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BlackPhone, BP1, PrivatOS, Do you own one? Do you use it? How do you use it?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Buckow View Post
    Does anyone know what version of Google Play Services to install for PrivatOS 1.1.17 (Android 4.4.4) on BP1? I'm trying to use Signal, which requires Google Play Services. I know BP1 doesn't officially support Google Play; I thought I read it was possible to install it anyway.
    It may hav been possible to install LibreSignal into the Silent Space without needing to use MicroG, i dunno. I dunno if either will still work to enable Signal Private Messenger. There was (still is?) a very heated debate as to whether or not the developer(s) of Signal Private Messenger would support forks and work-arounds of Signal Private Messenger to bypass the requirement to use Google Cloud Messaging.

    I hav not followed that debate recently, and this may be over-simplifiying, but IMHO, implementations for the prevention of mass surveilance can be significantly different than implementations for the prevention of targeted surveillance.

    Signal Private Messenger seems to be all about preventing mass surveilence. But the implementation for that, which Signal has chosen, tho undeniably popular and hopefully in some part successful in preventing mass surveilance, seems to conflict with implementations to prevent targeted surveilance. BP1 users are probly more interested in preventing targeted surveilance, tho they may not wish to admit that publicly. The focus for preventing targeted surveilance seems to be shifting towards the use of some other app distinct from Signal Private Messenger. Some app whose source code is not proprietary and doesnt require Google Cloud Messaging (eg, an app called Conversations). Hopefully, someday we can all communicate with each other privately, and not require two separate apps, but aparently we arent there yet.

    I used LibreSignal when i tried to install Signal on BP1 (i forget the version of PrivatOS, but it was fairly mature already). I got LibreSignal from an app store in Spain, and i thought it was the same as Signal Private Messenger, but it isnt exactly the same. LibreSignal tries to bypass the need for Google Cloud Messaging.

    To get LibreSignal to work on the BP1, the app needed to be installed in the Silent Space (see below for why).

    I hav not tried to use MicroG app substitutes for Google Play Services and Google Services Framework (eg, instead of using LibreSignal) but doing so may allow more control over the data that is sent to Google:

    A MicroG substitute for the Google Play Store does not seem to be available yet.

    A discussion regarding the relatively poor security of the MicroG project is here:

    in which a CopperheadOS developer states, "There's little indication that the [MicroG] project is going to shift to focusing on robustness/security..."

    [The MicroG project is] "... essentially subject to the whims of Google since it depends upon private / undocumented APIs and hacks (the inappropriate signature spoofing stuff is just the tip of the iceberg). Parts of it could break at any time and it's held together by volunteers primarily interested in making it work."


    Why Signal needs to be installed in Silent Space:

    After installing Signal, Signal sends a text (to my phone's original SMS app) which Signal must auto-receive to verify my BP1 phone number (ie, the phone number registered with my wireless network service provider and displayed in BP1 Silent Space, Settings, About Phone, Status). Texts on the BP1 are only received in the Silent Space. Tho u can send and be notified of incoming texts in other spaces, u cant read an incoming text in any space other than the Silent Space.

    Signal installed in a non-Silent Space could not auto-read the incoming text to verify my phone number, and i couldnt manually enter info from the received text into the Signal app. So the installation never completed. Something like that--this was maybe a year ago, and i cant access my notes now.

    Basically, i was unwilling to allow the LibreSignal app into the SilentSpace of my BP1. And now it seems that even if i did get some version of Signal working in my SilentSpace, Signal developers might not​​ tolerate that, and so Signal would not work in the long term.
    Last edited by Tilted; December 4, 2016, 15:47. Reason: clarification of mass vs targeted surveilance