Funding Proposal - Cwtch - Metadata Resistant Group Messaging

Acceptance of this proposal will result in the Open Privacy Research Society officially adopting the Cwtch project, and the creation of a committee to manage development, outreach, fundraising and research relating to it.


The majority of tools and platform that offer secure communication do not attempt to secure or hide communication metadata. We know that high level adversaries rely on metadata extensively to power surveillance systems. Open Privacy believes in building infrastructure which subverts surveillance, and to do that, we must provide a platform that lets people communicate without exposing their metadata.

Cwtch, is a group messaging systems designed to be metadata resistant.


  • Sarah Jamie Lewis - Researcher
  • Dan Ballard - Developer

Proposed Budget & Funding Goals

  • 2018 - $13,540 (June to December)
    • $6,000 - Sarah Jamie Lewis (3 months of research)
    • $6,000 - Dan Ballard (3 months of mobile app and website development)
    • $1,540 - Infrastructure
      • $540 ($30 x 6 x 3) - Server Costs
      • $1000 - Outreach / Branding / Stickers etc.

Targeted Communities & Usecases

Outreach for Cwtch will target marginalized hookups/dating as a primary usecase. Facilitating both public advertisements (e.g. w4w) as well as private discussion.

  • Community Discussion
  • Decentralized Message Boards


  • Prototype Development (May 2018)
    • Basic Web Driven Interface
    • Companion Research Paper
  • Website Development
    • Initial prototype website - May 2018
    • Enhanced website / fundraising site - June 2018
  • User Experience Research (September 2018)
    • What models do users have about metadata resistant systems (latency, security)
    • Managing multiple identities
  • Mobile Application Development (September 2018)
    • Android Only to Start
    • No new features outside of prototype unless supported by UX Research

Conflicts of Interest

The following board members are prohibited from voting on this proposal and, as such, must abstain:

  • Sarah Jamie Lewis - Direct Conflict
  • Dan Ballard - Direct Conflict
  • Erinn Atwater - Indirect Conflict