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Cake day: Jun 28, 2021

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I think the difference is that ultimately China (the government, not it’s people) is an enemy of the “wester alliance” - “the west”, if you will. You can work, and even cooperate, with an enemy to a degree, but you don’t let them into your house. It’s pretty basic at it’s core. TikTok is from a simplistic POV, is at the whims of the Chinese government - much like Facebook/Insta/Snap are to the US government although to a much lesser extent. We don’t worry about FB/Insta/Snap because they operate within the “western” jurisdiction and are “trusted” within their domain.

Being rational also requires you take real-life risks into consideration. This would be like saying “why don’t you treat your friends the same way you treat the local crackhead when he walks through your store? He’s just there to buy essentials” - yes, he may be there to actually buy things, but he’s much more likely to do something nefarious than your known friends.


duckduckgo.com - it’s my second attempt at switching over from google and I can finally say it works just as good - if not better than - Google, for me. It may not be there for others yet but I feel like I can start recommending it now.


Return it for a full refund and find one that doesn’t?


I’m personally a fan of systemd, but Devuan is a great example of the benefits of open source - they didn’t like the direction a project was moving in and they decided to do something about it. Can’t do that with iOS, macOS, or Windows. If the shit ever hits the fan with any of those operating systems, you’re stuck with it. It’s why I always try to use open source alternatives.


Lemmy should reach 100k users when another 82,329 people join.


For anyone interested, there’s also gopass: https://www.gopass.pw/ - pass written in go, with some pretty neat improvements, and compatibility with apps that interface with pass.


Another thing to point out is that he states how the Linux kernel has hundreds of vulnerabilities found compared to other OS’s. Well yeah, Linux is open source and literally any researcher/security expert can read the code to find bugs. Good luck trying to do the same with Windows or MacOS.

Lastly, most Linux distros are “complete” in the sense that you generally (or at least for the majority) don’t have to install much software outside of whats already in your distribution’s repos; you’re not having to google/download sketchy apps, so this threat model of rogue apps trying to hack/steal your data is minimal, if not non-existent.

The real problem is those systems (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android) all have an app store where a ton of developers are trying to make money off of you in any way possible by stealing your data/invading your privacy, so they had to build a permission system because you can’t trust those random people. You can generally trust your Linux distro to not package malware and can safely install any app that’s available.

Edit: I should add, its still a good writeup. I think he makes some good points and it would be great to see Linux improve in some areas, even if the problem doesn’t really exist as much as it does for the more commercially backed operating systems.


If you’re using Debian/Ubuntu to autostart Syncthing you just run the following lines in a terminal, which are in the doc you posted:

systemctl enable syncthing@myuser.service

systemctl start syncthing@myuser.service

Not sure what’s difficult about that, or any different than the options available on other operating systems. It may be confusing to someone who’s new, but it would be just as confusing for someone who’s new to MacOS.

How would you autostart an app on Mac? Are you familiar with creating a launchagent and how confusing that is for apps that don’t enable autostart by default [0]?

Same issue on Windows - computers are not immediately intuitive, which is why documents/manuals are created. One must familiarize themselves with the system they intend to “own” otherwise be lost and confused when something happens.

[0] https://medium.com/swlh/how-to-use-launchd-to-run-services-in-macos-b972ed1e352


But is briar a single, centralized US hosted service?

No. But Briar runs over the Tor network, another project funded by the OTF [0]. Side note, the Tor Project has received $3 million USD from the OTF/CIA, can you trust it when a researcher was able to identify Tor users 100% of the time in a lab experiment and 81% of the time in real-world tests [1][2]?

Does it require you, like signal, to give it info that links to your real identity

Signal never touted anonymity, only privacy. You need to understand your threat model to make an informed decision. Also, if a single researcher was able to de-anonymize Tor users 80% of the time in real life, what chance do you have with a more powerful nation-state, unlimited funds, and ownership of various exit nodes?

Did it close its server source code off for a year?

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” - in this case, we can replace stupidity with a million things that have nothing to do with compromising your privacy, the client is still completely E2EE, open source and has reproducible builds.

Is it possible to download it from f-droid so you can verify its builds are secure

You can download the app directly from Signal [3] or even build it yourself [4] to verify the build in the play store matches the code on github

Does it depend on google or amazon?

If you’re using an Android phone, you’re likely already depending on Google, although you can still run it on a de-google’d phone. I’m using Signal on a Pixel with stock Android and a OnePlus without any ties to Google using LineageOS, it works great on both phones! It does run on Amazon infrastructure, but again, we’ve seen Tor is not guaranteeing anyone anonymity anyways.

Does it bundle in a cryptocurrency?

How is this a negative? Some people want this and if you don’t want it, don’t use it.

Is it possible to verify what the server is running?

The server is basically plumbing/a router. The bulk of the Signal “magic” happens in the E2EE app. Can you verify that your Briar messages aren’t hopping through government run Tor bridges/relays/exit nodes?

[0] https://www.opentech.fund/results/supported-projects/tor-project/

[1] https://www.vice.com/en/article/4x3qnj/how-the-nsa-or-anyone-else-can-crack-tors-anonymity

[2] PDF warning: https://mice.cs.columbia.edu/getTechreport.php?techreportID=1545&format=pdf

[3] https://signal.org/android/apk/

[4] https://signal.org/blog/reproducible-android/

EDIT: I do want to add - I’m 100% pro-Briar. It’s really easy to attempt to discredit something if you don’t understand a threat model, link legit sources, and speak to real flaws, nothing is 100% secure. That said, in today’s climate, message privacy is something that Signal can provide with very few compromises in usability.

I’ll say it again, I want Briar to succeed and everything I’ve posted above is just a “devil’s advocate” stance to point out that Signal is, today, just as good if not better than most options out there.


Don’t use Briar.

Briar [0] gets funded by the OTF [1]. If you’re unfamiliar with the OTF, they’re publicly listed as a subsidiary of Radio Free Asia, a US state-run organization whose main goal (along with the other “Radio Free” incarnations such as Radio Free Europe, or Free Cuba Radio) is regime change for those Asian governments who don’t align with the US’s foreign policy interests.

The Radio Free agencies underwent a public re-branding in the early 1990s, but they are in effect the same CIA misinformation organizations from the 1950s:

Radio Free Asia began broadcasting to mainland China in 1951 from an elaborate set of transmitters in Manila. It was an arm of the Committee for Free Asia, and the C.I.A. thought of it as the beginning of an operation in the Far East that would rival Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.

It was only after Radio Free Asia’s transmitters were operating, according to sources familiar with the case, that the C.I.A. realized that there were almost no radio receivers in private hands in mainland China. An emergency plan was drawn up. Balloons, holding small radios tuned to Radio Free Asia’s frequency, were lofted toward the mainland from the island of Taiwan, where the Chinese Nationalists had fled after the Communist takeover of the mainland in 1949. The plan was abandoned when the balloons were blown back to Taiwan across the Formosa Strait.

What Allen Weinstein, one of the founders of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), another US “human rights” regime change org said of his organization applies equally to the Open Technology fund: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

The fund is designated to: “support open technologies and communities that increase free expression, circumvent censorship, and obstruct repressive surveillance as a way to promote human rights and open societies.”

One should question the commitment of a fund that dedicates itself to “obstructing surveillance”, while being created by a government who runs the most expansive surveillance system in world history. And how the US might define the terms “human rights”, and “open society” differently from those who know the US’s history in those areas.

[0] https://briarproject.org/

[1] https://www.opentech.fund/results/supported-projects/briar/

[2] https://dessalines.github.io/essays/why_not_signal.html#cia-funding

/s

Just a light jab, no harm intended.

All kidding aside, Briar is a great option, but so is Signal.

Signal enforces E2EE, is open source, has reproducible[3] builds (you can trust the app is what’s in public code), and best of all, because it is the gold standard of modern secure messaging apps, is under the scrutiny of many security experts. Finally, Signal has undergone various security audits [4] which they make public.

The reality of the situation is that if you’re a person of significant interest, someone with enough power can theoretically compromise you. The only way around it is to go completely open source hardware AND software, read every line of code, understand it, and compile everything yourself.

I will say, while I’m a Staunch supporter of Signal, Briar is what I’m keeping my eyes on for the future. It still needs to reach feature parity with most modern apps, and make it stupid easy to connect with people who are already in your contacts (I’m not going to ask my grandma to install Briar), but the tech behind it is pretty great [5] and only getting better.

[3] Only for Android.

[4] https://community.signalusers.org/t/wiki-overview-of-third-party-security-audits/13243

[5]



One that I haven’t seen mentioned yet is Snowflake. An addon that allows you to help people defeat internet censorship by routing censored users to your Snowflake proxy.

From their site:

There is no need to worry about which websites people are accessing through your proxy. Their visible browsing IP address will match their Tor exit node, not yours.

The addon tells you how many people you’ve helped in the last 24 hours - In the few weeks I’ve had it, I’ve only had a handful of users, so it’s not very resource intensive, but allows you to help without having to do anything.


Decentraleyes is not dead, it’s feature scope is just more narrow, meaning it’s reached “product maturity” quicker.

Think of it as running Debian stable vs Arch Linux - Debian isn’t dead it just progresses at a slower and more stable pace than Arch. Slow & steady gives you tremendous stability at the cost of missing out on a few features.

Some people, like myself, prefer stability over fancy new features. I’ve tried LocalCDN, but found it interfered with a lot more websites than Decentraleyes, which is a “set and forget” addon. Not to say the LocalCDN project is bad; its not, its great and I would like to switch back to it at some point; but in my testing, it’s not something I would set for my parents, and found it more of a hassle for myself so I switched back to Decentraleyes.


You forgot the “And why” part. Now I gotta DDG what “Absolute Enable Right Click” does lmao. I’m lazy, but thanks for your input.


Yikes! I took a look at the comments on gab and it seems to be overrun by backwoods hillbilly nutjobs. No thanks.




Depends on your needs. If you need to emulate several computer architectures absolutely go with KVM, but if you just need to run a bunch of services Docker/Kubernetes may be the best option.


are you white cis hetero male from usa/europe/australia? Just need to know if it’s worth to engage LMAO. get out