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That massively understates both problems.
Requiring a phone-number is a huge privacy problem not only because of the device tracking, but because your phone-number becomes your ID on the network that you have to share with others to connect.
And the centralisation of the service, especially with servers & staff in the US, that allow US government services easy meta-data tracking (despite what Signal claims) is another huge issue.
And last but not least (but they seem to have eased up on that a bit), Signals requirement to use the official binary release versions of the client (instead of 3rd party compiled versions from places like F-droid that can remove Google dependencies) makes the open-source nature of the client pretty much void as it practically very hard to tell if the binary release they offer you for download is the same as what the source contains. This is also problematic as the Signal client pulls in external dependencies from Google services that are closed source and can change on a OS upgrade without the user noticing.
Damn, that makes me want to download molly. Which I am doing right now. Thank you for summarizing it. I always thought it’a bad but you nailed it, thx.
That has the same fundamental problems, with a smaller network (fewer people use it). If you’re looking for something which will never have those issues, I’d recommend anything on XMPP. Yax, for example, will let you chat with anyone on the xmpp protocol (like conversations, profanity, et c. et c.). It’ll never disappear, and if some problem arises, you can just change the client and keep your account and contacts (basically it’s e-mail but for IMs).
Molly is just a security focused fully FOSS 3rd party client.
From their site:
It’s Signal, with fewer users.
It’s another client, not another network. And they have a FOSS version that’s even aviable on F-Droid.