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Do Today’s Messenger Apps Guarantee Privacy?

New instant messaging applications appear on the market every day. Developers and application owners usually focus on commercial gains, while user anonymity and privacy take a backseat. Most consumer messaging applications now use encryption in an effort to preserve user privacy, but in 2022, that's simply not enough.

The Achilles’ Heel: Central Servers

The weak point of all these messengers is that they rely on the use of central servers. These servers can be monitored, hacked, and shut down, compromising encryption when poorly implemented.

Since the Snowden revelation, the world has been faced with a sad reality. All citizens can be subjected to mass surveillance and, even worse, censorship.

This surveillance and censorship are a result of the poor data protection of central servers. When you send a message, it’s channeled through the central server. The company that owns that central server can impose regulations on the data that’s passing through or being stored in it, like accepting or rejecting messages on certain topics, analyzing files, and even prohibiting certain data.

These companies can also be pressured by the government, who ask for - or demand - backdoor access to the central server’s data. It’s unsurprising that there are complex and heated debates about this topic, with most governments arguing that surveillance is critical for national security. However, there are growing fears across the world that governments will exploit this justification to obtain unlimited access to our private lives.

Operating a server is expensive. So why are most popular apps that use central servers free?
Have you ever wondered how they make money?
Unfortunately, the saying holds true here: when it’s free, you’re the product.

The Fingerprint: Metadata

We kill based on metadata.

- Michael Hayden, Former CIA and FBI Director

Surveillance, censorship, tracking, hacking, and all sorts of blatant invasions of privacy are directed and focused: everything you say online can be seen, recorded, and used. This is the result of putting your data in the hands of third parties, like internet service providers and servers.

Metadata is a powerful bank of information. It’s simply data collected between data, and this kind of data usually reveals little or nothing on its own. However, as data points are combined, hackers, companies, organizations, and governments can essentially create a unique fingerprint of your digital life. In fact, metadata contains as much information as the data it’s based on itself. To quote NSA General Counsel, Stewart Baker, “metadata tells you absolutely everything about someone’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.”

Berty: Privacy at your fingertips.

Berty is a privacy-first messaging application built on top of the Wesh Protocol.

Berty Technologies is on a mission to solve today’s privacy crisis, developing Berty, a messenger solution based on peer-to-peer communication, distributed data storage, and end-to-end encryption. It’s one easy-to-use application that guarantees users privacy, through a network that’s free of servers and third parties.

Whether you’re traveling and need to share sensitive data over untrusted networks, you’re in a region with a government that actively censors content on networks, or you have no internet connection at all, Berty is the ultimate everyday messaging app.

Unlike other mainstream applications (think WhatsApp and Signal), Berty doesn’t have a central server, which could be used to monitor your messages. Instead, you communicate directly, without any need for a third party. With Berty, you can’t be monitored, you can’t be censored, and you don’t need to pay any server operating costs - with either your money or your data.

Going further:

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) is intended to prevent data from being read or modified by anyone other than the sender and recipient(s). Unlike Telegram and Messenger, it’s activated by default in the Berty app. That means no third parties - like your telecom provider, internet service provider, or even Berty - can eavesdrop on your conversations.

Going further:

Berty doesn’t ask for your email address, phone number, or real name - setting it apart from most messaging apps, like Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp. To create a digital Berty ID, you just need to provide a name (real, fake, or a nickname).

With zero data collected about you, Berty offers complete anonymity, an easy sign-in, and ultimate confidence. There’s no possibility of identity theft or account hacking, like email hacking and SIM swapping

Going further:

Berty is open-source. That means anyone can contribute, verify, audit, and copy Berty’s source code. There’s nothing to hide, no license fees, and no need to use official app stores.

Going further:

A messaging app might not be able to read the contents of your message (the data), but it will collect vital information about that message (the metadata), like when it was sent and who it was sent to. By compiling metadata, powerful insights can be drawn about you.

Unlike other apps, Berty’s not interested in your private life - in fact, Berty doesn’t want to know anything about you. That’s why Berty reduces metadata collection to the minimum possible amount.

✨ Going further:

Like blockchain, the Wesh Protocol is peer-to-peer, and therefore distributed and decentralized. However, unlike blockchain, the Wesh Protocol doesn’t require a consensus or validation by the network. That’s because data on the Wesh Protocol is all stored locally, and there’s no historic recording in an open ledger. It also means there aren’t any transaction fees for each data exchange.

✨ Going further:

Berty is designed to be bulletproof to the future. It’s a protocol that works on Mars, as well as in the most extreme network conditions on Earth. Berty allows users to communicate and create autonomous local networks without an internet connection or a SIM card, using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and mDNS.

✨ Going further:

Privacy is a fundamental right, not one you should pay for. That’s why Berty Technologies is a non-profit organization. The Berty app will always be 100% free, prioritize privacy over commercial interest, and serve the community - not shareholders. To power innovative development, Berty Technologies relies on donations and community support

✨ Going further:

Berty Technologies

TLDR: Berty Technologies is a non-profit NGO. Founded in Paris in July 2018, the organization has grown to a team of 12, half of whom are talented developers. Berty Technologies’ vision is to create secure communication tools and fight censorship in order to create opportunities to connect with people all across a free world.


Berty Technologies is a French non-profit and NGO founded in July 2018 in response to the urgent need for truly secure, readily usable online messaging. Berty Technologies built Berty, a full-featured mobile messaging application, and Wesh Protocol, the freestanding secure messaging technology behind it.

Berty Technologies collaborates with like-minded advocacy and engineering movements to fight back against threats to online privacy. Surveillance and personal data collection technologies are constantly evolving, and so must Berty.


Berty Technologies advocates these beliefs through its products, outreach, and partnerships.

  • The right to private digital communication is universal. Berty’s tools are offered freely, with no distinction between individuals, groups, public organizations, or private organizations.
  • Privacy should be the easy option. Berty must be as easy to use as, if not easier than, competitors.
  • Transparency is a strength that no secretive authority can outpace. The code behind Berty is 100% open-source, and anyone with the right skills and mindset can follow, test, and contribute to codebase and advocacy work. The integrity of Berty lies in the fact that power sits firmly in the hands of contributors and users.
  • No voice should be lost to censorship. Berty Technologies develops for extremely adverse use cases. Whether it’s internet blackouts, autocratic regimes, or civilian street protest suppression, Berty works. Reliably. With or without an internet connection. Always.
  • The decentralized “future” starts today. Central relay points, be they governments or big tech server farms, keep power concentrated at the top. The technology to decentralize this power exists today - the Wesh Protocol is peer-to-peer, guaranteeing that authorities can’t gain access to your personal information.
  • You should steal this code. Any organization or individual that wants to support user anonymity can, and should, use the Wesh Protocol.
  • France is a thriving hub of security technology. Berty Technologies is committed to increasing the dynamism and competitiveness of the French technology sector, particularly in cryptography, distributed networks, cybersecurity, and emerging protocols.


Our mission is to create secure communication tools that allow everyone in the world to be free. We ing about you. We only care about your freedom.

— Manfred Touron, Berty Founder

Berty Technologies was founded by Manfred Touron, a cybersecurity specialist, cryptography engineer, and authority on decentralization technologies and internet privacy rights. Observing the dangers to civilian privacy posed by the use of current messaging applications, Berty was created to stand up to these threats.

In the organization’s early days, engineers worked to understand where they could make the biggest impact, conducting research and intentional outreach. As a result, Berty Technologies grew a reputation as an exciting, up-and-coming player in the decentralized Web3 movement, winning the OMG feature @ IPFS Camp (Barcelona, 2018). Berty Technologies now stands as a talented, remote-first team of 12.


Committed to the principles of open-source and decentralization, Berty values transparency and collective interest, rejecting the traditional hierarchical model adopted by most commercial enterprises. They spearhead this culture of decentralized innovation, meeting external challenges and opportunities as soon as they emerge, rather than waiting until they reach company executives.