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

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at
Fri Dec 21 17:31:27 PST 2012

Adam Fisk:
> I'm not entirely clear on why this is advantageous versus say Google
> Hangouts. You're likely using Google Talk servers in both cases, which is
> the central point of control no matter what. What am I missing Andrew? I
> trust Google's encryption more than I do Jitsi's, and my pretty darn
> thorough walk through the Jitsi code (granted years ago now) was a pretty
> frightening experience -- not security-wise but just code wise.

If you're trusting Google for your account/relationship data, you're not
*also* trusting them with the content of the communication when OTR
and/or ZRTP are used.

Did you find problems with the OTR or ZRTP crypto?

Most code is terrible - I consider it an improvement over Skype which
likely also has terrible code but we can't even inspect it to learn that
fact. Rather, we just learn that they wiretap and fuck people over by
reading their policy documents; generally far too late, I might add.

All the best,

> -Adam
> On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 11:29 PM, <liberationtech at> wrote:
>> On Fri, 21 Dec 2012 06:52:35 -0800
>> Brian Conley <brianc at> wrote:
>>> So I guess the question is, is there a more/similarly convenient
>>> video/audio chatting tool that can be advocated as a standard?
>> Here's a single data point, extrapolate at your peril, I use Jitsi,
>> I use jitsi daily for all my phone calls, text chats, and video chats.
>> It's not as slick as Skype, yet. It's just a piece of software, you
>> need to setup your own chat or voip accounts. It works with gchat,
>> facebook, aol, msn, etc. It just works. It's effectively the open
>> source version of skype. It's the same UI and functionality across
>> operating systems (windows, macs, linux, bsds). I've watched non-tech
>> people figure it out in 10 minutes and start chatting/calling, etc.
>> I have zrtp-encrypted video and voice chats with people around the
>> world. I can share my screen so others can see what I'm doing. For
>> zrtp-encryption and screen sharing, all parties have to use jitsi. And
>> OTR-wrapped text chat works well so far with any client on the other
>> end.
>> It's still a work in progress, much like Skype was when it was first
>> released, but it's functional and gets out of the way so you can
>> communicate. My $0.02.
>> --
>> Andrew
>> pgp 0x6B4D6475
>> --
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