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I dont often join in, but the fact this doesn't work without contacts seems alarming. Any guess as to why?




Be careful about jwz links on HN. He detects the referrer and redirects to a prank image.


Whoops. And it's too late now to edit the link to point at a referrer-stripper, too.


Yeah - but if you're interested/curious, copy-paste the link into your browser. Moxie weighs in in the comments on jwz's blog there.

The "interesting" bit (to me) of Moxie's explanation of what happens is that Signal sends "truncated sha256 hashes" to the Signal servers so it can compute the intersection of all the numbers it scrapes from your contact list with everyone elses.

Seems to me there's just not enough entropy in phone numbers to make that nation-state secure.

If Moxie gets served a warrant (and a NSL) it wont take _too_ much effort to reverse out all those truncated SHA intersections into a social graph...

But then Moxie's POV seems to be "those people would get that same info from your telco records if you use SMS, and at least that's the _only_ metadata we leak, your telco probaby hands that over without a warrant along with at least the date/time of every SMS you've ever sent or received and quite probaby the contents as well...

I lean a lot towards jwz's argument that they're _way_ overselling the privacy-preserving nature of Signal. Especially if one of your adversaries is someone who knows your mobile number and would benefit from knowing you choose to use encrypted communication (like, say, everybody in the UK right now...)




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