New Tor Communication Software for Journalists and Sources Launches

February 29, 2016

A new one-to-one messaging tool for journalists has launched after two years in development. The article Ricochet uses power of the dark web to help journalists, sources dodge metadata laws from The Age describes this new darknet-based software. The unique feature of this software, Ricochet, in comparison to others used by journalists such as Wickr, is that it does not use a server but rather Tor. Advocates acknowledge the risk of this Dark Web software being used for criminal activity but assert the aim is to provide sources and whistleblowers an anonymous channel to securely release information to journalists without exposure. The article explains,

“Dr Dreyfus said that the benefits of making the software available would outweigh any risks that it could be used for malicious purposes such as cloaking criminal and terrorist operations. “You have to accept that there are tools, which on balance are a much greater good to society even though there’s a tiny possibility they could be used for something less good,” she said. Mr Gray argued that Ricochet was designed for one-to-one communications that would be less appealing to criminal and terrorist organisers that need many-to-many communications to carry out attacks and operations. Regardless, he said, the criminals and terrorists had so many encryption and anonymising technologies available to them that pointing fingers at any one of them was futile.”

Online anonymity is showing increasing demand as evidenced through the recent launch of several new Tor-based softwares like Ricochet, in addition to Wickr and consumer-oriented apps like Snapchat. The Dark Web’s user base appears to be growing and diversifying. Will public perception follow suit?


Megan Feil, February 29, 2016

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