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A New Kind of Instant Messaging
tox.chat
external-link
Whether it's corporations or governments, there's just too much digital spying going on today. Tox is an easy to use application that connects you with friends and family without anyone else listening in. While other big-name services require you to pay for features, Tox is totally free and comes without advertising — forever.

I’ve seen a lot of talk about privacy minded chat clients on here but a search did not bring up Tox. I have been delving into the Gemini protocol ( https://gemini.circumlunar.space/) and a few folks there have listed Tox for contact. Anyone have thoughts on this?

It’s encrypted, peer to peer, FOSS, and requires no signup.

I saw this a while ago when I was searching high and low for a messenger to switch to from Element (didn’t end up switching to anything). I like a lot of things about it, but don’t like that it can’t support offline delivery or multi-device. I think no messenger without those features will ever take off because too many people demand them. In fact I remember that in group chats, it won’t even do the faux offline messaging that it does for 1-to-1 chats! I don’t know why but that was the biggest deal breaker for my own use case. I hope they eventually fix that, there’s no reason they can’t.

I also don’t like that it has moderation features, which feel really out of place to me in a peer to peer system. I don’t want that kind of social hierarchy in a context that more or less inherently assumes all participants are trusted. Moderation only makes sense in public forums IMO.

There’s also at least one security cocern: https://github.com/TokTok/c-toxcore/issues/426 Though the people pointing it out were pretty toxic and really exaggerated its severity :(

Despite all this, if offline messaging and multi-device aren’t requirements for you, I’d say Tox is a great option, maybe the best option.

I’m proud to hear you’re getting into Gemini, by the way :) I first heard of it a while ago but recently got really onboard and I’m working on converting my own website to Gemini.

By “doesn’t support multi-device” you mean it doesn’t have syncing between devices?

That’s kind of a big deal for me.

Yeah, I mean that. The design of the protocol makes it basically impossible to implement. This is one of the core drawbacks of peer to peer compared to federation.

right yeah I figured as much. I don’t know if there really is a way to do multi device with p2p.

Gritty
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11Y

Thanks for the insight! No offline messages is a big drawback, however aTox from Fdroid seems to have the service running all the time unless you kill it. Battery drain aside I think this could help. No multi device support is a big one though.

Yeah Gemini is cool. Big gopher hole right now for me.

CHEF-KOCH
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Maintainer stole money from the project ever since then it died with it + no audit. Main reason why I unlisted it from my privacy project.

Lots of baseless clams and whatnot, more hype around it which is not worth it. I would use it but not under the incompetent management.

Gritty
creator
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21Y

So besides the management you’re saying the software itself could be viable?

CHEF-KOCH
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Sure, as said I would use it myself instead of Matrix. The project always had potential and was underestimated since day one. People donated in the hope to improve the known issues + get an audit, sadly that day never came and after the shit-show that happened people lost trust.

If you’re interested in the concept behind Tox, I’d recommend taking a look at Jami. Tox’s development has been sporadic at best and I wouldn’t trust it to be a viable solution long-term. Jami runs with the same concept but has multi-device support and is backed by/part of the GNU project so it probably has more staying power. That being said, it’s still (like Tox) not very user friendly at this point.

Whoa, I had no idea Jami had multi-device support! I wonder how they pulled that off in a P2P setting. Last I checked they didn’t even have offline messaging (not even in the way Tox does).

Do you happen to know where the Jami protocol spec is? I couldn’t find it on their website…

Many of the top tier messaging platforms are trying to solve today’s problems and vulnerabilities. I like that Tox does not require a huge centralized infrastructure (only DHT) and is P2P. Tox is very fast and works well over Tor too. However, P2P, DHT, and limited infrastructure has it’s own challenges.

I think Session and Status.im are better positioned.

Joe Bidet
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21Y

Anyone here remembers Pond?

Joe Bidet
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21Y

I cannot find that page again as it as obviously been fixed since, but i remember looking at Tox a long while ago and running away scared and laughing at the same time.

On some installation page (on a wiki!!) it used to recommend (from memory) something like “wget --ignore-certificate https://blah.blah/blah.sh | sudo sh”

My immediate reaction was that i wouldn’t take seriously anything related to security from ppl recommending such insanely sloppy and insecure methods…

@federico3@lemmy.ml
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The whole approach to security of Tox was very questionable since the beginning. Tox even hinted at being able to withstand attacks from nation-states (see below), while at the same time it was not audited by 3rd parties and had no clear description of their threat model. A number of question and bug reports where quickly dismissed.

“Whether it’s corporations or governments, digital surveillance today is widespread. Tox is easy-to-use software that connects you with friends and family without anyone else listening in.”.

Gritty
creator
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11Y

Oh wow

I tried using this, admittedly a while ago, for two months. It flat out could not deliver messages reliably to someone in the same household. Sometimes messages would arrive weeks after being sent, and sometimes nothing would arrive at all. Maybe it’s changed since, but I doubt it.

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