Let's say I'm making an end-to-end encrypted messaging app with the goal of putting "privacy first." The contents of messages are encrypted, but in the current model, it is still visible to the server who sends a message to who and when they sent it, as well as the general size of the message. Messages are retained indefinitely.
The model could theoretically be adapted so that after a transaction is complete, there is no unencrypted record of who sent the message (but when it was sent/who received it is still there). Additionally, it could be further adapted to encrypt [the equivalent of Facebook friendships]. These things would still be visible to the servers as the server has to moderate this process somehow, but the information wouldn't be retained.
For the purposes of this question, this app has an equivalent to Messenger groups, with all messages encrypted. These messages could be anonymous, but group membership would still be remembered.
To be clear this will launch initially as English-only and target the US/Europe (with the company based on the US, under US jurisdiction where possible). In the long term this could possibly spread wherever there is internet access and countries don’t block e2e encryption.
So far what I have gathered (from research + comments below) is that implementing this could potentially allow terrorists to hide their association, but on the flip side it could also allow states to pursue people they don't like.
- More "privacy."
- Could be a potential safe haven for people being pursued by their governments.
- Could make it harder for Western law enforcement to pursue terrorism.
- Could mislead people into thinking they have more anonymity than they actually do have.
Putting this here since this question was put on hold.
So you guys have raised very good points (all credit to commenters below). I’ve decided to try to make things as anonymous as possible. That way if this app turns out successful it can help people who are targets of their own state. Plus the FBI, etc has other ways to investigate terrorism anyway.
Consider this question answered. Thank you all for opening my eyes.
If anybody has anything to add feel free to comment below.