the new device using this phrase.

Conclusion

Session is still very young. But, it has a ton of potential. The decentralized nature and lack of data collection makes it a really intriguing project to privacy-minded individuals like myself.

If this sounds something you'd be interested in checking out, I have provided the links to the Session and Loki website below! There you will find the download links and you can give it a test-drive yourself!

Session - https://getsession.org/

Loki - https://loki.network/

tags: cryptography privacy decentralized session messaging loki