Elementi taggati con: matrix
Looking for a mom-and-pops-friendly IM solution
tl;dr:I'm looking for an alternative to #Whatsapp that is easy enough for my nontechie family to use. So far, #Matrix looks like the most complete solution, but seems pretty slow these days for some reason. Also, I have reasons on why I'm not 100% on choosing #XMPP this time.
What is the alternative you would recommend to mom and dad?
#CambridgeAnalytica leaks and #Facebook scandals apart, I've already been looking for an alternative to WhatsApp for many years, with the largest hurdle in this crusade definitely being the fact that my family hasn't been keen on leaving it for another app. On my side, I have the following requirements:
- End-to-end #Encryption enabled by default, or at least built into the program (native implementation, no third party plugins)
- Clients exist for at least GNU/Linux and Android platforms (more is better, but not needed)
- Support for group chats with E2EE
- Supports at least text and image transferring.
OMEMO isn't exactly a silver bullet (yet).
First off, allow me to clarify one thing: I love XMPP. I think it is a very mature and very reliable protocol, has a very diverse ecosystem of servers and clients around and has worked very well for me so far. With that said, though, the entire Go OMEMO! isn't exactly the magical crypto bullet that will save every one from surveillance. Or at least not yet.
First off, adoption of OMEMO in client applications has been slow. The only one that actually gets it right in my opinion is Conversations, but that's a phone app - a privacy nightmare. On the desktop, we have few options, and, from experience, none is mature to the point of surviving heavy usage:
- Gajim - the go-to answer everyone receives - doesn't have native support, and the OMEMO plug-in requires little-tested versions that are unstable, or link to libraries whose versions some distros like Debian and Ubuntu do not offer, even if you add the development Gajim repo.
- Profanity has at least two plug-ins for OMEMO (python and C), but they are also in the early stages of development (when I tested the python one, it didn't allow me to send messages, just receive).
- Pidgin seems to have released an OMEMO library, but given the time of the release, I doubt it's any more stable than the above.
- Dino appears to offer native support, but is still in alpha stage.
So much for requirement #2...
Enter (or not) the Matrix
So while I was busy digging for the grail, all the cool kids seemed to have switched to something called Matrix, specifically through the Riot webapp. Citing full integration over many different communication networks, I also decided to give it a try because, well, why not?
Turns out that Riot is glossy and bloated, but yes, fairly easy to use - very much like WhatsApp itself. That could be a selling point to the non-techies! And they have E2EE that apparently has been audited already. And it does fulfill all the four requirements I have. But I still am a little unsure about a few things:
- Desktop clients for Matrix are, very much like XMPP, lacking. Riot-desktop seems to be just a thin wrapper around the webapp. The weechat plugin last time I checked does not support encryption, etc.
- It is mysteriously very slow these days. It seems that this is because of people overloading a few of the already few servers around and not wishing to host more, thus resulting in a very inefficient federation and network. That wasn't the case when I first tried it two years ago. This will not help convince WhatsApp users.
Perhaps when one day OMEMO finds its way into native or mature implementations in XMPP clients, I will revisit this post and lean towards XMPP again. But so far, no single free software IM solution has been 100% satisfactory in my case, and I'm still looking for more alternatives.
What is the alternative you would recommend to mom and dad?
Use #matrix or #rocketchat
If you want a polished UI with certain group features for an organisation go to Rocket Chat else Matrix and note the client name #Riot is the best alternative out there.
* Rocket can be self hosted but not decentralised.
* Matrix is decentralised by nature and there are official debian packages.
* Riot the matrix client is on #F-Droid and doesn't connect to google messaging.
In a failed attempt to improve users personal privacy, DuckDuckGo jumps from the frying pan straight into the fire. With the motto
Google Search -> DuckDuckGo (free)I understand, that they advertise their own service here. And while I do believe, that DuckDuckGo does not cheat and keeps your searches private, as a user, one cannot prove it. In any case, one just replaces one centralised search machine with another one. Better use a decentralised service, such as meta search engine Searx.
Let's start off with the easiest one! Switching to DuckDuckGo not only keeps your searches private but also gives you extra advantages such as our bang shortcuts, handy Instant Answers, and knowing you're not trapped in a filter bubble.
Android -> iOS (paid)This is certainly the worst recommendation in their list. I had to check the date of the article, when I read this. Aprils Fool's Day? I'm certainly not a fan of Android and I'm not an Android user anymore, but going for a much more restrictive jail is just stupid. Android has at least relatively free versions, e.g. Replicant. iOS, in contrast, is a carcel with beautifully painted walls. Very high walls with perfectly styled barbed wire on top. Even the most proprietary variants of Android let you at least install free software from F-Droid.org.
The most popular alternative to Android is of course iOS, which offers easy device encryption and encrypted messaging via iMessage by default. We also have tips to increase privacy protection on your iPhone or iPad.
If you don't want to use Android anymore, like myself, better go for a free alternative, e.g. support the Librem 5 crowdfunding, or the Pyra handheld or the ZeroPhone, all three running the free Debian operating system.
Google Allo -> Signal (free)Again, they recommend to leave one centralised service for another one. And one, that even wants your phone number, otherwise you can't use it. And one, that does not yet have a decent client for Linux. There are messengers around that are federated or completely decentralised, that do not force you give them your phone number, and that have native clients for all major operating systems. My recommendation is XMPP. If you are on Linux, use e.g. Gajim, on Android the best app is probably Conversations, for iOS there is ChatSecure and so on. Alternatives to XMPP are Ring, Matrix and more recently Wire.
There are several services offering private messaging but, as we've mentioned before, Signal gets our recommendation. It offers free, end-to-end encryption for both messages and private calls. It's also recommended by Edward Snowden and renowned security expert Bruce Schneier, among others.
Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1755:
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.One should also not give up libre software, which is essential in many ways, to purchase a little perceived safety or privacy through non-free or centralised services.
#duckduckgo #google #searx #replicant #fdroid #librem5 #pyra #zerophone #debian #xmpp #gajim #conversations #chatsecure #ring #matrix #wire
Attention all Freedom Fighters!
The #LibreNetSA #Diaspora* pod has been offline for the last few days. Yes, we noticed it as well.
The problem was caused during a routine upgrade of the pod. It turns out that #Trisquel 7 did not have the new version of #OpenSSL that the new version of #Ruby required. After the upgrade failed, we were unable to rollback the changes, leaving no other option than to reimage the server.
That has been done now, and the D* pod is back online!
Notable changes: - The server is running #Debian 8.6 - We are now running the very latest version of Diaspora: Version 0.6.2.0 - We have decided to abandon the #XMPP server, and adopt #Matrix / #Riot as the primary chat system. You can find it HERE
- IF you are actively using the XMPP for chatting and find yourself dismayed at this change, please feel free to PM: /u/falgn0n
- If enough people rely on and use the XMPP for #chat, we will certainly restore it
Riot Webchat -> join the room 'LibreNetSA' (as a guest if you like, or sign up)
Your friendly neighbourhood Podmins:
Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it
#computer #simulation #world #matrix