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No closed source mesh networking can be secure. However good user experience it has. They are no different than using WhatsApp. Indeed in that respect at least Signal is better.

I am not sure why protestors did not adopt the open source serval mesh project apk and ios app. [1]

In Hong Kong given the density of building it's bit hard to have a line of sight, so it will still be hard to build a local network. But it's still possible to build a completely wireless network over the top of the buildings to communicate with each other.

This communications can be blocked, but then it will still work if enough people switch on their mobile phone and WiFi router to communicate with each other over peer to peer network which is a combination of wired and wireless. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

[1] http://www.servalproject.org/

[2] https://ssbc.github.io/scuttlebutt-protocol-guide/

[3] https://dat.foundation/

[4] http://subnodes.org/

[5] https://hyperboria.net/

[6] http://www.servalproject.org/




Something works, it helps their protests admist disruption of telecom. Appreciate that please. Not everything needs to be technical. More we speak of tech, more morale we loose.


We can support what works today, while commenting on its shortfalls to raise awareness and build better, more secure solutions for tomorrow.


Kill snake by its head. Which is the snake in this world ?


Rich people.


More we speak of tech, more morale we lose.

Meaning human-centric vs tech-centric morale/world-view?


Example: One side of the world:

Hey we used bluetooth to communicate to my next door neighbour while our internet was being sniffed by the government.

Other side of the world:

Hey man, looks like the bluetooth tech they were using is pretty outdated. I wonder how they are living.

How did the talk get diverted ?

Why the other side of the world didn't talk about whats important?

How can they start appreciating first than putting the intellect mind into work?

Whats feels wrong?

Something feels wired in the brain.

Haaa right!

Tech is as addictive as any other addiction.

Intellect is the addictive substance.

Big brains know it,

We use it,

We think along with it.

So what got lost?

When did we stop to think like a humble monkey instead like a greedy machine ?

couple more questions.

point - Balance the mind with its own nature and external influence.

Reject if something feels wrong. Or atleast dont express.

Depression is prevalent in tech.

Why ! Because brain was giving you signs from beginning that it isnt healthy.

Everything is connected.

Hope I gave you the message you needed.


You know something is good when it has to be recommended twice in one comment.

I like to add one point here: Mesh network is not only good for protest, it also useful when network is unstable, for example during bad weather, disastrous event etc. Let's don't forget mesh net can also be use to off-load some of the traffic from the "Normal network", plus good for privacy (If the network is built on top a verified open source structure).

I don't think it's a good idea of advertising a type of tech "good for protest/revolution/revolt/something like that". If you do that, the tech will never be adopted.


> No closed source mesh networking can be secure. However good user experience it has. They are no different than using WhatsApp. Indeed in that respect at least Signal is better.

> I am not sure why protestors did not adopt the open source serval mesh project apk and ios app.

Because they don't share your value system, and chose a better user experience over a more secure system.

I want free software to win, which is perhaps a more extreme value system than yours (if you understand the difference between free software and open source software). But it strikes me as a bit naive to assume that free software will win on superior ideology alone. It's no coincidence that free software is winning in areas where it provides the best user experience (server OS-es, browsers) and losing in areas where it provides a worse user experience (user OS-es, most web applications).


I think the idea was that open source was more secure when it comes to communication rather than having to choose open source for ideological reasons.

Security seems like a good reason to me.


Does "useability" not also seem like a good reason to you?

"Security is more important than useability" is an ideology.


Because Serval isn't in the App Store yet?


I believe that's the point. You need to download the APK or whatever IOS provides for developer packages. This means less tracking from the vendor (Google, Apple)


1) It doesn't seem to be a principled decision to stay out of the App Store on the part of Serval's author, who says "trying to get the app approved for release on the Apple App Store. But that will be an adventure for another day."

https://servalpaul.blogspot.com/2018/11/serval-chat-ios-port...

2) This wasn't planned out months in advance. This is a protest that is organically sprouting up. Nobody wants to add jailbreaking or xCode to the onboarding process for people to join a protest movement.

3) I think worrying about Apple tracking what apps you install is the least of anyone's problems there at the moment.


3) I think the worry is China forcing Apple to produce this info (list of HK users with said app installed), not what Apple themselves would do with it. Maybe not a dealbreaker, but something to consider...


I think China getting that information from Apple is sort of a second-order concern at this point. In a more stable situation, yeah, you don't want the police to have a reason to knock on your door. When you're gearing up to go protest in public and the cops are dropping tear gas on everybody, those sorts of lists are less important. Not saying that it doesn't matter, but there is no such thing as absolute security, it's a series of tradeoffs.


Keep in mind that Apple's iCloud services in China are not actually provided by Apple. They are provided by Cloud Big Data Industrial Development Co., Ltd., and allows Apple to, "continue to improve iCloud services in China mainland and comply with Chinese regulations". [0]

This service even has different terms of service, than the standard iCloud offering (though I haven't done a diff to see what's changed).

The effect of this is that the encryption keys for the service for Chinese users, are in the hands of a state-owned company (not Apple).

I'm a big support of Apple's approach and ethics with respect to privacy generally, however if you're in China, or a citizen of China, then it's probably safe to assume that anything on or passing through iCloud, is fully accessible to the state, without requiring Apple's involvement (e.g. via subpoena).

[0] https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208351


Anybody have some details on this? I always wondered how this is handled for Chinese going abroad or Foreigners traveling in China without sending the keys back and forth.

Or do Chinese iCloud accounts still use the Chinese servers even when abroad while the western ones get to go through the great firewall for western iCloud?


This is effectively documented in the link provided:

> If you are not a Chinese citizen residing in China mainland, you can edit the country or region setting of your Apple ID to reflect your current country or region and continue using iCloud under Apple's current terms and conditions.


that is an extremely interesting question, both from a technical and juridical point of view. Hope someone will ask apple about this in a more official channel.


This only applies to users who have an Apple ID registered as being in China.

Hong Kong residents are not impacted by this.


For now.

The broader question is, if the Chinese state can demand this, then what (other than popular opinion) is stopping other states (with sufficient clout to meddle in Apple's markets and/or operations) from demanding the same?


Context of the conversation wasn't hypothetical future situations, but rather the present situation facing Hong Kong protesters.

Given that the protests are about China's over-reach into Hong Kong rule of law, Apple making any changes in the immediate future to impact Hong Kong residents would be a very challenging decision to make. It would also be particularly difficult to enforce, given that Hong Kong exists on the outside of the Great Firewall, with the rest of the wider Internet.


The company name is actually "Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data Industrial Development Co., Ltd."

(I thought that was a joke/parody name, but it's actually true.)


I disagree, hiding behind the anonymity of the crowd is critical in protests. Yes, they might catch a few people, but if you know for sure they'll just round everyone up later because they know exactly who was protesting, suddenly nobody wants to do it.


There is no way to install apps on ios outside the appstore.


Xcode is able to dynamically generate a development provisioning profile, even if you do not have a (paid) developer account. So side-loading is definitely possible, in some respects.


You need to create a developer account, learn how to use xCode (not at all trivial), and even with all that you need to reinstall it every 7 days.

Effectively sideloading does not exist. The fact that 0.001 percent of people who own an iPhone can, with great effort, sideload apps is irrelevant.


You don't need a developer account anymore to sideload apps on iOS.


But you still must reinstall every 7 days?


Yes, that is still a thing.


Unable to reply to Illniyar’s comment below. To add to those points on the difficulty (actually practical impossibility), you’d also need to have access to a Mac to do all those things every seven days. That’s a very big ask, along with the technical know how to use Xcode, for so many people in Hong Kong.


Does anyone know the reason(s) why Apple makes it impractical to sideload?


Side loading is a threat to Apples control over all iOS and similar AppStore devices. If I didn’t want to comply with the very far-reaching requirements for e g in-app stores, I could just ask my users to side load my app. If for example Audible did this, it’d be a real threat.


Chief among this is the requirement that all in-app purchases have a 30% tax by apple.

Which is why you can't buy books in the kindle ios app[0] among others.

[0]https://www.techspot.com/article/1597-how-to-buy-kindle-book...


Still waiting on regulators to slap Apple for that obvious anticompetitive behavior.


I'm not 100% sure because I didn't use it, but cydia impactor might work.


Google knows and logs forever every app you start on your device doesn't matter if installed from Google Play or not.


That website is.. something

The background makes it kinda hard to read


Is the point that it’s secure, or that it cannot be blocked?


I’d prefer anonymity over security.


You can use PGP encrypted messages over any network to be secure.


It is my impression that the Party is not shy to use rubber hose cryptanalysis, so you better make sure to stay anonymous. That is quite hard with PGP.


No forward secrecy.




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