General

What is Tungsten?

Tungsten is a cross-platform secure messaging app that enables you to have secure and anonymous conversations.

Who is it for?

Tungsten is for anyone who wants to maintain a high level of privacy and anonymity when communicating while still enjoying usability as offered by popular, non-secure products.

How is it different from other “secure” messaging apps?

Tungsten takes additional steps that make it more secure than others, including:

  • No phone number is required to register.
  • Chat anonymously with Tor embedded into the app.
  • Have multiple personas which are active at the same time. This way you can choose how you want to be represented depending on who you are talking with. (You can also think of this as a “burner” identity, similar to a burner phone number.) For example, when chatting with work colleagues you use your real name. On other occasions, you could use a pseudonym, protecting your true identity.
  • End-to-end encryption syncing across multiple devices.
  • Optional Magic pins. When you activate these pins, you can hide personas that you don’t want to expose. For example, if you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to open Tungsten, using the Hide pin will only show your public persona. All your anonymous personas will remain hidden until you enter your real pin again

Can I use Tungsten on my device?

Tungsten is currently available on:

  • Native iOS
  • Native Android application

Soon private beta for native MacOS application will start.

In the future, we will also be releasing

  • A Windows application
  • Linux application

How do you make money?

In the near future we will offer a paid version of Tungsten which will generate revenue for the company. The goal of our company is to create a sustainable, secure communication platform that can exist independently.

Could you decrypt my messages, for example if you were required to by law enforcement?

No, this is impossible for us.

What does Tungsten do with my personal information?

The only unencrypted data stored on Tungsten servers is:

  • User display name
  • Username
  • Phone number (if provided)
  • Uploaded avatar picture (if provided)
  • Conversation name and avatar (we will get rid of this in the future)

We only use the data for operating the system, we will never share, rent, or sell your personal data with third parties.

Can anyone read the messages I send on Tungsten?

No, only the intended recipients can read the messages.

My phone was lost or stolen. Can Tungsten somehow recover my account data and conversations, and send it to me?

No, we do not store conversation history on our servers once the messages have been delivered. Also messages are always encrypted for and from your device, so if you lost it you will need to recover from a backup (which we do not have access to).

If I delete a conversation, is it deleted on both devices?

No, once a message is sent to a device, we cannot delete it after the fact, as we do not have access to it.

What’s the deal with anonymous personas?

Core to Tungsten is the idea that you can assume any identity you want on the app. Most messengers make you sign up with really personal information, like your email address or phone number, and your real name – not Tungsten. With Tungsten you can sign up with username you’d like, and you never have to reveal your phone number or email address if you don’t want to.

Of course, we want Tungsten to be the messenger that you can use every day, so you can create a profile that’s associated with your real phone number, so your friends can easily connect with you, but it’s not required.

How much more secure are anonymous personas?

When you set up an anonymous personal you aren’t connected any personally identifying information to Tungsten, including metadata such as your IP address. The reason for this is that Tungsten routes traffic via Tor’s network when you set up an anonymous personas. This means that your IP address is masked, and so it’s nearly impossible for anyone to track you.

Why are notifications for Anonymous Personas delayed?

Messages sent via anonymous personas are encrypted by TOR. Because of this, we cannot use Apple’s push notification service, since that would exposure your real IP address. Instead we periodically check for new messages.

Since anonymous personas conceal your true identity via the TOR network

  • They cannot use Apple Push notifications as that would allow to match your anonymous persona with your real IP address.
  • Anonymous personas therefore check periodically for new messages and notify you.

Why do Anonymous Personas take longer to connect?

Establishing a connection via TOR can take longer, especially if your network connection is slow to begin with. This is because Tor relays traffic by bouncing through volunteers' computers in various parts of the world, and some bottlenecks and network latency will always be present. You will see the profile avatar blinking when it tries to connect your persona-

Why verify devices?

By verifying your contact’s device, you increase the security of your conversations to the highest level. Since each device has a unique fingerprint, you can compare fingerprints and verify the other. When you verify all devices of your contact, you are sure that no one is eavesdropping on your conversation. In case someone steals your contact’s credentials and logs in into Tungsten, this new device will show up as unverified.

Why can't I sync my persona to a device?

This could be due to an interruption in your connection. Always make sure to have Bluetooth enabled and to have compatible Tungsten versions on both devices.