[Standards] e2e privacy for XMPP Re: RFC 3923 (e2e with S/MIME) and OpenPGP

Andreas Kuckartz a.kuckartz at ping.de
Wed Nov 20 07:50:59 UTC 2013

Carlo v. Loesch:
> Somebody wrote:
>>> In case others are not yet aware: #youbroketheinternet is not only
>>> explicitly opposed to federation but not even interested in
>>> interoperability with federated communication networks.
> I presume it is Mr Kuckartz writing, correct?

Yes, Mr v. Loesch, that is correct.

> If you want to talk to people on Google use whatever tools
> you want to use - don't mix it up with a system that is supposed to
> give you completely different degree of privacy - and uses completely
> different technology to achieve that - so there is no technological
> advantage in supporting XMPP or SMTP anyway. It would be an add-on
> that breaks user expectations. No good.

One expectation of users is that they can continue to communicate with
other people without much hassle. In some cases this is impossible to
implement because terms of services of some proprietary platforms do not
allow this. One reason for those ToS is to prevent alternatives from
amplifying their network effects. Alternatives which are deliberately
preventing users from communicating severely weakens network-effects
which otherwise could work in favor of new technologies.

If #youbroketheinternet is becoming somewhat successful then such
"add-ons" will be created so it would be better to plan for that now.
That #youbroketheinternet is not interested in that is a flaw in the
concept and not in the interest of users.

> But if you look at the http://youbroketheinternet.org/map you can see
> several federation technologies in the upper right corner. Why?
> Because their expertise at designing web interfaces for social
> networking is still very welcome. We just need to replace the
> networking engine underneath. Hey, it even mentions Buddycloud.

Yes, I had suggested to include buddycloud and Jitsi. But that was not
simply because of their user interface but because they are using
federated protocols and that including those projects would amplify
network effects.

> They just need to see that XMPP is not the future neither for the
> necessary privacy nor for the necessary scalability to achieve what
> they intend to achieve: be a serious competition to Facebook.

If that were the aim of buddycloud then restricting the social
connections of users to those using #youbroketheinternet would be
counter-productive and a guarantee for failure.

> No, I think it's in a wrong assumption of the federation principle,
> that you can trust your university, your company or your boyfriend
> better. Most people don't have any reason to trust anyone, so they
> pick what is likely to have the least interest in them personally -
> that's usually a large silo offering.

In companies and other organisations it is usually those organisations
deciding such questions and not the individual. And that is also true
for smaller groups such as this mailing list using SMTP.

> But history repeats itself. When the first cars were developed, 90% of
> the engineers where probably focused on refining the efficiency of
> horse carriages.

Motorized cars used the same road network as the horse carriages. People
using the new vehicles were not limited regarding the set of places they
could drive to by requiring them to use a new non-existing road network.
The roads used by both cars and horse carriages were improved and only a
long time later horse carriages were no longer allowed on many roads.


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