Simplified Privacy

Spain has banned Telegram. Defending Session

Spain has banned Telegram, and they are claiming this is over copyright violations of users, that Telegram is failing to police. [1] Now some users will be forced to consider decentralized solutions. As I have repeated many times, Session messenger empowers users to defy state level censorship, with its unique blockchain based DNS that completely separates physical locations from identity.

With Session, if the location of the VPS or device is discovered, the user can rotate the blockchain name to a new public key. On the other hand, SimpleX, Tor Onions, or XMPP are tied to physical devices with encryption keys in memory, and their discovery is a game-over.

However, Session receives a lot of criticism. Rather than ignore this, I tackle it head on,

Criticism 1,

There’s two types of censorship. Individual speakers and protocol level. For the individual speaker, Session enables controversial free speech by hiding among a crowd. Let’s use an analogy. If I were going to mail you illegal words, I would not want to use an illegal envelope. I need the envelope itself to be acceptable to the government, to enable me to hide my illegal letter.

If Monero and other coins like it are banned, and one wishes to defy that ban with a Session messenger trading bot, then it does not make logical sense for them to also use similar Monero technology. If the method upon which I hide Monero is also illegal, we’re back to the metaphorical illegal envelope. The same can be said for any free speech or controversial content, even beyond the concept of Monero. To the Bitcoin Maxis, this could apply to KYC on Bitcoin or Bitcoin mixing.

The second type of censorship is the entire network or protocol level, which we deal with in number 2 from a legal perspective. And number 3 from a technical perspective.

Criticism 2,

Some members live in Australia, others do not. Among those that do not are the ones who PGP sign the releases. The people that apply this “Session Australia” criticism, never apply it in other logical ways. For example, Signal exclusively uses Amazon’s AWS which is a CIA contractor and Tucker Carlson’s Signal was hacked.

Another example SimpleX is registered in the UK, which tried to ban end-to-end encryption.

And SimpleX does fundraising through the traditional financial system, which is included an investment from Microsoft. [1] [2] Fiat fundraising is far easier to censor than selling cryptocurrencies that the team creates.

Another example is the Matrix foundation is in the UK, and Matrix.org is on Cloudflare with Gmail email confirmation and Google captcha. The vast majority of Matrix users use the official server, and therefore have their metadata going to the US government.

Criticism 3,

First off, nothing wrong with having multiple options. Session has multiple identities also.

Most people are unaware that you can create multiple Session accounts on the same Linux desktop, with it automatically taking different onion routed paths.

Second, I’m talking about censorship, and not purely privacy. Session is better for censorship, because SimpleX is reliant on government domain names for creating the entities, which is not as strong as Session’s blockchain based onion-routed DNS. While SimpleX could hypothetically use Tor Onion addresses, in the real world, they are too laggy to function. SimpleX is way too reliant on mobile, with the desktop Linux client being too glitched to scroll properly.

SimpleX is easy to do phising attacks on. As the end user has no way to prove identity, and the other means of communication are insecure and easily intercepted or faked. While having no identity is great for being invisible, it’s horrible for censorship, as it ties the content creator to a single device with rotating encryption keys.

These rotating keys are a serious issue for multiple devices, as I had to abandon my old SimpleX keypairs when I tried to switch VMs, as some of the keys rotated while others did not.

Further, people that hate on Session for it’s cryptocurrency, while SimpleX has no business model or motivation to self-host a server and so is very centralized. SimpleX is federated in theory, but in the real world, the vast majority of users concentrate their activity on the developer’s servers. If you were to primarily use your own self-hosted SimpleX server, it would group your activity together. Which would defeat the purpose of keeping identities separated.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I encourage you to learn more about this technology by signing up for our free list by messaging the Session ID “Simple” without quotes. This way you can see for yourself firsthand.

The sources for this article can be found here.

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