they don’t really have much of a choice if they want to steer clear of massive data breaches, while maintaining usability for a large userbase


tl;dr: no they don’t. They adopt a non-externally federated fork :-/


I guess it’s OK. I mean, I expect the internal healthcare message system of an entire nation will be NOT federated with any external server. I think they (imho reasonably) don’t need and don’t want any kind of external federation. This is a good thing anyway, they are dropping proprietary and centralized protocols to something further controllable and completely modifiable. A fork where expected, of course, according to internal needs; imho the only thing that’s important is staying FLOSS


yes and no…

The problem with this approach is that for their internal users it will be “just another messenger”, and when a new government comes along they might just decide to switch to MS Teams etc. (after some concentrated lobbying effort).

Furthermore by opting for a silo like that, it will have no effect on other government departments or the general use by doctors for their professional communication maybe even with patients.

If they had opted for an open federation approach, then various synergetic effects would have cumulated over time and thus made sure that they would be invested in an open solution and not just switch away again after Microsoft promises some freebies.


Is the protocol used no longer Matrix due to the more extensive credential verification steps?


Idk… but even if this is still internally 100% the Matrix protocol, it is basically irrelevant to the Matrix federation.

WhatsApp and Zoom are also non-federating XMPP forks and there really isn’t anything great about that either.

The only thing this is “good” for is driving up the perceived value for the venture capital investors that currently fund Element/New Vector.


It is good because it may finally get German healthcare systems to stop relying on fax. It’s still very different from WhatsApp or Zoom, because as I understand it won’t just be one huge central Matrix Server but rather an internal federation between various providers and maybe even servers self hosted by the hospitals. It’s similar to the French administration or the German Army having their internal federations (I think the French actually have a public instance so citizens can contact them). Why should your internal comms be federated to the public? That’s an unnecessary security risk


It will not stop them from relying on fax. That is a legal issue in Germany. Fax is recognized as a legal form of communication like snail-mail letters, while email or messenger is not.

And anyways, they need an externally accessible database system for reporting infectious disease case-loads, not a messenger.

Running it on open federation is a very low additional security risk (some fishing maybe?) compared to the synergetic effects that might have. Look at the examples you mentioned above… some of them are a few years old already and did they have any relevant effect on the broader government or the general public? AFAIK no.

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