Open Privacy believes in using and producing open source solutions and open infrastructure. Many values contribute to our belief and mandate for open solutions including preferring ownership to rent, preferring customizability and control, and desiring to share our work and results with the world. This post describes our process for building our infrastructure in the first half year of starting out as a nascent non-profit.
Open Privacy believes in empowering users in ways that enable consent to and control over the movement of their data. The ebb and flow of current communication technologies has created a situation in which users are forced to either relinquish control over their personal information to dozens of unknown companies and government agencies, or sit on the sidelines and refrain from participating in culture and public society. Worse, many tools collect information on us that can be used against us in ways that are difficult to understand or predict. Nowhere is this impact felt harder than in the marginalized communities which Open Privacy exists to serve. We see only one solution to this problem: taking our data back into our own hands, and removing the ability of service providers to see our data at all. Today we announce the first step on this long journey: Cwtch.
Cwtch (a Welsh word roughly translating to “a hug that creates a safe place”) is a decentralized, privacy-preserving, asynchronous multi-party messaging protocol that can be used to build metadata resistant applications.