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Messenger / mobile messaging alternatives


#1

Hello everyone,
I would like to know what are you using for mobile messaging.
By mobile messaging I mean whatsapp, viber, messenger, skype etc…

As we all know, if there’s something “free”, then you are the product.
That and permission hunger keeps me from using theses apps. Companies selling your data for advertisement / 3rd party companies don’t make it any better.

I’m starting to feel “alone” on this planet concerned about my privacy, contacts and messages. None of my friends / family seem to care, and basically say

Yeah, whatever. If reading my messages makes Mr. Sugarhill happy, let him be happy.

or

I’m not that interesting. There are millions of people around the globe, why would anyone care about me.

Additionally, I’m using ancient smartphone - stuck on Lollipop, therefore permission control is nonexistent (I can either approve all of them, or don’t install the app at all.)

I see the situation following:

  • All of my friends are using facebook. They simply don’t care.
  • Those “luckier” (iFruit) use Facetime
  • Whatsapp - although different app, still owned by facebook.
  • Skype, well skype. For some obscure reason I stopped getting notifications on computer. Even clean install of computer and skype didn’t help.
  • Hangouts - yeah, google. From all of those, this seem to be most acceptable solution. Google already knows ton about you, as long as you’re using android. There are roms without google applications. But most of people install gapps anyway, to get access to play store.

Is there something, what would you recommend, is preferrably cross-platform and doesn’t ask for permission to take my kidney, whenever they wish to?


#2

Well for mobile messengers there’s signal, but next to no one uses it. Whatsapp and i believe facebook messenger use the same end to end encryption as signal so theoretically they should both be as secure.

Skype has started offering predicted responses, it’s bizzare and I don’t understand why anyone would want that, but it does mean that an AI of some kind is reading your conversation. So that’s weird.

These people don’t understand the problem.


#3

They use a modified version, not sure what exactly the modifications are though.

Also the WhatsApp guy donated a huge chunk to signal a while ago. I’m using signal for some time now, it’s mainly the “normies” that are the issue because it’s hard to convince people to use something else if “everyone is on whatsshit”.

I had this issue, turns out the Focus Assist thingy was on basically all the time because some games were running in the background farming AFK playtime…


#4

I’m using Signal too and by being especially annoying I’ve “convinced” people of the advantages over WhatsApp and got them to switch. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself, they probably did it to shut me up, but well…the end justifies the means. Where have I heard that before? :smiley: )

Anyway, Moxie, the inventor of the textsecure protocol, started working for Facebook to implement this protocol and has switched back to Signal. So, in theory they should use the same type of encryption, but with some “minor” differences.

  1. It might be possible, that Facebook has all the private keys which would still make your messages safe from some 3rd party decrypting it, but not from FB themselves, or authorities.
  2. Signal keeps the logs small, so they don’t have metadata for long. (This strongly contrasts FB)
  3. They will start to encrypt sender/receiver as well, so in future even they won’t know who is talking to whom.

I’ve also captured the traffic of various phones this year and analysed it and have discovered that WhatsApp generates roughly 28x the traffic in the same time as Signal. (This happens while neither WhatsApp, nor Signal are being actively used).

Also, it takes a long time convincing people to stop using WhatsApp, but it is worth the effort. One friend of mine, I had to send a Signal invitation daily for over a year until he joined :smiley: (To be honest, after the first few invites I never expected him to join it and did it out of spite :wink: ) What also worked in my case, was that I wanted to be able to write on my PC/notebook to people instead of using my phone every time I got a text. But given the fact many people wanted to talk to me about cryptos I told them they either had to call me or switch to Signal. All of them did :slight_smile:


#5

I use Signal.

But given the fact many people wanted to talk to me about cryptos I told them they either had to call me or switch to Signal. All of them did.

I agree with this. I have friends, all of whom used like 15 different messaging apps, but balked at the suggestion to install one more. Three of my tech-savvy friends used Signal, but none of my non-tech friends did, after months and months of being annoying about it.

What got them to install Signal wasn’t my badgering them about. It was because I deleted Facebook. You need to give people a reason to make the switch.


#6

I haven’t heard about any cross-platform apps yet. Been using whatsapp and telegram lately too.


#7

Doesn’t Telegram have a Desktop App? I thought so… :thinking:

Signal does anyway though.


#8

Yeah, telegram can be used for desktop too.


#9

Just found out now. So there you go. It has great encryption as well. :slight_smile:


#10

Forgive my ignorance but what is the issue with the loss of privacy? I use FB messenger with the understanding that the cost of software development is offset by their allowance to mine my data and sell it/targeted ad spots


#11

There are two ways to answering this.

The first is arguing that nothing bad could come from giving away your religion. But travel back to Germany a certain numbers of years and suddenly being Jewish might not be the best thing to tell people.

The second issue is that companies also create psychiatric profiles of groups and individuals that they use to influence people in certain ways. Believing oneself immune to this practice points to stupidity and therefore the opposite should be true. Furthermore, for the user nothing good can come of this; even wore, the user has more to lose than to gain since you don’t know what will happen with your data.
This argument now bridges the former, but maybe you are into BDSM porn and suddenly a study discovers that viewers of this type of porn are more likely to engage in pedophilia. As a result you are more likely to be watched and discovering something illegal you have done is more likely to be found.


#12

To add on @Azulath’s answer.

It depends. :smile:

Loss of privacy can be worse for people depending on where they live, their job, age, etc.

There probably a few things to consider.

How stable is your country and are you planning to visit unstable countries any time in the future? This can be important because what you say online may be illegal in some countries. Maybe you talk about being a christian and then go to a country that is trying to eradicate christianity, they could use that information to lock you up.

but let’s say that isn’t to much of a concern for you personally (keep in mind, its a valid reason for many people).

A single piece of information on facebook messenger might mean nothing, but its not a single piece of information being collected. facebook will collect everything you say and everything said by anyone who talks to you. Then use that for themselves to profile you and your circle of friends. They then use that to determine what they want you to see, and not just ads. Facebook will filter out what your friends say in posts and only show what they want you to see. Everything you post and say on facebook will likely contribute that that narrative they build for you.

But lets say you’re not bothered by that either (you will as pointed out in the previous post be affected by it, whether you realise it or not.)

that data is going no where, it will be kept for years. If there is an investigation into someone connected to you, your data is up for grabs. That ‘joke’ about killing your wife might turn into a reason to look more closely at you, allowing access to further information.

Ok far fetched scenarios for most people, and unlikely for most people. But you can’t ignore your privacy. I guarantee you don’t tell everyone everything. Theres a reasons for that, some things shouldn’t be shared, some things should only be shared with a specific person, some things can be shared to many people.

Facebook and the like can make it seem like your only sharing a piece of information to one person, when in reality your sharing it with them, and facebook.

It’s just something you have to keep in mind. Sometimes things you say should be kept private, from everyone, including your communication provider, except those who are actually involved.

It’s not just about protecting your self, but also the people you talk to.


#13

I just text everyone with the Silence Android SMS app. If they want any other form of communication with me, it’s email (HushMail) or nothing. ¯\(ツ)

P.S I know both forms of communication are unsecure and has the Canadian government monitoring it, but it’s better than corps like Google and Fuckbook having my data.


#14

Is the Silence Android a well-encrypted app?


#15

I use Telegram. It is pretty secure, has a lot of features and a quite large user base. :3


#16

The only messenger I still use is Threema.

https://threema.ch/en