Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

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webfork
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Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#1 Post by webfork » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:54 pm

Some of the available options in the secure messaging space. Note that these are tools where security is the first priority, not an add-on. I'm putting this together simply because there are so many in this category and I keep needing to reference what we have available.

In the database
  • qTox - cross-platform and easy to use
  • Isotoxin - a bit more user friendly, more features, Windows only
  • Torchat - simple, anonymous
  • Retroshare - feature rich, somewhat complex setup
Discussed in forums
  • Telegram - cross platform, secure chat (requires phone number)
  • Ricochet - anonymous chat client (using Tor)
Other
  • The Wire - Uses WebRTC and OTR (untested)
Related:

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Re: Privacy-enhanced

#2 Post by smaragdus » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:39 pm

You may also include Bitmessage which has also been discussed in the forum. I am not using the current version (0.6.0) but the previous one (0.4.4) because of the GUI changes I dislike. All Windows versions of Bitmessage can be grabbed from here.

Edit
I think that GoldBug Instant Messenger which has also been discussed in the forum also belongs to this catalogue.

Edit
Toxygen which has already been discussed in the forum can also be included in your list.
Last edited by smaragdus on Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#3 Post by webfork » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:27 pm

[Moderator note: posts about Bitmessage were moved to avoid a thread hijack.]

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Re: Privacy-enhanced

#4 Post by webfork » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:32 pm

smaragdus wrote:Bitmessage
I left Bitmessage off because I was going for instant Messengers. I know that wasn't clear and I've since renamed the thread. Sorry for the confusion.

I didn't mention Goldbug just because it's really complex and that's exactly what turns people away from secure options.

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#5 Post by smaragdus » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:42 pm

@webfork
I didn't mention Goldbug just because it's really complex and that's exactly what turns people away from secure options.
Not everyone is afraid of complexity- I don't insist but you may add GoldBug Instant Messenger explaining that it is not very easy to set up. I have planned to give it a try no matter how complex it might be. Anyway, I am tired of dumbed-down software and I don't mind programs which require some efforts.

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#6 Post by webfork » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:47 pm

smaragdus wrote:I am tired of dumbed-down software and I don't mind programs which require some efforts.
Your willingness isn't the problem: it's the other person. For example, I've been using and advocating for PGP/GPG for years, even teaching a class on it once. I have multiple friends who are both security-aware and computer-savvy, and I must emphasize no one ever uses GPG for anything. I've even communicated with GPG developers who send plain text emails.

From this I've learned that unless it's simple, it just doesn't get used.
Last edited by webfork on Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (better wording)

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#7 Post by webfork » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:50 pm

Another one to add to the list: getconfide.com
The Confide messaging app is used by White House staff members to talk about the Trump administration in private, The Washington Post and Axios reported.

The reason staffers chose Confide over other secure messaging apps like Signal is that Confide erases messages as soon as they're read.

... Still, some security researchers are skeptical about Confide's cryptography bona fides, mostly because the app is not open-source like Signal and may use old protocols.
Source

Related: https://www.wired.com/2017/02/white-hou ... nfide-app/

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Re: Confide

#8 Post by smaragdus » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:04 am

About Confide- I tested it for the first time on 2017.02.17 (version 1.4.1.0, released on 2017.01.10). On the same day a new version (1.4.2.0, published on 2017.02.17- the current one) was released with no visible changes. The program is not portable- it uses one-click installer which installs in AppData without asking:

Image

and the program offers almost no customization- it cannot even be minimized to tray (a messenger, always residing in task bar is useless to me).

However Confide has a feature I have never seen- it prevents screen-shots:

Image

One can see that the Softpedia crew has used a camera to take screens of Confide:

Image

Image

Several Confide links:
web-site - https://getconfide.com/
download page - https://getconfide.com/download
faq - https://getconfide.com/faq
blog - https://blog.getconfide.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/confide
Softpedia - http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/C ... fide.shtml
MajorGeeks - http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/confide.html
AlternativeTo - https://alternativeto.net/software/confide/

I do not think I can trust a company based in the United States for private messaging.

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Edit
I edited some bad grammar.

Edit
I edited some version information.
Last edited by smaragdus on Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:42 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#9 Post by Midas » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:32 am

Not at all user friendly, if you ask me. I think I'll pass... :?

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Re: Sid

#10 Post by smaragdus » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:56 am

@Midas
Midas wrote:Not at all user friendly, if you ask me. I think I'll pass... :?
I agree. For me Sid, which is not portable either (at least it installs in Program Files- once I requested a portable version but I got no response) looks better and at least can be minimized to tray:

Image
Last edited by smaragdus on Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#11 Post by Midas » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:40 am

webfork wrote:From this I've learned that unless it's simple, it just doesn't get used.
I'll have to strongly agree with that. As I age, the will to spend countless hours tweaking anything is dwindling pretty fast.

@smaragdus: Thanks. It was only a figure of speech, though, because I am an extremely light user of anything IM...

Shame that Signal (https://whispersystems.org/) is mobile only -- with that Snowden's endorsement, it had potential to become the category killer app.

I do carry Telegram on my phone, but so far only for texting with my brother's UK Iphone -- after the Snooper's Charter, I found that giving them something to bite on would be just the charitable thing to do... :mrgreen:

BTW, apart from the two I mentioned, the following article lists WhatsApp, Wire, and Dust as alternatives.

The best messaging apps with end-to-end encryption
http://www.greenbot.com/article/3119449 ... ption.html

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#12 Post by freakazoid » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:23 am

I have both Signal and Wire on my Android device.

Wire supports both audio and video, while Signal just came out with a video beta on Android.

On the desktop, Wire is available as an Electron app or if you login via a browser, which is handy. Signal is only available as a Chrome App, and Chrome Apps are being phased out by Chrome some time this year.

Wire has been making strides security-wise. They were recently part of some security audits and Wire did quite well. Also, their server is going to be open-sourced in the next few months.
is it stealth? ;)

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#13 Post by webfork » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:23 pm

smaragdus wrote:About Confide
Thanks for doing some background work on that.

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#14 Post by smaragdus » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:15 am

@Midas
I'll have to strongly agree with that. As I age, the will to spend countless hours tweaking anything is dwindling pretty fast.
I have not seen hard to configure messengers for many years. On the contrary- messengers in general become dumber and dumber teeming with more and more abominable emoticons (emoji). Can you point at a messenger that requires a significant tweaking to make it work?
@smaragdus: Thanks. It was only a figure of speech, though, because I am an extremely light user of anything IM...
I cannot live without messengers- they are more flexible than mail when an immediate response is needed and when I need to send/receive a file.
Shame that Signal (https://whispersystems.org/) is mobile only -- with that Snowden's endorsement, it had potential to become the category killer app.
Signal has a Chrome extension. I trust no one, even Edward Snowden. Why does Signal have a potential to become a killer app? Because Snowden said so? Because "Open Whisper Systems partners with WhatsApp to provide end-to-end encryption" I will never touch it, even it becomes available for desktop (I do not have a smart phone and I will not have one until I know for sure that there is a secure mobile OS, I have read recommendations about Sailfish OS but I do not know a single person who has ever used Sailfish OS).
I do carry Telegram on my phone, but so far only for texting with my brother's UK Iphone -- after the Snooper's Charter, I found that giving them something to bite on would be just the charitable thing to do... :mrgreen:
I still have Telegram version 0.9.56 (for Windows) but I stopped updating it because with every new release it disappointed me more and more. I will keep this (0.9.56) version until it works, if it stops working I will dump it. I use Telegram with people who do not have the knowledge needed to handle something superior like a Tox client. For me LINE looks better and works better than Telegram.
BTW, apart from the two I mentioned, the following article lists WhatsApp, Wire, and Dust as alternatives.

The best messaging apps with end-to-end encryption
http://www.greenbot.com/article/3119449 ... ption.html
If someone is recommending Facebook-owned, NSA-friendly WhatsApp (what a dull name) as "The best messaging apps with end-to-end encryption", this is enough to discard the whole article.

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Re: Privacy-enhanced Instant Messaging

#15 Post by webfork » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:26 am

smaragdus wrote:Can you point at a messenger that requires a significant tweaking to make it work?
I had real trouble getting Miranda IM to work the way I thought it should. I tested it most recently with their Tox plugin and was really annoyed with the complexity. That said, I think they are distinguishing themselves from other IM tools by being so configurable.

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