Earlier this year, we announced an instant messaging service for our members using Jabber (XMPP). This service is federated, so like email, you can talk to people whose account is hosted somewhere else than the FSF. Your account is, say, firstname.lastname@example.org, but you could still seamlessly talk to someone who is email@example.com.It's guessed that Google is doing this to combat spam. While not as many people will be impacted by this as Google Reader or other actions, it's seen as another step in the wrong direction by those pushing for an open, interoperable Internet.
Until now. Recently, some of our members started reporting that they were no longer able to add contacts at GoogleTalk, which is the Jabber service Google provides to Gmail users. Since Google has run a fully federated Jabber service for a long time and ours is new, we investigated under the assumption the problem was on our end.
Turns out, Google has started blocking invites sent from non-Google Jabber servers. Subscription requests just disappear mysteriously, confusing both users and server operators.
This change is akin to Google no longer accepting incoming e-mail for @gmail.com addresses from non-Google domains. That would be unthinkable.
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