The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a request for proposals posted on a DOD Web page in which it requires “a secure messaging system that can provide… one time eyes only messages.”

The main objective of the RFP is to create a secure messaging and transaction platform that separates the message creation from the transfer (transport) and reception of the message, using a decentralized messaging backbone to allow anyone anywhere the ability to send a secure message, or conduct other transactions across multiple channels traceable in a decentralized ledger, according to DARPA.

The DARPA request for proposals is aimed at building a messaging platform that the military could use for secure communication ranging from procurement to intelligence. To prevent cyberattacks and build a more secure platform, DARPA is eyeing a messaging service that not only taps standard encryption used by other secure messaging services such as, WhatsApp but also communicates through a decentralized protocol like blockchain.

There is a critical DoD need to develop a secure messaging and transaction platform accessible via web browser or standalone native application, ccording to DARPA. The platform separates the message creation, from the transfer of the message within a secure courier to the reception and decryption of the message.

The messaging platform will transfer messages via a secure decentralized protocol that will be secured across multiple channels, including but not limited to:

  • Transport protocol
  • Encryption of messages via various application protocols
  • Customized blockchain implementation of message deconstruction and reconstruction and decentralized ledger implementation.
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This project will happen in three phases:

PHASE I: Create a specific decentralized messaging platform built on the framework of an existing blockchain framework.

PHASE II: Develop, test and evaluate a working prototype with the following features:

  • Decentralized back end blockchain implementation
  • Data aggregation, reconstruction
  • Data transport protocol implementation
  • End user application implementation (alpha)
  • Conduct simulated MIPR transactions using the decentralized ledger
  • Allow transparent regulatory review of DoD legal findings and contracts
  • Significant reduction in time for regulatory overview of various transactions
  • Tracking of aircraft or satellites with simulated telemetry or air traffic control data
  • System Admin and Monitoring tools and engine
  • Integration of hardware or edge of network hardware components

PHASE III DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The DoD requires a secure messaging system that can provide repudiation or deniability, perfect forward and backward secrecy, time to live/self delete for messages, one time eyes only messages, a decentralized infrastructure to be resilient to cyber-attacks, and ease of use for individuals in less than ideal situations.