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OTR: Encrypted Instant Messaging

2021-06-30 9 min read Cool stuff Privacy Tech Tech explained Teknikal_Domain Unable to load comment count

Yes, for once, I have not just some app for secure messaging, this time, it’s a protocol. OTR, or Off-the-Record Messaging, is a protocol for establishing end-to-end encrypted messaging between two participants over a standard instant messaging channel like IRC or XMPP (Jabber). It also allows for deniable authentication, where during the conversation you can be assured that only you two are talking, but after the conversation, there is no way for an outside third party to 100% prove you talked, since it’s theoretically possible for an attacker to have forged the communications record. It’s complicated, but not too hard to wrap your head around.

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IRC Is an Insanely Simple Protocol

2021-06-23 5 min read Protocols explained Tech Tech explained Teknikal_Domain Unable to load comment count

This is where I’d usually make some joke about “if you remember, back in the day…” but… given how Freenode and Libera have been in the news recently for Freenode’s rather hostile takeover (and suicide), You probably know what IRC is. So. IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is a really old (as in, 1988) protocol for text-based communications between users on a network. And the cool part is, it’s so simple that it’s almost funny. Like, let’s take a look. You could actually, with only a few minutes of reading, just enter raw IRC protocol lines by hand and have a perfectly valid and functional session.

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