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Aether aims to be a Reddit for the privacy-conscious

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QWERTY keyboard Mac stock (1020)
QWERTY keyboard Mac stock (1020)

Anonymity on the web was once a natural and easily secured condition for its browsers, but recent trends have tended to undermine it. From Google demanding a G+ account to comment on YouTube videos to the NSA snooping on everything and everyone, keeping oneself to oneself has grown increasingly arduous.

Aether is a new app that wants to help restore some privacy to your online activities. Available for Mac and Windows, it's an anonymized, encrypted network that lets people share content without worrying about who might be watching over their digital shoulder. Usernames are not unique, nobody is to be trusted or in any other way distinguished from the rest, and moderation is done purely by users voting stories up and down.

A place where nobody knows your name

You can tailor content by selecting the topics you're interested in and there's of course a "Most Popular" landing page where the stories with the most upvotes reside. As it is today, Aether looks barren and unexciting, but it has a clean design and an appealing concept that could drive it to be legitimately useful once more people start using it.

Developer Burak Nehbit tells The Verge that development and refinement of Aether is ongoing — describing its current state as "very much alpha level code" — and he's collecting user feedback to inform the future direction of his work. Moreover, he stresses that "nobody should ever be trusting of its anonymity right now," noting that there are probably holes that can be exploited.