A new social networking service is aiming to target disgruntled Facebook users, promising them greater security and privacy.
The group sharing website says it has implemented an end-to-end encryption system where any message shared by a user will only be visible to the intended audience and nobody else not even to Syme.
“Your posts are encrypted before they leave your computer,” A posting on the website says. “This ensures that only you and the people you communicate with can access what you share. Even we, as the service provider, can never access the content of your groups,” it adds.
The user interface looks like a mix of Google Plus and Facebook but is simple to use.
“Forget about complicated account and privacy settings. There’s only one setting on Syme: private,” a bog post by Syme reads.
Anyone with a valid email can create a Syme account. As a Syme user you can share either a post, a picture or a file and decide with a simple click which of your group it is intended to.
The service uses both available encryption types – symmetric and public key to safeguard data.
Syme is the brainchild of three Canada based students – Jonathan Hershon a psychology student of McGill University in Montreal, Louis-Antoine Mullie, a medical student and Christophe Marois who happens to study music.
The White Paper for Syme clearly identifies what inspired the three Montreal-based students with strong interest in technology to develop an alternate programme. https://github.com/symeapp/syme
While stating that existing encrypted communication protocols are not well suited for persistent communication systems, such as social networks, Syme they say is aimed at creating “a zero-knowledge key infrastructure that uses end-to-end encryption to enable persistent multiparty communication and secure key exchanges on minimally trusted servers and relays.”
Currently the social networking site has a chrome extension. Extensions to Firefox, Safari and other platforms are expected to be announce soon. Syme is also working on developing mobile applications for iOS and Android.
Now it needs to be seen to what extent the new service will be able to attract users from Facebook and other social networks.
Interestingly, Syme itself has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/symeapp and one of the very first entry has this quote from Benjamin Franklin under an entry named, `A good quote as the NSA scandal unfolds.`
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”