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Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Re: Secure VoIP calling - adoped by Fedora and Ubunt

From: David Sugar
Subject: Re: [Gnewsense-dev] Re: Secure VoIP calling - adoped by Fedora and Ubuntu GNU/Linux
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 09:38:08 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11

Robert Millan wrote:

> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 01:12:37PM -0500, David Sugar wrote:
> > Richard,
> > 
> > I have put together a Debian archive containing both source and test binary
> > packages for GNU SIP Witch (and the ucommon dependency library) for both
> > gNewSense and Trisquel at
> Hi David,
> Are these packages merged (or in the process of being merged) into debian
> and/or ubuntu?  It's not a stopper for us to include them in metad, but it
> certainly makes our life a lot easier.

We have been able to get updated versions of the GNU ZRTP stack and Twinkle
merged into Debian maybe 6 months back.  But to date we have not been able to
get sipwitch into Debian at all.  sipwitch likely will end up in Ubuntu long
before it gets into Debian at this point.

> Also, how does GNU Telephony compare to Ekiga in terms of maturity,
> completeness, etc?  When discussing this with Graziano and others, I got
> the impression that Ekiga was the best option around to be used as Skype
> replacement, but I really have no idea myself.

Ekiga could be a great client to use in this project if they supported ZRTP.
I believe originally they got sidetracked in Phil Zimmermann's promise to make
his SDK available on a free software compatible license.  As this did not
happen, I saw, looking at their list, several other efforts were made to add
ZRTP to Ekiga, but none I saw were successful to date.

ZRTP is essential only in offering communication privacy, which is something
Skype also "claims" to deliver, but with a source secret client running source
secret protocols and algorithms that cannot be independently verified
(Kerckhoffs' principle).  Trustworthyness is essential in anything that
actually promises to deliver communication privacy, especially that claims to
do so over the public Internet, where so many institutions have developed
vested interests in communication intercept.  Source secret clients or
protocol libraries also could be targeted for secret backdoors.

The other part of this particular project deals with the removal of the need
for a mediating service provider just to communicate with someone.  Hence,
where Ekiga often makes use of, google makes use of, well, google,
and many VoIP providers tether users directly to them, we use a local
mediating service daemon which can both call to and receive calls on behalf of
users directly over the Internet using DNS alone.  This applies to any SIP
standard complaint client, including of course Ekiga, even if privacy is not
offered in such clients.

> I'm just trying to determine which actions (or combination of them) need to
> be performed for metad:
>   - Backport Ekiga to metad.
>   - Add GNU Telephony packages.
>   - Add GNU Telephony to default desktop selection (in addition to Ekiga).
>   - Replace Ekiga with GNU Telephony in default desktop selection.

I would say backporting ekiga to metad could be useful, at least for users
already familiar with it.  Merging twinkle and the zrtp libraries from Debian
testing, and also empathy from Debian, would be helpful as well.  Adding
sipwitch would be the next step, but this package is also still evolving.  But
I think that would be the primary initial steps for metad for right now.

> -- 
> Robert Millan
>   The DRM opt-in fallacy: "Your data belongs to us. We will decide when (and
>   how) you may access your data; but nobody's threatening your freedom: we
>   still allow you to remove your data and not access it at all."

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