Instant messaging on the SAFE Network?

I haven’t thought much about this so don’t take my view as definite but I think there are fundamental issues with any kind of link between Safe Network and the insecure internet. I’m sure people will build and use gateways, but they will I expect always introduce risks that will be be hard to mitigate.

So personally I’d rather maintain two areas. One which I know is insecure in a multitude of ways, and one which is very secure indeed outside of the device I use to access it, which I can then focus on keeping secure according to my needs.

If you aren’t overly concerned about security of your data on Safe Network, by all means use a bridge.

As for chat and other apps, we will always face the problem of inertia, but if things carry on the way they are there’s going to be a steady rise in the number of people choosing to use Safe Network because of its security and privacy characteristics, and adding gateways is a whole different market because it all but negates them.

What are the reasons to use Safe Network without security and privacy? In the early days, not many I think. Later when there are lots of apps and users, people will come for many other reasons, but for now our concern is early adoption, so I don’t think gateways are a sensible solution.


I understand that, and while I’d like to be radical about it (as about other subjects), I think it’s better to compromise and lower the hurdles of coming into SAFEnet. I assume it will attract more people if it “just works for & with everyone”. But it must be my/your own choice to compromise or sacrifice something.

I’m already running four messengers on my phone, so probably a fifth wouldn’t matter, but I don’t like it.

My point is that by lowering some hurdles you undermine the benefits of moving to Safe Network. There are still hurdles left which means you have to give reasons which are important enough for people to act, so what will be the reasons you’ll give to people for joining you on Safe Network if you can’t honestly say it will keep their communications private, for example?


Most people didn’t follow me to Signal from WhatsApp because it’s a bit more private but because they can use cute stickers and the audio quality in phone calls is better. (Some went back because they didn’t like something in the GUI.) Too many people don’t care about security and privacy at all :roll_eyes: But I’d like them to have it anyway. Similar to SSL or GPG: The more people use encryption, the more secure it becomes for those who need it. While only those who care use SAFEnet, it might get a stigma of dissident or even illegal, similar to TOR.


or it might not - similar to torrents! :wink: edit: also BTW Tor is now built-into Brave browser and probably several other browsers … so stigma or not, many have it at their fingertips.

I commend your effort and I’m not saying you are wrong here, just giving my opinions. :man_shrugging: The way I see this is that for people already using something they are happy with or who are not worried about the core features of Safe Network, then chat isn’t the place to start. We all want our friends and family to adopt, and social apps seem important to that, but I am not convinced it is where we should start. I think use of social app becomes far easier to build once you have users.

I don’t know if you followed the stages of adoption from the internet, internet email, web email, and so on (and the same for chat). But I remember using email in the eighties, knowing how amazing that was compared to post, fax and (fixed line) phone, and wondering how we could get from a few people like me using it to friends, and business. The case was compelling on one level - all the advantages - but terrible in practice because chicken and egg - if hardly anyone is using it, it isn’t worth adopting. Over years things changed this, but it was a long time before everyone had an email address on their business card, or the general public had access.

Hotmail made a massive difference but before that could happen we needed the invention of the web, for content to arrive, business adoption, and then for lots of everyday people to start signing up with ISPs and using a web browser. Hotmail started in 1996 and took off rapidly, but only because there were already enough users of the new world wide web by then.

So I think starting with social apps is going to be much harder than getting lots of people using Safe Network for other reasons (services and apps), and once they are using them beginning to build social connections (sharing files) and social networks (chat, networks, forums etc.).


I don’t think we completely disagree :wink: and let’s stop this discussion, since it helps nobody. We’ll see how SAFEnet works out.

BTW I started on FidoNet when Internet slowly took over, I think in 1990/91. Made my first homepage in 1995.


I hope that safenet does not compromise on privacy simply for the sake of onboarding users. If user count is what we want, we could always stick to facebook messenger and never bother to innovate anything privacy related now and in the future.

I hope you’re not one of those, “lets have the government regulate safenet in order to have more users” people. regulation is good hur dur

I think we’ve covered it well enough but don’t think it was useless. It certainly helped me to clarify this again and may help others think about how to direct their energy.

Yes, bulletin boards were an interesting step on the way. I remember unwrapping my first modem and beginning to dial up and explore that fascinating world. I’ve no idea now if I found it useful in practical terms but it was great fun.

Finally I’m now going to explore ham radio. :globe_with_meridians: Yet another way for people to connect going back to before internet! I’ve got two cheap handheld radios waiting for me to collect.

I wonder if there are any radio hams on the forum! :radio:


I hope that safenet does not compromise on privacy simply for the sake of onboarding users.

I’m sure it won’t. That’s not what I meant.

I hope you’re not one of those

I’m not, it’s nonsense, and I get the impression you didn’t read what I wrote.

To clarify, I’m not saying the ideal messenger would default to secure protocols, I’m saying it would be protocol-agnostic, and would simply be a tool for the user to use different protocols in the same app.

The user could then combine contacts from different protocols into the same contact and set a default protocol for them, but it would all be on the user rather than the app snooping around for connections.

I bought a couple of cheap hand held ones like… IDK 2 years ago?
Have been too busy to dive into it, but Ham Radio Crash Course is a good youtube channel that you might find useful :slight_smile:


Thanks, will look it up. In UK you need a license (fairly basic exam I’ve been studying and will take online) - do you need that to transmit too? I can listen of course but once I’ve passed the exam it would be good to try speaking with you.

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Yep, needed here as well, and same with the basic exam. Yeah would be cool to do that. It’s quite likely that I won’t get around to do the exam any time soon though :smile:


Fair enough, for what it’s worth, here the exam is simple after about four hours study I was passing mocks. Depends on your previous knowledge so I’d expect you’ll find it easy too. Main hassle seems to be the exam itself - I’ll have to borrow a Windows laptop to install the software and pray for mobile connectivity because they monitor you throughout!


Did you manage to get your license? Interested to hear how you get on.

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I’m a ham. Got my license when I was 11. VHF is cool for local comms, but the real fun is DX on the HF bands. I can literally take my Yaesu FT-897d, a car battery, and a wire cut to the magic length and talk to someone on the other side of the planet. And its not just voice and CW anymore, there are tons of digital modes as well that use small slices of spectrum.

The biggest problem with ham radio is that it is downright terrifying how much the government controls, especially the FCC:

  • licensing that requires you report where you live to a public database
  • you need to report your call sign every 15 minutes while transmitting
  • the FCC has wide band arrays all over the world recording every single contact and the ability to trace a transmit almost instantaneously
  • there is a community of narcs out there. If you are transmitting in the wrong band, with the wrong protocol, or say improper things on the air, you can get a visit from the FCC… typically an expensive one
  • encryption on ham radio is illegal. Full stop.

This is the main reason why ham radio is dying. It could be so much better, but government strangled it to the point where it is almost worthless. All the wireless that the free internet uses is on ‘junk’ spectrum that no one else wanted. Imagine what could be done if all that spectrum was opened up with intelligent, adaptive radios that shift frequencies and spectrum use on the fly. But then we wouldn’t need ISPs and cell phone companies… so we can’t have that :slight_smile:

In either case, I wish you luck @happybeing . Radio is a fascinating hobby. 73s.


Haven’t been able to have a go yet. Life getting in the way combined with needing a Windows laptop because the test software doesn’t run on Linux.

Could you do one in person at a local club maybe? You going the SDR route I take it?

They switched to online with COVID so at some point you may be able to do in person. I’m not aware of multiple routes in UK, can’t recall the acronym.