Category: internet surveil

US Galaxy S9 – Is Any Privacy Possible?

So, long story short: I saw that the Samsung Galaxy S9 was supported as a LineageOS device, which was *the only reason* I got one yesterday.

I learned the hard was that the US version of this phone that I bought (model number: SM-G960U) has a locked bootloader, so a custom ROM isn’t an option.

My question is this: Is *any* level of privacy possible on a bootloader locked Galaxy S9 through apps or any other means? Is it possible to de-Google-ify the thing? Or do I need to take this bad boy back before the 14 day return period is over?

I’m with Verizon, and (because I didn’t think it mattered what carrier I was with) I didn’t think to look up carrier specific restrictions, but now that I have, it seems like Verizon is frighteningly good at keeping the bootloaders in their phones locked. If I want any privacy at all, would I need to switch carriers? Or is it enough to just switch phones?

(I understand that having a cellphone that is bluetooth, WiFi, radio, and GPS capable is pretty much not going to allow you complete privacy – my major concern was that I avoided the Google phones in my store and I switched to this Samsung phone from an iPhone because I wanted a phone I had a little bit more control over as far as privacy is concerned. I was so disappointed to find out that the Galaxy phones use the Google suite and I can’t flash the ROM.)

Found here

Android messages security / encryption?

So the Android messsages app has been out for a while now, and whilst its unquestionably not as secure as Signal or any of the better messaging apps out there, I’m wondering what IS the encryption / security in this app? So far I haven’t really been able to find out much. I presume there’s SOME level of privacy via encrypted messages at least?

The new features look very enticing and it makes me almost want to switch for convenience, seeing as pretty much no one I know uses Signal. But is the trade-off worth it?

Anyone have any info on this?

Found here

How to browse safely in on public wifi?

I’ve never actually used public-wifi on my laptop, only home or known/friendly wifi, and am planning to use my laptop at a couple different public wifi locations in the coming days – I have a VPN (Torguard), and have Tor installed (though it’s very old, am pretty sure linux mint doesn’t auto-update Tor like it does most programs), though I’m not sure if I should be using one or the other, or both, or making a TAILS sd card (would reallllllly rather avoid this!)

Am not concerned w/ my traffic being viewable/record-able (I don’t opt for startpage over google, for instance), am concerned with letting anything bad/malware into my laptop, am unsure if that makes a difference in approach here, and I won’t be going to any sites that require passwords/logins nor do I have any such data saved on my laptop like banking cookies or anything…also fwiw I block javascript by default (NoScript on Firefox) but, if I remember correctly, many places that have public wifi make you ‘sign-in’ through a portal (it’s been ages, maybe this isn’t the case anymore), if there’s anything particular to JS that’s worthwhile to consider I’d be keen to hear, as I don’t need JS I only plan on using the laptop for googling text/articles not email/youtube.

Thanks for any guidance on this, IIRC the VPN should be encrypted end-to-end but that’s just scrambling my output/input it’s not actually ‘blocking’ is it? Past that Tor is all I can think of but again I don’t know that Tor ‘blocks’ anything just that it anonymizes/separates the IP’s of you/the server you’re reading/reaching..

Found here

Good News! The Privacy Wins Keep Coming

Good News! The Privacy Wins Keep Coming:

Good News! The Privacy Wins Keep Coming

From here

Do you know of any privacy communities?

Hello everyone,

It goes without saying that there are lots of benefits when data are available and can be used to provide better services, and I am not against using users data to that end. That being said, I am not very fond of how service providers collect our data.

So I was wondering whether there exists a community of Engineers, where ideas on how we can keep sharing our data with service providers in a way that allows users to have full control over their data.

I’d like to thank everybody who will take some time to answer my question.

Found here

Facebook and Google use ‘dark patterns’

Facebook and Google use ‘dark patterns’:

Facebook and Google use ‘dark patterns’

From here

Another good reason to convert to Linux

Another good reason to convert to Linux:

Another good reason to convert to Linux

From here

Help me choose alternatives to these…


Good news! I’m almost independent of the big 5 –

Facebook (completely)

Microsoft (completely)

Apple (completely)

Amazon (ask friends or family to order things for me and I give them cash)

Google ( read below)

So the only company I’m still dependent upon is google.

I use 3 things from Google – Android, Youtube & Maps.

Since I’m not a youtuber or creator and only use it to watch videos (no commenting, liking, subscribing), so I’ve just switched to NewPipe

For Android, I’m using Lineage OS with F-Droid & without Google Apps or Google Play Services.

I’m heavily dependent on Google Maps currently and can’t find a better alternative as I’m living in India and no other alternative has a better understanding of roads, areas, etc. here other than Google Maps. Isn’t there an open source app just like NewPipe (for Youtube) for Google Maps that uses the Same API but no tracking etc. Becasue I do not want GPS or current locationing. I can manage with entering Start point and Destinition point.

Found here

Good News! The Privacy Wins Keep Coming

Brian Barrett of Wired supports his enthusiasm in the article of the same name, writing:

On Monday, police in Florida abandoned a pilot program that had put Amazon’s facial recognition powers at their disposal. On Wednesday, representatives from the country’s most powerful technology companies will gather in San Francisco to take a hard look at the industry’s approach to privacy. And on Thursday, the California legislature will vote on a bill that would grant internet users more power over their data than ever before in the United States. Any of these alone would mark a good week for privacy. Together, and combined with even more major advancements from earlier this month, they represent a tectonic shift.

Progress can be difficult to measure; it often comes in drips and drops, or not at all for long stretches of time. But in recent weeks, privacy advocates have seen torrential gains, at a rate perhaps not matched since Edward Snowden revealed how the National Security Agency spied on millions of US citizens in 2013. A confluence of factors—generational, judicial, societal—have created momentum where previously there was none. The trick now is to sustain it. …

Found here