SkipChat is a secure, distributed peer-to-peer messaging service that works offline. It works by having a community of users transmit messages, hop to hop, creating a kind of dynamic mesh network that does not need to be fully connected for messages to be able to be sent. Essentially, transmitted messages can travel through other devices using SkipChat, and messages can spread geographically when these devices move and come in proximity with other devices running SkipChat.
This technology could be applied in a variety of scenarios, especially when traditional infrastructure is not available. For example, SkipChat could be incredibly useful tool in areas where disasters have occurred. It could also be useful in developing countries or areas where traditional cellular networks are not available, either due to lack of infrastructure or due to frequent power outages.
SkipChat implements a lightweight peer-to-peer networking protocol to achieve decentralized messaging, and it uses strong cryptography on top of that to provide confidentiality, message integrity, and anonymity. In the system, public keys serve are used for both encryption and addressing. Our cryptographic protocol uses asymmetric and symmetric key encryption to efficiently and securely transport data. Details of the protocol can be found in our presentation, or in the source files.
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