I try to use text messaging services that are open source, encrypted and privacy focused. While it is possible that a corporation or government can still get a hold of these conversations through my phone, most of the text messaging services I have been used has been honest about the information they collect. Since many are open source, you can audit the code to confirm their claims. After getting my first phone which was a Motorola G2 in late 2014, I used the default Google Messenger application. After reading up on Google’s business model and watching WhatsApp get swallowed up and changed by Facebook earlier that year, I decided to find an alternative. I started using Signal which is the most famous privacy text messaging service in the world. But getting my friends and family to download and use it properly was an impossible task. So Signal was out. I did convince my wife and daughter to download Telegram which at least has allowed internal family conversations to remain private. But I needed a text messaging service for my friends, extended family, and work acquaintances.
“These third parties have access to your Personal Information only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose. Service providers with whom we share your personal information include:
If you are concerned about your data going overseas, Pulse is no longer a viable option. Because:
“Business Transfers. Klinker Apps, Inc. may sell, transfer, or otherwise share some or all of its assets, including your Personal Information, in connection with a merger, acquisition, reorganization or sale of assets or in the event of bankruptcy.”
So this was the nail in the coffin for me. I immediately deleted the application and downloaded the open source text messaging application QKSMS off F-Droid. This text messaging service caused me problems in 2015 and 2018 when I used it mostly revolving around their MMS service. But as of today, I have had no problems with the app…so far.
As I have mentioned previously, it is important to keep up on the changing nature of the technology companies. Especially in this day where online censorship is increasing and surveillance is ubiquitous, the online world is becoming fraught with hazards to your personal privacy. Be aware of everything and may peace be with all of you.
Before closing this post, I have two things to add. A few months back, I had a post about the politicization of science and how we live in an era where multiple different scientific viewpoints can be seen as ‘true’ depending on who is presenting the information even if they are contradictory to each other. Well, this has happened again in relation to this virus. It is not my purpose to tell you which one to support. But these two petitions are in direct opposition to each other. First is the Great Barrington Declaration signed by hundreds of scientists and epidemiologists that want the COVID lockdowns to end and society to move forward with more responsible safety protocols and the protection of the elderly. The goal is to reopen society and our economies and create a sense of normalcy again in countries throughout the world. The second is called the John Snow Memorandum. No, this has nothing to do with fixing the ending of Game of Thrones and putting Jon Snow on the throne where he belongs. Even though when he led the Night’s Watch at the Wall, his leadership skills got him stabbed. This is a memo in direct contradiction to the Great Barrington Declaration that wants to maintain these lockdowns on every member of society until a proper vaccine can be created and distributed. Information on both of these petitions can be found here.
Finally, congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their 2020 World Series title. That is two championships for the city this year counting the Lakers NBA title from earlier in October. Los Angeles is truly the city of champions.
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