Session is a blockchain-based private messenger that uses decentralized server nodes to ensure anonymity
After the Facebook outage that deleted WhatsApp earlier this week, there has been a resurgence of interest in decentralized and secure alternatives. Telegram was one of the biggest winners during the Facebook crash, but there are completely decentralized and private options, built using blockchain-like technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Privacy is a major concern when we talk about instant messaging. Most of the popular messaging services, including WhatsApp and Messenger, have privacy technology that we call “end-to-end encryption”. But for those looking for complete anonymity in a conversation, there is a messaging service named Session that has caught the attention of privacy enthusiasts.
As reported by Restore Privacy, the app is essentially a fork of Signal, which is also an open source chat platform. But the Loki Foundation – a registered NGO based in Australia and the creators of Session, wanted anonymity to be the main feature of this messenger, meaning that while the main app is similar to Signal, it works quite differently. .
Its FAQ page states that in-session chats are secured using regular end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and recipient of a message can read the content of the conversation. But Session goes further and also protects the identity of the user.
Session achieves this by routing chats through a network of thousands of server nodes that transmit messages back and forth through the network and provide additional services. The onion request system that Session uses to protect messages ensures that servers on the network do not know a sender’s IP address or the recipient’s IP address – essentially a decentralized blockchain-like system – which also means there is no centralized server for hackers to break into either.
But that’s not all. The session does not require you to register using a phone number or email address. To add to this, the service does not collect any metadata like device information or geolocation markers. It is also not the locked platform. Session has clients for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Now, if you are looking for a WhatsApp alternative that matches the messaging feature owned by Facebook, then this is not it, boss. The breadth of functionality doesn’t match WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal, far from it. But Session offers the basics like group messages, file sharing, and voice clips. So if security and anonymity are high on your priority list in a messenger, Session seems like a great option. The service currently has 200,000 monthly active users and has been downloaded over 500,000 times.