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

liberationtech at liberationtech at
Sat Dec 22 06:52:51 PST 2012

On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 09:03:02AM -0800, brianc at wrote 5.5K bytes in 0 lines about:
: So I guess I'd say, who is going to fund a competitor to skype built on
: jitsi? Without a. Convenient easy to use GUI b. Sexy advocates and adopters
: and c. A marketing plan you aren't going to compete with Skype, Google
: Hangout, etc.

My guess would be the people behind jitsi, and their partners, worked pretty well, until they demanded a copy of my passport
to continue service.

: If security and privacy experts and developers are serious about broad
: adoption of their tools and not just building a closed club of
: cryptoexperts shouting "fire!" We have to work this out. I'm pretty busy

Conversely, as I continue to work with global law enforcement, a shocking
amount of crime still happens over the public telephone network. Even
with its lack of encryption, centralized data collection, and lawful
intercept, criminal organizations are still successfully coordinating,
planning, and growing over this 100+ year old technology and networks. And
for all of the fancy tools, analysis, and skills, law enforcement is
still one step behind the criminals simply using the public phone

It's the 1% of criminals which use things like skype, tor, cryptocat,
i2p, google hangouts, etc. And even then, they screw up and get caught
because their ego grows larger than their skills.

And to take a super-unpopular stance, empirical evidence says use of
skype isn't the problem. Take Syria as an example, the problem is
OSX and Windows on the laptops because that's what the Syrian state
malware attacks. From a resource perspective, the Assad regime is being
economically smart. Rather than trying to attack some cryptosystem and
glean data from traffic analysis, just attack the end user and get all
the data before it enters the cryptosystem. This is likely the same
analysis the German's used. Rather than trying to crack skype, they got
state-sponsored malware to crack the operating system and get the data
before it enters skype. Vietnam approached the skype-problem by using
parabolic microphones outside the houses of suspected activists.

Solving the analog problem (voice, keystroke sound analysis, electrical
grid background noise, etc) and user security weaknesses ("Oh look, an
attachment! Let's load it up!") is probably a better place for solutions
than yet another crypto-system.

pgp 0x6B4D6475

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