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Finally read through the faq. It is a bit 1990s.

In those days we worry about how to talk with each other. Share info. In fact find friends. Or server.

Whilst the the technology moves on you have E2E in beta and bridge to join other communication technology but is this addressing the more fundamental question of today’s real internet.

<driver of my worry you can skip>

The internet now is fragmented by either firm (Facebook) or country bloc (Eu data and copyright law; china e-wall).

The internet is great to share but also a great way to isolate and record and arrest people. China is a good example of what is great and nasty of this IP protocol in the real world. Social credit system where you are not allowed to sit in train (or lately bus) and suppressing of freedom of speech is hard in the real world but with internet it is so much easier.

A global communication media without firm and country is what we dream of. Yes there would be troll. But we can find ways to anti-spam, may be using lisp like Paul has done. But we can dream to hack our way back to the original free internet.

I use this to measure everything. Can it help us or empower us to program, to hack, to share and just to chat freely

<end of driver>

Can you work in today world?

Have you listened to the call for national internet by supreme leader of china or the cut off of internet link by Russia. Can you work in Eu data privacy and copyright law?

Can you empower individual... is there essentially a tor mode there?

Or even better can client talk to client direct without server so no one can have a record of what any guy (or girl as trinity would have said) said so to arrest him (or her).

Can we interop freely is my real question?

First, for the record, I find it unfair to compare EU copyright laws to China e-wall. China blocks connections. People who block connections because of GPRD are people who oppose it, without good reasons IMO. To be in compliance, don't invade people privacy. That's it. Things only get complicated if you do.

"Or even better can client talk to client direct without server so no one can have a record of what any guy (or girl as trinity would have said) said so to arrest him (or her)."

On Internet as we know it, even P2P does not implement that. Any router you bounce on can be an eavesdropping server. Actually we now know that some of them are, thanks to wikileaks and Snowden.

Server-less is just a guarantee against a narrow range of blocking techniques. To prevent eavesdropping by governments, you need end-to-end encryption. If you have a good encryption technique, using gmail is not a problem.

"Can we interop freely is my real question?"

It took me a while to realize that no technical hackery will ever guarantee that. This is not a technical problem. The incredible power of asymmetric cryptography gave us the dream that we could evade any kind of surveillance, but in the end, a government can always outlaw crypto and arrest people who use it. There is no technical way around it. Using Tor in China may protect your data but will put you on a suspect list.

A government may install spyware on every communication device that are sold nationally (as Syria did on smartphones) and record screenshots or cleartext messages as they are typed.

You can't solve this problem without doing some politics. Crypto needs to stay legal, governments need to refrain from installing spyware and privacy violations need to be seriously prosecuted.

We have the tools to get around surveillance in a state that guarantees some kind of freedoms, or that is clumsy in its implementation of surveillance techniques, but the gap between hackers and authorities have closed in many dictatorships and is very small in democracies as well.

If the problems you mention are of real concern to you, get involved in politics, donate to EFF and FSF.

Yup, the FAQ needs some love.

I think your question boils down to: do you have to trust a server? Today, the answer is yes. In future, the idea is to have a hybrid p2p and client-server architecture where users can participate simply from an app if they want... but if they want to trust a server to also replicate their account, they can.

However, if you are capable of running your own server today (or know a trusted person who can), you can still have autonomy. For instance, there look to be many autonomous servers running behind the GFW.

> Can you empower individual... is there essentially a tor mode there?

Not at the moment really. There is a tracking bug for it[1] (which includes the idea of supporting .onion homeservers). The main issue I found when digging into it is that Twisted doesn't appear to have a way to set a SOCKS proxy for requests (there are several open bug reports about it) -- meaning that you couldn't get the hidden homeserver to proxy all their connections through Tor nor could you get the other servers to use Tor to contact the hidden homeserver.

But I am hoping this could be done eventually.

[1]: https://github.com/matrix-org/synapse/issues/5152

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