RCS a standard to supercede SMS and Threema?

Harald Welte laforge at gnumonks.org
Mon Mar 29 15:45:38 UTC 2021

Hi Bernhard,

On Mon, Mar 29, 2021 at 10:23:37AM +0200, Bernhard E. Reiter wrote:
> Am Freitag, 26. März 2021, 20:38:59 CEST schrieb Harald Welte:
> > This means unless you know how to access this separate
> > IP tunnel used for IMS from the application processor, you would not be able
> > to write a FOSS or 3rd party RCS client.
> okay, that is a downside. And also that you cannot use it anonymously
> without mobile phone number, I guess.

That is mostly a policy decision.  The standard allows for authentication by SIM
card, but also allows for other authentication mechanisms, IIRC I've seen
client certificate based auth mentioned somehwere.  That latter bit is btw,
also true for 5G networks, but in the end, the operators have of course a
strong motivation to provide services only to subscribers they have authenticated.
to have a valid subscription ;)

> But having any standard for encrypted messenging seems better than having many 
> proprietary walled gardens. So I wonder if we should advertise it more, 
> despite the drawbacks.

Given that we're not aware of any FOSS on either the RCS client nor server side,
and the fact that there is likely patents as in all other cellular protocols,
I would be very careful to take a position in this as FSFE.

- Harald Welte <laforge at gnumonks.org>           http://laforge.gnumonks.org/
"Privacy in residential applications is a desirable marketing option."
                                                  (ETSI EN 300 175-7 Ch. A6)

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