Here we go. The wheels are in motion. We’re going to see a lot more press targeted at Telegram and Signal in the near future, until their eventual ban from app stores.

In the last few days I have been asked by many non-crypto friends “to recommend a secure messaging app alternative to WhatsApp”. This report contains my answer.

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This overview of the decentralized social ecosystem is structured by protocols, applications, and topics. The protocols and applications sections contain summaries of existing projects.

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As of December 8, Apple has been requiring developers submitting new apps and app updates to provide privacy label information that outlines the data that each app collects from users when it is installed.

Many app developers, such as Facebook, have complied and now include the privacy labels alongside their apps, but there’s one notable outlier – Google.

Throughout much of 2019, Internet tech giant Google has attempted to portray itself as a public champion of web privacy. Yet, behind the scenes, a very different view of Google is emerging. In August 2019, at approximately the same time that Google was rolling out its much-hyped “Privacy Sandbox” privacy framework, it was also working to block efforts of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body to bolster the web privacy features of new technical specifications.

This purpose of this article is not to rate each web browser in a vacuum, like articles on this website that focus on one specific web browser, but rather to compare all of the web browsers that have been rated on this website against each other. This is a ranking that is based on how much Privacy a browser offers by default, as well as, how much privacy can be gained by configuring it.

In the 1998 Hollywood thriller Enemy of the State, an innocent man (played by Will Smith) is pursued by a rogue spy agency that uses the advanced satellite “Big Daddy” to monitor his every move. The film — released 15 years before Edward Snowden blew the whistle on a global surveillance complex — has achieved a cult following.

It was, however, much more than just prescient: it was also an inspiration, even a blueprint, for one of the most powerful surveillance technologies ever created. So contends technology writer and researcher Arthur Holland Michel in his compelling book Eyes in the Sky. He notes that a researcher (unnamed) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California who saw the movie at its debut decided to “explore — theoretically, at first — how emerging digital-imaging technology could be affixed to a satellite” to craft something like Big Daddy, despite the “nightmare scenario” it unleashes in the film. Holland Michel repeatedly notes this contradiction between military scientists’ good intentions and a technology based on a dystopian Hollywood plot.

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There seems to be a concerted effort in the last few weeks to portray Signal and Telegram in a bad light. I imagine they’ll be booted off app-stores quite soon, as the twitter pressure rises. I’m willing to bet on it.

As more and more friends have turned to Signal, I’ve been using it more in the past day or two. Despite the hiccup/crash from the sudden traffic, it really seems like Signal has improved a lot.

We all know that our cell phones constantly give our location away to our mobile network operators; that’s how they work. A group of researchers has figured out a way to fix that. “Pretty Good Phone Privacy” (PGPP) protects both user identity and user location using the existing cellular networks. It protects users from fake cell phone towers (IMSI-catchers) and surveillance by cell providers.

It’s a clever system. The players are the user, a traditional mobile network operator (MNO) like AT&T or Verizon, and a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). MVNOs aren’t new. They’re intermediaries like Cricket and Boost.

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Apple reportedly dropped plans to fully secure users’ iPhone and iPad backups after the FBI complained about the initiative, reports Reuters.

Apple devices have a well-deserved reputation for protecting on-device data, but backups made using iCloud are a different matter. This information is encrypted to stop attackers, but Apple holds the keys to decrypt it and shares it with police and governments when legally required.

Please stop recommending Signal. Thank you.


Discussions about privacy, digital rights, etc.

Created on Sep 16, 2020
By @gurlic
Administered by: @zed