The many inquiries to klicksafe in recent days show that there is a great need for information here. Therefore, we have compiled a list of programs that are suitable for secure online communication. As a basis for the evaluation, attention was paid to whether the programs offer end-to-end encryption according to the manufacturer's specifications and whether the users' data is stored on servers within the European Union.
Jitsi Meet is a free video conferencing software that works with an open source code. To create video conferences, you don't need to create an account. You simply open the program in your web browser and create a conference room. All other participants are invited via a link - without the need to register. Jitsi Meet can also be used on Android and iOS. The chat messages are encrypted end-to-end. The group video chat, however, is not. Here, the data is only encrypted for transport, but it is briefly decrypted on the server that runs the service. Theoretically, it is possible for third parties to eavesdrop at this point. mobilsicher.de therefore sums up the test as"The security of using Jitsi Meet is therefore a question of trust in the operating company 8x8 Inc.". Supplementing one can add "... or a question of trust in the selected server", because this can be freely determined.
Since the regular Jitsi server, through which the video connection is handled, is located in the USA, alternative servers, so-called instances, from Europe or Germany should be used. Another advantage of these alternative servers is that they may not be as heavily used as the main server and therefore provide a more stable connection.
- List of available instances from Germany from Jitsi: https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet/wiki/Jitsi-Meet-Instances
- List of available instances from Germany from the Chaos Computer Club: https://pads.ccc.de/jitsiliste
The messenger service Wire (see below) can also be used for video calls between two people. In group chats, video conferences are not possible in the basic version, but conference calls without pictures are supported.
The Messenger developed in Germany Wire is operated in compliance with DSGVO via servers in Europe and offers end-to-end encryption as standard. The basic version can be used free of charge, and Wire grants educational institutions a 50% discount on the more extensive Wire Pro version. Unfortunately, the website does not provide any information about which functions are included in the basic version. During a test, however, it was at least possible to create a group chat without any problems. One advantage of Wire is that the messenger does not only run on smartphones, but also on desktop computers. Thus, every user can use their preferred device for communication.
The Chiffry Secure Messenger is a free, tap-proof Whatsapp alternative for those who value security and data protection. The encrypted messenger is available for Android, Blackberry, iOS and Windows Phone. The basic version of Chiffry is free of charge. One drawback is that only chat groups of up to ten people can be created in this basic version. The premium version currently costs 0.99 Euros per month. Here, group chats with up to 50 people can be created. Users of the basic version can also participate in these group chats, so only the creator of the group chat has to use a premium version.
Before a video conference can be organized, for example, a date must first be set, and this is often the biggest hurdle. There are now countless online solutions for this, the best known of which is probably Doodle. The Digitalcourage association operates Nuudel a free service that, in contrast to the top dog Doodle, is data-saving, DSGVO-compliant and can also be used anonymously.
- State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information RLP: Checklist for the selection of video-based communication technology for use in schools
- Mobilsicher: The best 5 services for video chat
- Mobilsicher: Focus video on video chat part 1 and part 2
- KMK: Learning from home - digital learning opportunities