End-to-bridge encryption

The bridge can optionally encrypt messages between Matrix users and the bridge to hide messages from the homeserver. The use cases for this are:

  • Storing messages encrypted on disk rather than in plaintext.
    • In unencrypted rooms, events are stored in plaintext in the homeserver database.
    • E2BE can be configured to delete keys immediately after encrypting/decrypting, which means the server being compromised in the future won't compromise old bridged messages.
  • Preventing the server from seeing messages at all when bridges are hosted locally:
    • When using Beeper, you can self-host bridges locally and connect them to the Beeper servers. End-to-bridge encryption means the Beeper servers never see messages.
    • If you have your own homeserver on a cloud VPS, you can host bridges on a local raspberry pi or similar to ensure your cloud provider can't see messages.

Basic usage

To enable it, you must install the bridge with dependencies:

  • For Python-based bridges, install the e2be optional dependency.
  • For Go-based bridges, make sure the bridge is built with libolm.
    • CI binaries from mau.dev and release binaries on GitHub are always built with libolm.
  • Docker images for all bridges always support encryption and don't need any special build flags.

After that, simply enable the option in the config (bridgeencryption). If you only set allow: true, the bridge won't enable encryption on its own, but will work in encrypted rooms. If you also set default: true, the bridge will automatically enable encryption in new portals.

If your homeserver is configured to forcibly enable encryption in rooms, you must also set default: true in the bridge config. Force-enabling encryption on the server side will not notify the bridge, so unless the bridge enables encryption by default, the bridge will not find out that encryption was enabled.

You should not set appservice: true at the moment, as the Synapse implementation is still incomplete and has not been tested with the bridges.

Additional security

The bridges contain various additional options to configure how keys are handled. For maximum security, you should set:

  • default: true and require: true to reject any unencrypted messages.
  • All fields except delete_outbound_on_ack under delete_keys to true to ratchet/delete keys immediately when they're no longer needed. This prevents the bridge (and bridge admin) from reading old messages.
  • All fields under verification_levels to cross-signed-tofu. This means only devices with valid cross-signing verification can use the bridge.

Legacy instructions

Legacy registration file workaround

In mautrix-telegram v0.8.0 release candidates, you had to manually apply a workaround for MSC2190. In newer versions (mautrix-telegram v0.8.0+, mautrix-python v0.5.0-rc3+) the workaround is applied automatically to all newly generated registration files. For old registration files, you can either regenerate the file or apply the workaround manually:

  1. Change sender_localpart in the registration to something else. Any random string will do.
  2. Add a new entry in the users array for the bridge bot (the previous value of sender_localpart). If you used the default telegrambot, the result should look something like this:
        - exclusive: true
          regex: '@telegram_.+:your.homeserver'
        - exclusive: true
          regex: '@telegrambot:your.homeserver'
  3. Using the as_token, make a call to register the bot user. It's fine if this says the user is already in use. This step only applies to new bridges, but new bridges don't need to do this workaround.
    $ curl -H "Authorization: Bearer <as_token>" -d '{"username": "telegrambot"}' -X POST https://your.homeserver/_matrix/client/r0/register?kind=user