So, you’re angry about the NSA logging all your instant messages and phone calls, and want to do something about it? Here’s some info on what you can do. To start off, I assume that your goal is cross-platform secure messaging. That is, solutions which don’t interoperate with other platforms aren’t useful, because not all your friends use the same OS as you. Also not useful is SMS, because not everyone uses their phone for everything.
There’s been a lot of speculation and misinformation about exactly how far Google is going in abandoning XMPP. I decided to spend a few minutes checking out for sure. I set up Kopete on Linux with a jabber.org account, and tested interoperability with Google Talk (in Gmail) and Google Hangouts (both web and Android). Here’s what I found: You can still receive XMPP messages and accept contact requests in Google Talk.
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of SMS, the mobile phone Short Message Service. Coincidentally, I needed to ask my cousin a question. He wasn’t available via instant messaging, so I resorted to sending a text message to his mobile number. A lot of people don’t realize that SMS is not guaranteed delivery. The network(s) may simply drop the messages if they lack capacity or if the recipient’s phone is out of service area.