The Briar project is building a secure news and discussion platform that will enable journalists, activists and civil society groups in authoritarian countries to communicate without fear of government interference.

We're developing software for personal computers and smartphones that can be used to create invitation-only discussion groups where people can communicate privately and securely. The software makes use of whatever media are available locally (not just internet connections but Bluetooth, WiFi, dialup modems and even USB sticks) to create encrypted, delay-tolerant networks for distributing news, files and conversations.

By giving copies of the Briar software to people they trust, users without any specialist technical knowledge will be able to create robust, autonomous communication networks, free from any dependence on foreign or domestic servers.

Briar's discussion groups are intended to function as a "virtual public sphere": a safe space for disseminating and debating news, sharing files, or organising political projects. Our goal is to allow people in closed societies to communicate freely and fearlessly with one another, and with friends and relatives abroad.

We're currently working on a prototype of Briar and we'd love you to get involved. Please see the links below more information.