• kbal@kbin.melroy.org
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    4 months ago

    Well, she’s not wrong that we need more influential people fighting back against this latest push in the global coordinated effort to put an end to communications privacy. It’s really quite alarming how little attention it seems to get most of the time. Civil society seemed much more robust when it fought off similar attacks in the 1990s. I do hope that the “VC community” isn’t our only hope.

    But of course Signal can’t interoperate with another messaging platform, without them raising their privacy bar significantly

    Signal is supposed to be free software. You could probably manage to interoperate at least with other operators of actual Signal-Server instances, if you wanted to.

    • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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      4 months ago

      The problem with trying to be compatible with everything is that no one can agree on what a good protocol should be. Trying to force apps to work together is problematic as you end up creating a large attack surface.

      I appreciated what they want to do but the GDPR has kind of gone over the top in my opinion.

    • LWD@lemm.ee
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      4 months ago

      There’s already something like this and it’s called SimpleX. Messages are sent through relays and a very familiar form of ratcheting encryption is used.

      It’s still in its infancy, but anyone can run and use their own relay.

      • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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        4 months ago

        Simplex is a great example of why trying to force apps to work with each over is bad for a number of reasons.

        Simplex chat would be massively compromised as a messager if it was required to work with Telegram. Imagine the amount of spam you would get if nothing else.

    • haui@lemmy.giftedmc.com
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      4 months ago

      I run a matrix server that interoperates with signal, whatsapp and discord so people who need to use those platforms are able to use one app instead of three and also keep their info private.

      • LWD@lemm.ee
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        4 months ago

        How’s that keep people’s info private? Every Signal-Matrix integration I’ve seen decrypts the data and just holds it unencrypted on a server.

        • haui@lemmy.giftedmc.com
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          4 months ago

          I‘m talking about apps like discord or whatsapp that have a lot of info on you when you open them. The open source clients are a lot less data hungry afaik.

          But yes, the encryption between the apps is not seamless so you‘d need to activate encryption again for this if you want it.

          • LWD@lemm.ee
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            4 months ago

            Maybe. If you communicate on Matrix with someone who is bridged from Discord, you have now given Matrix data to Discord and Discord data to Matrix. Which isn’t great for privacy at all.

            Granted, I guess you don’t have to use the Discord app at that point, but the extra data is a server-side treasure trove regardless.

            • haui@lemmy.giftedmc.com
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              4 months ago

              I dont know where you got that info from but afaik the most data collection is automated and does not include manually sifting through stuff. Having a discord bot does not give discord the info from a persons matrix account. Its the persons decision if they want to name the matrix account the same (which they shouldnt).

              • LWD@lemm.ee
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                4 months ago

                Well, it’s not all your Matrix data, but if you don’t trust Discord with writing an app that runs client-side, I’m not sure why it’s helpful to trust them with holding onto your conversions with other Discord users either…

                I’ve also run a Matrix server and I can tell you from experience… You shouldn’t trust me with your conversations. Even if I was a good friend, I’m definitely not a security professional!

                • haui@lemmy.giftedmc.com
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                  4 months ago

                  Well, I‘m not a security professional but an admin. Keeping people out of your matrix chats isnt that hard if you follow some standard procedure.

                  Sending 1000 texts to discord through matrix is a lot different than having 1000 texts and all photos, geo coding, contacts and microphone accessible.

    • honk@feddit.de
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      4 months ago

      free software doesn’t necessarily mean federating with other services.

      They have stated their reasons why they don’t wanna do it. You might disagree with them or not. But the technology they built is still open. Anybody could take what they created and use it as a foundation that does federate.

    • turkishdelight@lemmy.ml
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      4 months ago

      I have been disappointed by signal so much that I’m not suprised by this. There is no legitimate justification to why they don’t distribute on F-Driod.

    • Dehydrated@lemmy.worldOP
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      4 months ago

      Signal doesn’t “heavily use Google services”. They only use proprietary libraries and integrations for 2 purposes: Donations and push notifications. Signal uses the platform’s native way of handling push notifications, on iOS it’s APNs and on Android it’s FCM. This is also the reason why it’s not available on F-Droid. You can use a fork of the app like Signal-FOSS or Molly. These remove all proprietary dependencies and you can download them from their custom F-Droid repositories.

      • geoma@lemmy.ml
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        4 months ago

        Molly is wonderful but I use signal-foss because it shares openstreetmap location by default 🤩

            • Dehydrated@lemmy.worldOP
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              4 months ago

              Have you tried out Molly? If yes, did you use the normal version or the FOSS build? Btw the Version available on Accrescent is also FOSS

              • geoma@lemmy.ml
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                4 months ago

                I have used it (molly-foss)but haven’t in a while, just waiting for it to enable OSM location sharing to switch back to it. Didn’t know about accrescent. What’s the deal about it compared to droidify or f-droid?

                • Dehydrated@lemmy.worldOP
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                  4 months ago

                  It’s more secure than F-Droid. It’s still in a pretty early stage of development though and currently only offers a handful of apps.

                  • App signing key pinning: first-time app installs are verified so you don’t have to TOFU.
                  • Signed repository metadata: repository contents are protected against malicious tampering.
                  • Automatic, unattended, unprivileged updates (Android 12+): updates are handled seamlessly without relying on privileged OS integration.
                  • First-class support for split APKs: downloaded APKs are optimized for your device to save bandwidth.
                  • No remote APK signing: developers are in full control of their app signing keys.
              • roguetrick@lemmy.world
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                4 months ago

                Have you tried out Molly?

                Nah, I get hypomania from buproprin. I think ecstacy would put me straight into serotonin syndrome.

        • Buddahriffic@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          I have to be misunderstanding what you’re saying because it sounds like you’re happy that app shares your location by default? Or do you mean it uses that format by default when you decide to share a location?

          • geoma@lemmy.ml
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            4 months ago

            I meant that it uses the OSM “format” when I decide to share it voluntarily. That totally makes sense for me. I don’t want to be sharing no Google links.

    • Unreliable@lemmy.ml
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      4 months ago

      There are several Signal forks on f-droid that remove the need for Google services iirc.

    • onlooker@lemmy.ml
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      4 months ago

      To answer your second question: they advertise Signal as a secure and private messenger, so heavily using Google services would be kind of counter-productive. To answer your first question: here.

    • Possibly linux@lemmy.zip
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      4 months ago

      Because they don’t seem to care about free software I guess

      You can use Molly if you want more freedom. I do wish that Signal would build in orbot to avoid censorship.

        • banneryear1868@lemmy.world
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          4 months ago

          The whitepaper explains it in detail. Closed source doesn’t mean worse by default. In a lot of cases the opposite since professionals were hired and paid for their work and the company thinks they have an edge on the competition. Open source is more of a grab bag. Commercial use of open source is plagued by abandoned projects and lack of support obligations, even though it might be better in certain instances.

          • Huschke@lemmy.world
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            4 months ago

            Closed source does mean it’s worse by default because we can’t verify what the app does. The only things we really know about Whatsapp are:

            1. Meta is scanning your texts before the message is sent. Back when I last used it you could easily verify this by typing a url and having the app underline the url for you.

            2. Meta is collecting an enormous amount of Metadata. This can also be verified by checking the permissions the app has and by various people that have monitored the background activity of the app.

            3. Meta is using the Signal protocol to send the message. However, as previously explained this means nothing because they already scanned the message prior to sending it.

            So with no way to look at the code we have to assume that Meta is collecting and storing the messages and their metadata.

            • banneryear1868@lemmy.world
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              4 months ago

              Most industry standard software that people use in their jobs is closed source. When you watch movies or listen to music or play video games you’re supporting proprietary software. Same with finance and basically any office job. Niche IT jobs are the exception but I’ve been in enterprise IT for 20 years and this is just how it is in a capitalist economy. I’d prefer for public ownership of technology platforms but it’s basically reduced to a consumption model within the current system. Like the platforms people consume media through isn’t very significant, which the open source community puts a lot of ideological importance on. Most open source projects are also abandoned and become obsolete too quickly. I’ve basically been relying on the same set of proprietary Adobe software for part of my income since the 90s, can’t name an open source alternative that does what I need it to do or has this longevity even though I’d prefer it.

              Btw a way you can verify the security of a chat app is by reading case docs from law enforcement about what’s required to obtain communications through said platform. With whatsapp the closest they can get to message content is by retreiving cache from the iPhone chatsearch database, and metadata from WhatsApp about who sent a message to whom and when but not the message contents. Retrieval of WhatApp messages through proprietary security forensics software is limited to how certain phone models and OSs locally cache messages basically. This applies to different platforms the same way though and isn’t something special about WhatsApp or Meta. The unique thing to Meta is how quickly they respond to law enforcement requests about metadata collection.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
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    4 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    AI is “not open in any sense,” the battle over encryption is far from won, and Signal’s principled (and uncompromising) approach may complicate interoperability efforts, warned the company’s president, Meredith Whittaker.

    “We’re seeing a number of, I would say, parochial and very politically motivated pieces of legislation often indexed on the idea of protecting children And these have been used to push for something that’s actually a very old wish of security services, governments autocrats, which is to systematically backdoor strong encryption,” said Whittaker.

    ” ‘Accountability’ looks like more monitors, more oversights, more backdoors, more elimination of places where people can express or communicate freely, instead of actually checking on the business models that have created, you know, massive platforms whose surveillance advertising modalities can be easily weaponized for information ops, or doxing, or whatever it is, right?

    One specific such proposal is comes via the Investigatory Powers Act in the United Kingdom, under which the government there threatens to prevent any app updates — globally — that it deems a threat to its national security.

    “And honestly,” she added, “I think we need the VC community, and the larger tech companies more involved in naming what a threat this is to the industry, and pushing back.”

    But of course Signal can’t interoperate with another messaging platform, without them raising their privacy bar significantly,” even ones like WhatsApp that support end-to-end encryption and already partly utilize the protocol.


    The original article contains 1,027 words, the summary contains 238 words. Saved 77%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!