@jerry @Aaron@boringpeople.org what we really need is a way to securely send e-mail.
People will continue to send e-mail. There is no way this goes away antime soon. People will send sensitive stuff via e-mail.
We can spend time discussing just how exactly people should not use e-mail, or we can build a system that works.
I like the ideas behind PEP and AutoCrypt. I'd like to see them implemented in more clients.
@jerry @Aaron@boringpeople.org I mean, *clearly* neither the approach of "don't use e-mail for sensitive stuff", nor the current implementations of PGP/GPG for e-mail work well enough.
@jerry @rysiek @Aaron
I have a feeling that right now, SMTP has the biggest adoption of all federated messagning protocols, and the second place is far far behind. Of all the new communication protocols I've seen recently, they're either popular, or federated, not both. And trying to get your new protocol adopted not just by people for their private communications, but also by companies, govts, and orgs for their internal and external communication is going to be extremely hard.
BitTorrent is not exactly a "messaging" protocol, but got immensely popular.
FireChat, a p2p messaging app, got very popular during protests in Romania. Sadly it's proprietary, so I'd stay far away from it.
Briar doesn't need any introduction in this group, methinks, but is not popular at all... yet.
But, messaging and e-mail are two different things. It's not just about sending the message. It's about the infra around it.
@rysiek @jerry @Aaron
Maybe we mean different things by messaging.
IMO email is a messaging protocol, but one with certain interesting properties:
- allows you to send very long messages, with attachments, after preparing and proof-reading the whole thing
- is a de-facto standard for official online communication, incl. official documents
- everyone has it
@Wolf480pl @jerry @Aaron@boringpeople.org exectamente! But we have to be explicit about what we're talking about (incidentally, anyone who heard me talk in private about infosec and internet messaging knows just *how* explicit I get, but I digress).
The last two of your points is what I meant by "infra around it". That's the hard part. The network effect.
But we have a head start since SMTP is an open standard.
It's freesoftware with multiple GUIs, and is quite similar to Briar. Except they do allow adding remote contacts (though sharing the pubkeyhashes to do so may not be practical for most), and they've made superficially different protocol decisions.
At the same time I don't know what I'd recommend instead. I like the freesoftware p2p, but Briar doesn't appear to fit my usecase (besides I'd prefer a smaller codebase to audit, it looks quite bloated).
Maybe I'll lean more on Matrix or XMPP? But then a loose the metadata encryption I'd love to play with.
Also RetroShare seems interesting, but also bloated.
I am not concerned about Briar's codebase. People working on it are as solid as they come, and Briar went through an audit already. More problematic is the model of establishing contact, which requires physical presence or a common friend. I like how secure it is, but I understand how annoying it might be at times.
For me personally Briar looks good.
@rysiek @alcinnz @jerry @Aaron
I'm not a fan of Matrix. From what I've heard, they have a terrible server implementation, and nobody else tries to make their own implementation because Matrix changes the s2s protocol too often.
Also, I've heard there's a thing called Secure Scuttlebutt, haven't looked into it, but it may be relevant here.
@Wolf480pl @rysiek @jerry @Aaron I do kind-of have questions about Matrix. From a distance it kind-of looks like they decided to reimplement XMPP with the latest fashion of JSON. And I still have to explore it's encryption situation.
As for SSB I'm starting to look into it, particularly with Git-SSB. And from what I've seen, the tech looks very elegant when dealing with group comms or reliability despite the clients. Though again I have to look at the encryption again.
First off I'm aware that the routing metadata is quite sensitive information, and am keen on seeing ways to encrypt it.
And second while I by no means think everything should be p2p, I do think messaging should be. This comes down to a concern that unless given a practical reason otherwise I worry everyone will use the same server.
I like the approach of Briar and Ricochet, i.e. going via the Tor network. That's a good start. And with the improvements in the speed of hidden services lately potentially makes it possible to even have audio/video calls.
As for the personal auditing, it's something I like to make a habit of. Not that I seriously trust myself to catch many or any issues, but nor do I trust enough auditing is done. And I be no means trust myself with auditting crypto, the most I really can do is say "yeah, that kinda looks like crypto". I'm glad you trust the devs.
@Wolf480pl @rysiek @Aaron having said that, I look at my kids (late teens) and realize that email will likely be relegated to inter and intra corporation communications. I’m not saying this is a good thing, mind you, because I don’t think replacing email with a series of Snapchat pictures is the most ideal solution, either.
@rysiek @Wolf480pl @Aaron true. Email itself is becoming rapidly less federated. It’s becoming increasingly more painful to run a mail server (I speak from much experience) and it’s all moving to just a few providers (google, MS, etc). Point is, I think we’re moving to that walled garden even with smtp.
@jerry @rysiek @Wolf480pl @Aaron Interesting discussion! And I recently tooted a thread about a different angle on why so many people are so attracted to these centralised e-mail and other services. It's accessibility for people with disabilities, non-tech users etc. These big companies usually have much better resources to make things usable for a broader audience. See my thread here: https://toot.cafe/@marcozehe/100032643360174880
@Wolf480pl @jerry @rysiek @Aaron I feel like just one "killer" app would speed the adoption quite a bit. Like if Slack was federated similarly to Matrix.org - people would just use Slack and in the process prop up the new protocol. Like most people don't realize they're using federation when they email someone on a different provider, but they do. Problem is, email's primary incentive wasn't profit, in this VC-funded age it is, so Slack has no incentive to adopt an open, federated protocol.
@bobjonkman Slack doesn't actually XMPP. AFAIK they never used XMPP internally, and recently they shut down their XMPP and IRC gateways.
@jerry @Aaron @rysiek People have sent sensitive stuff in the mail for ages. The security problems with that - especially between nation states and individuals - have mostly been mitigated by legal frameworks (privacy of correspondence), and not with technology. In that regard, the mindset of the Declaration of the Independence of the Cyberspace has probably been quite harmful - solving similar problems using tech turns out way more expensive.
@galaxis @jerry @Aaron@boringpeople.org been doing privacy activism in an EU country for about a decade and I can tell you one thing: the fact that breaking certain encryption is impossible makes it helluva lot easier to argue in defense of legal protections of privacy of correspondence.
Plus, legal protections in places like Belarus are not a thing.
We need both. Legal and tech.
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