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[liberationtech] Google Hangout the new, better skype? Was Re: Skype redux

Danny O'Brien DObrien at
Fri Dec 21 12:06:56 PST 2012

On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 07:26:44PM +0200, Nadim Kobeissi wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM, Nathan of Guardian <
> nathan at> wrote:
>     On 2012-12-21 20:22, Brian Conley wrote:
>         This is a long way of asking, is Goohke Hangout functionally better?
>         Is anything else? Or, how do we get someone to develop a convenient
>         p2p chatting tool that is also pleasurable to use?
>     I personally can't wait for Cryptocat A/V edition! Nadim, hurry up please.
>     :)
> I hear this a lot — that's a 2014 goal if there ever was one.

Somebody was asking "why do (at risk) groups use Skype", and it's worth
underlining out a couple of reasons, beyond convenient, ubiquitous,
multi-platform audio-video chat.

* Permanent, multi-user chat rooms. This is what makes Cryptocat such a
useful addition: there was a long period where activists didn't have a
known alternative to this feature that didn't fail badly (IRC over SSL?
Hard to set up, and what if one person doesn't encrypt? etc), especially
combined with:

* Live audio-visual contact as a form of authentication. The most
comprehensible threat for online text conversations is that you're just
not talking to the right person/people.

I think it's important to bear this in mind because sometimes the
discussion around Skype revolves around one-on-one videochat, and that
doesn't seem to be the dominant use in my conversations with at-risk


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