Guest Post by Beloved: The Tech of Talking to Loved Ones (II)

 
Here is the second half of  Beloved's guest post on how to videocall your loved ones without 
compromising your privacy. This is the practical part. If you would like to read some of the 
considerations behind his choice of software, visit part 1. 

Getting Down to Business
I did all my talking in the previous half of this post, now let's set something up.  There are 
two steps to setting yourself up for private phone calls.  The first is getting a free SIP account 
and the second is installing Jitsi and logging in.

Getting a Free SIP Account
SIP users have addresses that look like email addresses.  Your SIP account is independent 
of the software you use to talk SIP, in much the same way your phone is independent from 
your phone number.  I like the free service offered by iptel.org so we'll be using that one.
1)  Visit www.iptel.org with your favorite web browser.
2)  Click on the "Subscribe!" button in the top right of the page.
3)  Fill in your relevant information and be sure to lie for the 'first name', 'last name, and 
'phone' fields.  They don't need to know your name or your phone number - it's none of 
their business!  You'll need to tell the truth for the rest of the fields including email.  
Pick a username, password, and click 'I accept' on their nonsense terms of service like you 
actually read it and care.  Don't use a password you use anywhere else since they're going 
to mail it to you in unencrypted text for some stupid reason. Just write it down next to your 
computer if you don't want to remember it.(a)
4)  When you're done click 'Register'.
5)  Check your email for a message from iptel.org.  Click on the link to activate your account 
and you're done.

Installing and Setting up Jitsi
1)  Visit www.jitsi.org with your favorite web browser.
2)  Click on "Download Jitsi".
3)  Pick the right Jitsi download for your operating system from the stable category.
4)  Download and install the thing.  For more help see the additional resources near 
the end of this post.
5)  Start Jitsi.  Windows users may get a warning from a firewall program at this time.  
If you do, please allow Jitsi access to the network.
6) After starting for the first time you should see a screen for adding accounts.  Add your 
SIP user information into the SIP section of the add account screen.  If the username you 
chose on iptel.org was "bob" you would enter "bob@iptel.org" as your username in Jitsi.  
Your password is the same password you wrote down from iptel.org.(b)
7) Click "Sign In".

Communications software is pretty boring if you have no one to talk to.  So you'll want to 
add a contact after adding an account.
1)  Find someone you want to talk with.  Preferably this person will also want to talk with 
you, however this is not required.
2)  Show said person this blogpost for proper SIP/ZRTP/Jitsi indoctrination and ask them 
for their account name.
3)  Under "File" click on "Add contact…"
4)  In the "ID or Number Field" enter their contact information.  If they registered at iptel.org 
with "jane" you would input "jane@iptel.org".
5) Click on "Add".
6)  They're now in your friends list and when you click on them you can choose to 
communicate with them via text, voice SIP call or video SIP call.  When they're online and 
available for a call the circle next to their name will turn green.
7)  Click on their name and then click on the icon below their name to make a secure 
video call.  If you see a green lock icon the call is secure.
8)  After a secure call connects, you might see some text and numbers below the video 
window.  If, for some reason, you and the person you're calling do not see the same text 
and numbers below your screens then there is a high chance someone is messing 
with your call.  Speak the text and numbers to the person you're calling and have them 
verify that they see the same numbers.
8) If you have no friends, or if your friends are slow and you really want to see this thing 
work, you can add the test user "music@iptel.org".  Calling this user causes plays music 
back to you.  You can't call this user securely so don't worry if you don't get the green lock 
icon.

Additional resources:
Installing Jitsi on Windows(guide)
https://jitsi.org/Documentation/InstallAndSetupOnWindows

Installing Jitsi on Windows(Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhmOg0G-Frw

Placing a ZRTP call with Jitsi(Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udBBDHT-_UA

ZRTP and SRTP FAQ
https://jitsi.org/Documentation/ZrtpFAQ

(a) I am not advocating that you always write down passwords next to your computer for 
every service you use online, just this one.  Proper operational password security is 
outside the scope of this post.

(b) If for some reason you don't get prompted to create an account the first time you start 
Jitsi, you can add your account by clicking on the "Add new account…" option under the 
"File" dropdown.  "File -->  Add new account…
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1 Response to “Guest Post by Beloved: The Tech of Talking to Loved Ones (II)”



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