21 votes

Element One - All of Matrix, WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram in one place

15 comments

  1. [7]
    skybrian
    Link
    There are some major caveats: This is a bit weasel-worded. They don’t say it, but the risk here is that by using this app you’re violating the terms of service for the other services and might get...

    There are some major caveats:

    Seasoned Element users need to know that the downside of bridging into old-fashioned messaging apps is that conversations with friends in WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram will still be captured by those centralised apps and subject to those providers’ T&Cs - and that they will still need an account on these platforms to relay their messages.

    It’s also worth noting that end-to-end encryption is necessarily broken as messages to (and from) WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram pass across the bridge(s). The bridge(s) operates in Element’s trusted EMS environment, with no content scanning or datamining, but currently bridged conversations are not stored end-to-end encrypted in Matrix (they will be in the future).

    This is a bit weasel-worded. They don’t say it, but the risk here is that by using this app you’re violating the terms of service for the other services and might get blocked.

    Also I think if you want the best security, you’ll want to stick with using multiple apps and avoiding this bridging service. It’s yet another vendor that you have to trust, like using a VPN.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      IANAL, but as far as I can tell there is nothing in Matrix, WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram's TOS that would suggest using service bridges would violate said terms. See:...

      IANAL, but as far as I can tell there is nothing in Matrix, WhatsApp, Signal or Telegram's TOS that would suggest using service bridges would violate said terms. See:
      https://matrix.org/legal/terms-and-conditions#61-use-of-the-service
      https://www.whatsapp.com/legal/updates/terms-of-service/
      https://signal.org/legal/#terms-of-service
      https://telegram.org/tos

      9 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        Yes, I don’t see it either. Thanks for checking!

        Yes, I don’t see it either. Thanks for checking!

        5 votes
    2. [3]
      DepartedPretzel
      Link Parent
      Big yikes. I wish I can block bridged conversations on Signal. I’m in favor of decentralization, counter to Signal’s model, but it’s annoying that Element is pushing a product that disregards the...

      end-to-end encryption is necessarily broken

      Big yikes. I wish I can block bridged conversations on Signal. I’m in favor of decentralization, counter to Signal’s model, but it’s annoying that Element is pushing a product that disregards the privacy consequences for non-Matrix users.

      7 votes
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        Well, that’s the tradeoff. If your correspondents can pick any client they want, they can pick something insecure. (Email is kind of an extreme case of this.) With Signal you can assume most of...

        Well, that’s the tradeoff. If your correspondents can pick any client they want, they can pick something insecure. (Email is kind of an extreme case of this.)

        With Signal you can assume most of your correspondents are probably using a Signal app, but it can’t be guaranteed.

        4 votes
      2. clone1
        Link Parent
        All methods of secure communication require that you trust the other party. Even if the person you're talking to is using signal they can just give their phone to the cia and let them have a look

        All methods of secure communication require that you trust the other party. Even if the person you're talking to is using signal they can just give their phone to the cia and let them have a look

        4 votes
    3. vord
      Link Parent
      I think what they are ultimately saying is that using these app bridges will subject you to any of the data capture, analytics, logging etc. Not just theirs. Incidentally, that kind of clause is...

      I think what they are ultimately saying is that using these app bridges will subject you to any of the data capture, analytics, logging etc. Not just theirs. Incidentally, that kind of clause is in a lot of other TOS relating to third party analytics.

      The biggest advantage to something like tgis, is if you can get a critical mass of users doing this (and switching over to Matrix when detected both parties are doing so), it could serve as a trigger to bust open chat protocols (again).

      A competing Matrix server/client can be written. Not so much for any of those others.

      4 votes
  2. [7]
    suspended
    Link
    I use Beeper since it has way more bridges and saves me a ton of time. If I want to plan a hypothetical crime, then I'll use Signal.

    I use Beeper since it has way more bridges and saves me a ton of time. If I want to plan a hypothetical crime, then I'll use Signal.

    4 votes
    1. [4]
      lionirdeadman
      Link Parent
      I've seen Beeper before but it's currently more expensive (twice as much) for what I want (just paid managed matrix hosting) and I trust more the Element brand to further Matrix and have my...

      I've seen Beeper before but it's currently more expensive (twice as much) for what I want (just paid managed matrix hosting) and I trust more the Element brand to further Matrix and have my interests at heart than Beeper. It may be that I just don't know Beeper enough but Element feels like safest provider at the moment to me.

      3 votes
      1. [3]
        suspended
        Link Parent
        I understand where you are coming from. I'll pay the little extra because I can afford it. And I'm almost certain that these 'security' issues are being addressed in the Beeper community. I feel...

        It may be that I just don't know Beeper enough but Element feels like safest provider at the moment to me.

        I understand where you are coming from. I'll pay the little extra because I can afford it. And I'm almost certain that these 'security' issues are being addressed in the Beeper community. I feel that it is just a matter of time (since Beeper is in beta) that more info will come out. BTW, Beeper uses the Matrix protocol.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          lionirdeadman
          Link Parent
          Yeah, I know Beeper uses Matrix and you can also self-host technically through an ansible recipe but it feels to me like Beeper will be more focused on their product rather than improving things...

          Yeah, I know Beeper uses Matrix and you can also self-host technically through an ansible recipe but it feels to me like Beeper will be more focused on their product rather than improving things in the Matrix community (which is important to me).

          2 votes
          1. Adys
            Link Parent
            The author of the bridges used by Element One works at Beeper. EO is essentially exactly Beeper’s tech. I talked to Eric a decent amount and they do seem genuinely enthused in working with Matrix...

            The author of the bridges used by Element One works at Beeper. EO is essentially exactly Beeper’s tech.

            I talked to Eric a decent amount and they do seem genuinely enthused in working with Matrix and its community. The guy is the founder of Pebble, he knows how important the OSS component is.

            4 votes
    2. [2]
      corleone
      Link Parent
      My friends and I switched from Whatsapp to Telegram when we started getting ads catered to our conversations... No crime whatsoever (from our part at least).

      My friends and I switched from Whatsapp to Telegram when we started getting ads catered to our conversations... No crime whatsoever (from our part at least).

      2 votes
      1. suspended
        Link Parent
        I despise ads and nuke them from all my family's devices.

        I despise ads and nuke them from all my family's devices.

        1 vote
  3. babypuncher
    Link
    I think the price is a little high, but my use case is also a lot more limited than what they are offering. I would essentially be using it as a better Signal client.

    I think the price is a little high, but my use case is also a lot more limited than what they are offering. I would essentially be using it as a better Signal client.

    2 votes