• targetx@programming.dev
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    9 months ago

    While I still use and sort of like Signal, I feel that dropping SMS support was the wrong choice and I don’t like the direction they are going. They are also against federation which I also don’t like. I’ve stopped recommending Signal to people.

    • fubo@lemmy.world
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      9 months ago

      I believe them when they say that one reason to drop SMS was that some vulnerable users were mistakenly sending SMS when they thought they were safe by using Signal. That’s a serious problem where a person having Signal on their phone could cause them to expose themselves to attacks. That person’s life is more important than my momentary inconvenience when my mom is using SMS and my friend is using Signal.

      I really wish that there were better options; some sort of incrementally-built web-of-trust like the old PGP model. But right now, Signal is still in a sweet spot for me: yes, it’s centralized, but it gets certain specific benefits of centralization while also credibly assuring that the server owners can’t do evil with it even if they want to … and they credibly don’t. I can get my family and my housemates to use it, instead of something from Zuckerberg.

      • targetx@programming.dev
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        9 months ago

        Those are definitely all valid points, though I feel a bit of UI work making it abundantly clear that it’s not encrypted in case of SMS and an option perhaps to fully disable SMS in settings if you really don’t want it would have helped further adoption. I feel like they are optimizing for a rather small subset of users and thereby hurting the rest.

        • fubo@lemmy.world
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          9 months ago

          I think it’s a good idea from a security standpoint to have a UX space in which everyone can be confident that everyone’s stuff is encrypted; with a very distinct and (yes) inconvenient barrier — in this case, a different app — between encrypted and unencrypted spaces.

          Everyone is using lots of different messaging systems: SMS/MMS; specific systems like Signal, Telegram, or WhatsApp; email; maybe Facebook Messenger; etc. It’s really important for some users’ actual lives that it be totally clear when you’re crossing from a secure space to an insecure space. Having the insecure space not be in the same app is one way to accomplish that.

          When we need to move data between the secure space and the insecure space, we can do that through copy-and-paste, or even screenshots. It is inconvenient, but that’s because it’s explicit and intentional, which also means you can’t move data from one to the other by accident. That’s good.

          As a privacy hobbyist, I want to notice what works for the people whose lives depend on privacy: the journalists, activists, sex workers, LSD dealers, etc. I don’t have their risks, but I want to contribute to a world where they can be safe.

          However, there are definitely lots of different needs and comfort levels. What’s a sweet spot for me might be an uncanny valley for you.

          • BearOfaTime@lemm.ee
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            9 months ago

            You didn’t have to enable SMS in Signal if you didn’t want to.

            It’s a user-level decision, and again, it was very clear in Signal when it was going SMS already.

            It certainly killed adoption. It was the only app I had any success converting people, because it was seamless.

      • BearOfaTime@lemm.ee
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        9 months ago

        That’s a pretty poor excuse, since Signal made it very clear when a message was going SMS.

        If they felt it wasn’t obvious enough, make it more obvious.

        I can’t find any reason to remove SMS support, other than something they’re not telling us.

        I read some BS about it costing Signal more to support… It couldn’t be much, because SMS is handled by the OS, Signal just hands it off via standardized API.

        • fubo@lemmy.world
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          9 months ago

          Yes, but my mom has an old phone and can’t install stuff.