[smc-discuss] WhatsApp and mental torture in school communities

Nandakumar Edamana nandakumar at nandakumar.co.in
Sat Jun 6 09:09:04 PDT 2020

On 06/06/20 6:15 pm, Pirate Praveen wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm, Pirate Praveen
> <praveen at onenetbeyond.org> wrote:
>> I don't think Signal is a good fit as we still depend on Open Whisper
>> Systems for the service, I agree it is better than WhatsApp, but not
>> good enough when we have even better options like Matrix.
> Look at the recent examples of Trump's policies of banning Adobe from
> providing service in Venezuela [1] and banning Google from providing
> Android to Huawei [2]. If tomorrow Trump does the same to Open Whisper
> Systems and India, we will be in the same situation (even though I
> don't doubt the credentials of people behind Signal, it is vulnerable
> to US govt policies). So it is important we have the freedoms to run
> our own servers for Free Software to be really meaningful in practice
> when it comes to client software depending on another software run on
> a server.
> [1]
> https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/7/20904030/adobe-venezuela-photoshop-behance-us-sanctions
> [2]
> https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-suspends-android-support-for-huawei-what-it-means-for-your-smartphone-tablet/

What you said is true and important. But I don't think it's an issue in
this scenario. Schools now use WhatsApp to share short-life stuff, not
for archival. WhatsApp or Signal or whatever else, ban by US will never
be a problem for them. They'll just start using another app.

What I think now needs is a drop-in alternative for WhatsApp or nobody
would be ready to try. Govt hosting a Signal instance is one solution,
and the other I suggested is using the official Signal for the time
being. Does your recommendations qualify the "drop-in alternative for
WhatsApp" criteria? I'm asking this because I've little knowledge in
mobile chat apps.

BTW, from what I've learned, Telegram has an extremely bad reputation
when it comes to security and privacy, despite being libre at the
client-side. Is there any reason for anyone to prefer Telegram over Signal?

Nandakumar Edamana

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