I remain a strong vocal advocate for Telegram; only for its technical chops. Data export is feasible through Telegram desktop (giving me a safety hatch). I, however, continuously look for alternatives as a failsafe. Threema remains my choice, though their pace of “innovation” is “classically European”. They move at the glacial pace.
Still, I applaud and welcome this development. This is a significant win for open source and decentralisation.
BundesMessenger shows Germany’s embrace of open standard messaging
BundesMessenger is open source, as is Matrix – the underlying communication protocol on which it is built. Matrix is a decentralised open standard for real time communication; so it can easily support large-scale federation across Germany’s public administration while supporting full sovereignty of the application and the data.
Federation means that every part of government can securely and instantly communicate with each other. Each participating organisation can self-host its own Matrix-based server (such as Element Enterprise), preserving its own data sovereignty whilst simultaneously being able to join the Matrix-based federation. Each organisation is also free to use any Matrix-based client, such as the newly launched BundesMessenger or one of many others.
Enterprises should refrain from external applications. They should learn to self host and create “bridges” to fetch data from external resources. As public administrations adopt decentralisation mechanisms, they should gradually phase out the proprietary applications too, by having clear open standards.