DARPA looking to develop encrypted message app


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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking to take its own swing at an encrypted messaging app.

DARPA filed a solicitation with the Defense Department’s Small Business Innovation Research web portal to find someone in the private sector to develop a “secure messaging platform.” The messaging system should allow “anyone anywhere the ability to send a secure message or conduct other transactions across multiple channels traceable in a decentralized ledger,” the solicitation says.

Once complete, the platform should be a “secure messaging system that can provide repudiation or deniability, perfect forward and backward secrecy, time to live/self delete for messages, one time eyes only messages, a decentralized infrastructure to be resilient to cyber-attacks, and ease of use for individuals in less than ideal situations,” the request says.

The new platform would offer a more efficient, safer and cheaper system than many of the legacy messengers DARPA says it currently uses. The request seems to resemble other popular private messaging apps, such as Whatsapp and Viber, which recently began encrypting all messages.

DARPA broke the app’s development into three phases. First, the awardee will be required to build it “on the framework of an existing blockchain framework” and experiment with encryption and hardware options. In the second phase, they will develop and test the prototype. The final phase will “focus on commercialization and full-scale implementation of the platform.”

The solicitation will not officially open until May 23 and will close June 22. 

You can read the request here

Contact the reporter on this story via email: Jeremy.Snow@FedScoop.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeremyM_Snow. Sign up for the Daily Scoop — all the federal IT news you need in your inbox every morning — here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Cybersecurity, Department of Defense (DOD), Departments, emerging technology, Tech
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