My Apply
My Apply

Dark Crystal


A protocol for distributed data persistence and threshold-based consensus, Dark Crystal has multiple possible applications in security-oriented tools.

Many tools and applications exist which cater to the security needs of users in high-risk environments. However, difficulties with key management often pose a barrier to their adoption.  In particular, fear of loosing access to critical data is a commonly cited deterrent.

Dark Crystal will provide a toolkit for developers of applications where effective management of sensitive data is critical. This will include a protocol for distributed backup and recovery of cryptographic keys, an implementation in Java, and a comprehensive guide to the techniques, including threat modelling and an exploration of the social and technical factors which need consideration.  We will also design, implement and test two features for Briar, a privacy-focussed mobile messaging app, which will demonstrate the utility of the protocol and developer guides.

Current project status

Just an idea (Pre-alpha)
It exists! (Alpha/Beta)
It's basically done (Release)
People use it (Production)

Funding to date

2019 $161,630 12 months
Core Infrastructure Fund

Total Funding: $161,630

Addressed problems

  • Localized or nationwide communications shut down or throttling (Blackouts)
  • Physical intimidation, arrest, violence (including device seizure or destruction), and death for political or social reasons
  • Technical attacks against government critics, journalists, and/or human rights organizations (Cyberattacks)
  • Repressive surveillance or monitoring of communication


  • Privacy enhancement
  • Security from danger or threat online


  • Software or hardware development
  • Testing
  • Research


  • Sexual minorities
  • Women
  • Youth
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Activists
  • Journalists
  • Advocacy groups/NGOs

Region(s) archive

  • Global

Project status

  • It Exists! (Alpha/Beta)

Technology attributes

  • Cryptography
  • Mobile application (clientside)
  • Sensitive data
  • User interface/experience

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