Because the chat app doesn't encrypt conversations by default—or at all for group chats—security professionals often warn against it.
@TheAnonymouseJoker
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Those who say that above do not understand what OPSEC means, and the difference between privacy, security and anonymity.

There exists no WhatsApp replacement, realistically. Why? Because of network effect and a lack of pro privacy culture.

We (not me) as individuals try to think of privacy and all this stuff as a hype bandwagon, and not a revolutionary constant effort to change society. Human rights are not fought for with hyping it, but are groundbreaking and revolutionary, which is why so many corporations and governments see taking away those as a way to nerf your power.

Telegram provides privacy and anonymity, perhaps not encrypted security. And for what it is (open public groups) it may be just fine. It has carved a niche of its own just like Discord, which only has anonymity.

Signal has privacy and security but no anonymity. And its only purpose is being a personal WhatsApp replacement, nothing else. WhatsApp is deeprooted into the masses in Asia, EU and South America. And it has a wide web casted over public contact reach for most people.

ugh... lo!
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Did you hear about Matrix.org? You can use it yourself and chat with non-privacy-concerned friends via bridges to other messengers.

I concidered it as best available solution/tradeoff for myself

@TheAnonymouseJoker
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I use XMPP, Element (Matrix) and when it was Riot.im, Retroshare, Briar, Telegram, Discord, WhatsApp and Signal and know about all that stuff first hand.

My point is something else, and no, network effect simply means I will be stuck with WhatsApp, sandboxed in Work Profile.

@oriond
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For some reason I don’t trust Signal any more. Matrix is my go to app when I want privacy

@PureTryOut
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Completely agree, I dislike everybody switching to Signal (although it’s of course at least better than WhatsApp). Matrix is the final solution.

@je_vv
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I’ve been reading Matrix is not as safe either, if you don’t self host that is, given how much metadata it leaks… I’m no longer endorsing Signal, but Telegram has been no go for me for a while, :)

Helix
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You can reduce the amount of metadata. They are also trying to make it possible to send messages via IPFS or p2p/TOR. Maybe it will be possible to have proper TOR federation soon.

via IPFS, are you sure?

Helix
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Yes, they experiment with it from time to time: https://github.com/ipfs/notes/issues/42

As far as I understand it is the nature of federated (non peer to peer) protocols that they exchange (a lot of) metadata. Don’t know if xmpp has the same issues.

poVoq
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Much less so as XMPP does not replicate room state on federated servers. This is a feature of Matrix that is the basis of their very specific way of doing decentralized chat rooms, but it comes at a high metadata leaking cost.

@oriond
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I self host my matrix so no problem there

poVoq
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If you connect to other Matrix servers or have people connecting to your home server from another instance large parts of your database will be automatically replicated on those servers. Furthermore unless you also self-host the identity services (by default those are on the official centralized servers) you are also leaking a lot of contact data. (None of this happens if you self-host XMPP)

@oriond
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Ok it all depends on what you need. having your data replicated in other servers can be seen as a feature as well as a downside. I guess if you want all the privacy / security you need to go with

Briar

  • End to End Encrypted
  • No central Server
  • Goes through the Tor Network.
  • Group Chats available

or

Jami

  • End to End Encrypted
  • No central Server
  • Group chats available? (not sure, I think not)
  • But Drops a lot of messages :( .
@nutomic
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It really depends on your threat model. If you trust the US government, or trust that they wont be able to insert backdoors into Signal, then by all means go for it. Personally I dont believe that, so I wont use Signal.

@null_radix
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would you trust/use signal-foss if you could build it from source?

@nutomic
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No, because as @ksynwa@lemmy.ml mentions that is only the client. The server is still being developed and hosted by an entity in the USA, with no possiblity to selfhost. And that matters because the server gets to see a lot of metadata, which is the most important data for NSA etc, based on the Snowden leaks.

@ksynwa
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Is that a client or the server?

@je_vv
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BTW, there’s also molly client. And there’s axolotl… I don’t see the issue with Signal are the clients at all

@ajz
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deleted by creator

GadgeteerZA
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Not true to say group chats are not encrypted. They may not be end-to-end decrypted, but they are encrypted as far as ordinary users go. The plus for Telegram is that they have endured multiple government bans and not handed any data over, they’re not hosted in USA or India, and the encryption keys are not stored with the servers or devs themselves.

“According to the official Telegram FAQ section, the app features two layers of secure encryption. Private and group cloud chats support server to client encryption, while secret chats benefit from client to client encryption. Every single bit of data is treated the same way in the process, which means that text, files, and media alike are encrypted equally.”

Dreeg Ocedam
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they are encrypted as far as ordinary users go

Telegram just does TLS encryption to the servers, and they probably do encryption at rest for their database (though we can never know because the backend is proprietary), which is literally the bare minimum any service need to do. The Telegram devs can still read every one of your messages, while FB employes can’t for What’sApp.

It is an improvement in the sense that you are away from surveillance capitalism (though you can’t know for how long, the backend is proprietary, and the App itself “open source” in the sense that they just dump the code every release, but no discussion is public and the commit history is squashed. And Telegram is backed by a for profit that doesn’t have a business model.

Use Signal, or Matrix or XMPP, but seriously think twice before using telegram.

@Echedenyan
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There were reports which I read from Telegram FOSS in which client was updated but the source code not released sometimes, or just intermediate versions were not released in source code form.

Dreeg Ocedam
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If you look at the repo it’s full of commits “update to <version>”. With a total of 400 commits, it’s just a code dump, not an open source app.

@Echedenyan
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Sorry, I didn’t explain myself correctly because I guessed some things.

First, I was adding content to your post, not replacing nor discussing it. Second, with “Telegram FOSS” I am speaking about the Telegram FOSS project in https://f-droid.org/es/packages/org.telegram.messenger/ and https://f-droid.org/es/packages/org.telegram.messenger/

In addition, I forgot to mention that Telegram Android client includes non-Free software as dependency for some main features as the notifications and the maps.

@je_vv
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That’s misleading. TG aside, not being e2ee means any admin, or any onyone gaining access to the servers can spy on conversations, can setup bots or AI harvesting data and so on… So you’d be relying on your trust for how the company manages your data, and that its security won’t ever get broken, if you don’t have e2ee…

If they were public groups, then there’s no issue, but that’s not the case…

About what the companies say about themselves, ohh well, again, you’re just trusting they do what they claim, and as mentioned, it’s not just how honest they are. In reality there’s no 100% secure server, so even if you as the company won’t harvest users data, how can you ensure users you won’t ever get hacked, or your security broken? That’s why e2ee for private communication is really important…

@DefNotPizza
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Ok, TG doesn’t encrypt group chats, but what’s the problem exactly? It’s open source and their TOS is far shorter than Zuck’s apps. I think it’s still a great alternative to W.A. for the clean UI, light and stable, It’s just another alternative to w.a. like discord, matrix or signal.

Dreeg Ocedam
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open source

Not really, they just dump the code without any public discussion on their repos and erase the commit history. Also the backend isn’t open source…

@airikr
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Telegram encrypts everything by default (groups included), so I don’t find that article trustworthy. They say bounch of things without linking to the sources of the claims. I trust Telegram more than an article that almost saying that Telegram are lying to their users with no evidence to support their claims.

MTProto are not open sourced yet, so where is the proof that Telegram only encrypt your data in transit? Show me evidence about this from a trustworthy source that also includes sources and I will be sceptic.

My proofs: https://telegram.org/faq#q-so-how-do-you-encrypt-data https://telegram.org/faq#q-do-you-process-data-requests

riccardo
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where is the proof that Telegram only encrypt your data in transit?

Telegram does encrypt your group chats only in transit and the source is exactly the FAQ you linked:

We support two layers of secure encryption. Server-client encryption is used in Cloud Chats (private and group chats), Secret Chats use an additional layer of client-client encryption.

server-client encryption implies that group chats are encrypted in transit only. Also this is an article from Durov saying this:

the encryption is the same in both cases, but in cloud chats our servers do have access to the encryption key

Anyway it’s widely implied in the FAQ that non-secret chats are encrypted in traffic only, see also this FAQ. The fact that they say that they can’t access your messages only when the chat is e2e encrypted (=secret chats) implies everything else can be accessed by whoever run their infrastructure (which luckily is proprietary)

If you can throw your phone with your only active Telegram session in a river, and can restore your entire chats history from a new device by logging in again to your Telegram account (provided you can receive the verification code), it means that the server can technically access your cloud chats (which is one of Telegram’s selling points)

That being said, Telegram also claims that your cloud chats data is stored encrypted on their datacenters and the encryption keys are split across them, but this can’t be verified without the backend infrastructure source-code. The burden of proof relies on them

@airikr
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Thank you for your comment with valid sources.

But think about this: if everything are only encrypted in-transit, then for what purpose does the decryption key have if it’s not going to decrypt anything since “all data are stored unencrypted”? And how do you know that server-client only applies in-transit only? All data are encrypted in-transit, yes, but how can you know that the data are not encrypted at-rest (you know, on the server)? Only Pavel + his team knows and since he is very open on how Telegram is working, he wrote the following in January this year:

It took us a few years to create the technology to instantly sync encrypted data between our datacenters and to encrypt local storage in each of them in a way that would make breaking into any data-center and seizing servers useless.

Source: https://t.me/durovschat/544164

MTProto aren’t open sourced so we can’t verify who between you and me are speaking the truth (or even Pavel himself for that matter), but I do trust Pavel after reading a lot of his texts. Hopefully Pavel will release the source code of MTProto once the Russian government are more humane (or something like that) (source).

riccardo
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since he is very open on how Telegram is working

The “very open” approach to this would be releasing the servers sourcecode, instead of stating proofless claims that can’t be verified by anyone

Hopefully Pavel will release the source code of MTProto once the Russian government are more humane

By that reasoning, they shouldn’t be releasing the clients’ sourcecode either, because it’s incredibly trivial for a government to fork the android/ios app and release their spyware telegram client in disguise and access the users’ plaintext chats without having to decrypt a single byte of data. And it’s probably what’s already happening with a good number of Iranian telegram clients. Since MTProto is not supposed to federate, I don’t even see how would a competing messaging app based on Telegram’s architecture be able stand up against Telegram’s current users base. These sound like cheap excuses. I too give Durov a good degree of trust, being a Telegram user since its early days, but I really don’t understand why they’re so precious about the servers sourcecode now that they have half a billion MAU

Edit: re-reading my post, I have to add that releasing the clients source code is way more important from a security and auditing point of view though, so my comparison is not totally fair. It’s still true though that Durov is using an hypothetical scenario to justify a choice that forbids anyone from auditing Telegram’s servers source code to verify that Durov’s claims are really legit and that their storage encryption is actually helpful against physical access attacks, which is very important for a service where the sever technically has the ability to access plaintext users data

Dreeg Ocedam
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This is crap.

No sane system administrator stores any client data unencrypted. All databases support a form of encryption at rest, and not using it is a really bad practice. Aside from private chats, Telegram encrypt just as much stuff as Messenger or Discord or any other chat service does. They are the ones with the keys and they can read all your messages.

in a way that would make breaking into any data-center and seizing servers useless

I’m going to call bullshit on that, since the chat isn’t E2EE they necessarily have access to the unencrypted messages. This is an obvious lie for anyone that knows two things about encryption. The fact that Telegram is so misleading about its encryption is really concerning.

@DefNotPizza
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but even if tg doesn’t encrypt groups like matrix, it’s still open source and with free speech in mind.

@airikr
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Telegram do encrypt group chats! And please, focus on the post in hand.

@DefNotPizza
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focus on the post in hand

What?! I’m talking about telegram, also if someone go a little bit OT isn’t a big problem. Is it?

@airikr
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Ah, yes. I am very tired today, so I’m sorry.

@soferman
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@roastpotatothief
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Do we have to choose? Can we not just bridge between different protocols, effortlessly talk with people on any of them?

To be sure, jabber is a third alternative to matrix and XMPP?

@soferman
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@roastpotatothief
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twitter wants to do that, presumably to cause confusion and decision fatigue, and drain people’s interest in activitypub.

Now I’m after hearing about Session, a third one which also sounds quite solid. But IMO they are all stillborn unless they can talk to each other seemlesly. If you have to choose a walled off network, you may as well choose what’s app.

Travis Skaalgard
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@Qgpkje4rY5s
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Their messages are routed through an onion-router that is run by people trying to earn a cryptocoin…

It’s not like I don’t like the idea to have default onion-routing for a messenger, but idk this isn’t it I believe.

@Qgpkje4rY5s
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deleted by creator

I’ll give you two reasons: Because until today everything with crypto coins has turned to shit and

because having the traffic go through paid servers only makes sure that all of them are in the cloud, you can’t have routers at home and also they might just upgrade to a router that isn’t secure if it pays more?

@Qgpkje4rY5s
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deleted by creator

Also thanks I have read their whitepaper and most info I could find on their myriad of shitty websites

I was saying what keeps someone from forking the router software, implement an option to track where to and from the connections are coming and going and paying people who use this software? Routers are already doing it for the money, why not make more money while weakening the network?

Non official community dedicated to the discussion of news, events, or anything related to the organization that focuses on recommending privacy respecting software and services.

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