[Standards] OTR

Ralph Meijer ralphm at ik.nu
Tue Feb 3 13:22:33 UTC 2015

On 2015-02-03 12:52, Carlo v. Loesch wrote:
> If you're interested in looking beyond the XMPP bowl there has been
> very similar discussion in the post-XMPP "messaging" list:
> https://moderncrypto.org/mail-archive/messaging/2015/001309.html
>     "Multiple devices and key synchronization"
> https://moderncrypto.org/mail-archive/messaging/2015/001354.html
>     "Key rotation"
> On Tue, Feb 03, 2015 at 11:07:40AM +0100, Winfried Tilanus wrote:
>> https://github.com/winfried/XMPP-OTR
> I think the XMPP/OTR/Tor combination is what people are using *today*
> because you have to start somewhere and the other options (TorChat or
> Retroshare via Tor) aren't as mature.
> Yet I think the XMPP community should REALLY REALLY acknowledge
> that the metadata issue IS more important than the forward secrecy
> aspect and that applying a bit of Tor on the way to the server
> is NOT a sufficient solution.

Hi Carlo,

I think everyone in our community knows that XMPP, as currently
designed, has no simple mechanism to obscure who's communicating with
whom. Going into more detail, federation as in e-mail or XMPP has this
problem in both extremes: if everyone is running their own server
(instead of a cloud service that could be compromised by a government
agency), the number of people associated with such a server is likely to
be low, making it easier to find out who's behind it.

However, that is just one threat model, one that someone may or may not
find important enough to fix. Efforts to address other threat models
(like secrecy of messages themselves) are not suddenly worthless if you
can't hide who's communicating. Also, documenting current practise still
seems a great idea, to me.


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