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title: Instant Messaging - Shadow Wiki
!nlp
content {
text {
<i>Comment on the forum thread about this page, I respond to all comments!: <a href="http://us3xsdrhmhk4h3bkuq7ttkp6pocs4726esycpgwtogrpu3nfjj6eroqd.onion/im-comment-section.10">[Tor/Onion]</a> <a href="http://dq65yxqpp6gcyo53y53eqouijhy7ameqxkcjthkr7wpfusqppxma.b32.i2p/im-comment-section.10/">[I2P/Eepsite]</a></i>
<br/>
}
<div class="text-block">
<h1 class="title"><del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del> Prologue <del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del></h1>
<h2 class="title" id="navigation"><del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del> Navigation <del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del></h2>
</div>
<div class="text-block">
<div class="nav">
<ul>
<li>
<a href="#prologue">Prologue</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#navigation">Navigation</a></li>
<li><a href="#introduction">Introduction</a></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#chapter1">Chapter 1</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#table1">Table of IM Systems</a></li>
<li><a href="#notes1">IM Notes</a></li>
</ul>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#epilogue">Epilogue</a>
<ul>
<li><a href="#furtherreading">Links, Sources &amp; Further Reading</a></li>
</ul>
</li>
</ul>
</div>
</div>
<div id="introduction" class="text-block">
<h2 class="title"><del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del> Introduction <del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del></h2>
<h2 class="title"><del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del> TL;DR <del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del></h2>
<div>Behold, most IMs suck profusely as they are of propriety centralized design. You should use XMPP (the eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol). IRC isn't bad either. Matrix is deeply troubled. Almost anything else is security theater or a crutch.</div>
</div>
<h2 class="title" id="table1"><del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del> The Table of Instant Messaging Systems <del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del></h2>
<table>
<tr>
<td>Name</td>
<td>Spyware Rating</td>
<td>Network Architecture</td>
<td>Operating System</td>
<td>License</td>
<td>Verdict</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Adamant">Adamant</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Decentralized, Blockchain</td>
<td>Android and Web</td>
<td>GPLv3</td>
<td>?</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Briar">Briar</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Decentralized, P2P</td>
<td>Android</td>
<td>GPLv3</td>
<td class="blue">Probably okay</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Cabal">Cabal</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>?</td>
<td>Electron</td>
<td>AGPLv3 (core), GPLv3 (client)</td>
<td>?</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#DeltaChat">DeltaChat</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Decentralized, same as email</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>MPLv2, GPLv3</td>
<td class="blue">Probably okay</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Discord">Discord</a></td>
<td class="red">Extremely High</td>
<td>Centralized</td>
<td>Web Interface and Electron, 3rd party clients prohibited</td>
<td>Proprietary</td>
<td class="red">Do Not Use</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#IRC">IRC</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Distributed, Load balanced</td>
<td>Various, depends on client</td>
<td>Depends on implementation, usually open source</td>
<td class="green">Good</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Jami">Jami</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Decentralized, P2P</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>GPLv3</td>
<td class="blue">Probably okay</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Matrix">Matrix</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Decentralized w/ dominant instance (matrix.org), Federated</td>
<td>Web Interface and electron (official client), Various (3rd party clients)</td>
<td>Apache (official implementations), various (other)</td>
<td class="yellow">Avoid When Possible</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Signal">Signal</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Centralized</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>MIT</td>
<td class="red">Avoid</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Session">Session</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>?</td>
<td>?</td>
<td>?</td>
<td>?</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Skype">Skype</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Centralized</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>Proprietary</td>
<td class="red">Do Not Use</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Telegram">Telegram</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Centralized</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>Open Source</td>
<td class="red">Do Not Use</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Threema">Threema</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Centralized</td>
<td>Android, iOS, Web</td>
<td>Client is open under GPLv3 , Server is proprietary</td>
<td class="red">Avoid</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Tox">Tox</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Decentralized, P2P</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>GPLv3</td>
<td class="yellow">Avoid When Possible</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Utopia">Utopia</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>?</td>
<td>?</td>
<td>?</td>
<td>?</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#Wire">Wire</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Centralized</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>AGPLv3, GPJv3</td>
<td>?</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#WhatsApp">WhatsApp</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Centralized</td>
<td>Various</td>
<td>Proprietary</td>
<td class="red">Do Not Use</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a href="#XMPP">XMPP</a></td>
<td>Unrated</td>
<td>Decentralized, Federated</td>
<td>Various, depends on client</td>
<td>CC-BY-SA 2.0 (specification), various (client)</td>
<td class="green">Good</td>
</tr>
</table>
<h2 class="title" id="notes1"><del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del> Instant Messaging Systems Notes <del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del></h2>
case(Adamant)(https://adamant.im/) {
text {
Adamant is a crypto/blockchain based messenger that is paid. It's biggest downside is that it only offers web and app clients.
}
}
case(Briar)(http://briarproject.org/) {
text {
A peer to peer messenger that works over Tor. There is only an Android client, and you must scan a QR code to friend someone.
}
}
case(Cabal)(https://cabal.chat/) {
text {
?
}
}
case(DeltaChat)(https://delta.chat) {
text {
Rather than reinventing the wheel, DeltaChat uses an already existing email server (any) to relay communication, but in a chat-like realtime form. It is essentially an email client. It uses "Autocrypt" encryption.
}
}
case(Discord)(http://discord.gg/) {
text {
<p>For the love of god please do not use this platform.</p>
<p>
Others have written about why Discord is really terrible:
<ul>
<li><a href="https://www.retroimages.net/articles/discord.xhtml">Discord - RetroImages</a></li>
<li><a href="http://wowana.me/blog/guess-im-done-with-discord.xht">I'm done with Discord - Wowana</a></li>
<li><a href="https://drewdevault.com/2021/12/28/Dont-use-Discord-for-FOSS.html">Don't use Discord for FOSS - DrewDevualt</a></li>
</ul>
</p>
}
}
case(IRC) {
text {
The oldest and longest lived of all chat systems (and {https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/team_chat.png}{still in current use} today), IRC was initially one network before getting forked into a plethora of different networks and implementations. Encryption can be had with TLS and OTR, probably other methods too. Features associated with modern chat system such as history can be found in {https://ircv3.net/}{IRCv3}.
}
}
case(Jami)(https://jami.net/) {
text {
Jami is a peer to peer chat application most akin in features to Skype. However, development has been slow so it may lack many features.
}
}
case(Matrix)(https://matrix.org) {
text {
The reference client, Element (formerly Riot) is web based and only works on big 5 and big 5-adjacent web browsers. The alternative clients almost always miss critical features such as moderation or encryption (check out the {https://github.com/poljar/weechat-matrix}{WeeChat plugin}, not to be confused with WeChat).
<br/>
The reference server implementation (Synapse) is massively bloated and very poorly performing. The premier alternative, {https://github.com/matrix-construct/construct}{Construct}, is purportedly treated in a hostile way${hackernewsconstruct1} by the reference developers.
<br/>
The official (massive) instance, matrix.org, is Cloudflared and employs a Google ReCaptcha to keep people away, and is hosted on Amazon servers. If you do use Matrix, be sure to use an independent homeserver or self-host.
}
sources {
{footnotes}
}
}
case(Signal)(https://www.signal.org/) {
text {
A common crutch for cattle who are to scared to use XMPP or SIP. Outclassed in every possible way by XMPP.
}
}
case(Session)(https://docs.loki.network/LokiServices/Messenger/Session/) {
text {
? Has something to do with LokiNet. Site is clownflared so {https://web.archive.org/web/20210110145849/https://docs.loki.network/LokiServices/Messenger/Session/}{here's an archive link}.
}
}
case(Skype)(https://www.skype.com/) {
text {
A botnet owned by Micro$oft.
}
}
case(Telegram)(https://telegram.org/) {
text {
Famous because they had to leave Russia. While the client is open source, and possibly the server software (?) this is meaningless because the whole thing is setup to only use their servers. Requires a phone number, and encryption only works on 1 to 1 messages (?).
}
}
<h1 id="epilogue" class="title"><del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del> Epilogue <del>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</del></h1>
<div class="footer" id="mfooter">
<h4 id="furtherreading">Links, Sources &amp; Further Reading:</h4>
<a href="https://tilde.team/~novaburst/im-comparison.html">IM Comparison - Novaburst</a>
</div>
}