@Bloodaxe
34M

I truly hope people become more aware of the good alternatives, like Signal or Matrix-based chat apps and service. Man how I wish I could just convert everyone at the flick of a switch 😑

@TheAnonymouseJoker
creator
44M

I advise Signal.

@tronk
24M

Thanks for the recommendation! I have convinced most of my friends to change over to Signal over the past couple of months! However, over at the Fediverse, I’ve seen plenty of people being critical of Signal. The criticism boils down to the fact that Signal could be federated. It could use an open standard like Matrix, or at least support connections to the Matrix protocol. It could permit forks to contact the main branch users. But instead it has very deliberately disparaged federation. I won’t get into the technical and innovation part, but I will leave this article that makes a good case for explaining the Signal centralization decision by recognizing the amount of power Signal has by deciding not to federate. In other words, it seems like the Signal guy doesn’t want to lose his power. Element and any other Matrix-based client or server do not have this problem.

This is not to say that we should stop using Signal entirely. After all, your messages are indeed encrypted and we have guarantees that the client-side software is what it is.

GadgeteerZA
1
edit-2
2M

And Signal still insists on your phone number for registration, and then shares it to any of your contacts (unlike Telegram who gives you the option to hide it). Signal is US based whilst many others are not. I’m not saying Telegram is better (unless you;'ve activated secret chats) but the better ones like Threema, Jami, XMPP, Matrix, and similar are just not the one’s we’re going to see adopted mainstream. Matrix is complicated for average users.

It’s pretty well much a race between WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram as far as ‘popularity’ goes.

@TheAnonymouseJoker
creator
24M

There are a good number of criticisms popping up, which I am able to observe, like:

  • use of Cloudflare, and Google and AWS servers for storage of messages
  • non federation of use of Signal (I can partially see the point because of the mess XMPP has been for the past 2 decades, only handful clients are worth using, and Signal wants to be an app for masses that just works)
  • Moxie’s attitude towards federation itself as a practice in FLOSS culture

Matrix, despite being technically federated, has almost all of its users on matrix.org server. This is what happens with federation usually. XMPP and IRC are free of people like Moxie, but also without reliable easy-to-use clients with E2EE, and without lack of grants and fundings like Signal got from Acton.

These are problems that go beyond fruitful conclusions, pushing for bipartisan choices between easy-to-use encrypted lock-in apps and sophisticated half-baked federated apps with hard to use E2EE.

XMPP community must work on creating strong easy to use PGP E2EE clients instead. Technical folks underestimate the power of simple UX in user adoption terms. (Not to mention marketing does not have any role, since Elon Crap and Snowden pushed for Signal and it got 50 million people in a week.)

A place to discuss privacy and freedom in the digital world.

Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.

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