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Android Q Reaches Public Beta With Improved Privacy, Opus/AV1 Support, ANGLE On Vulkan

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  • #41
    Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
    No. Normal calls are not encrypted.
    For real? I thought the whole wireless traffic between the phone and the tower is encrypted but didn't check for a long time. To be honest the time I checked was when GSM was the big thing and GSM had optional encryption which was enabled by default (now ofc. you could build your own GSM Tower in your car, let it send with much power and just place your car near the target mobile. The target mobile will connect to the strongest tower - which should be yours - and the tower decides if encryption is used or not. Then your tower connects to the real tower as the target phone and you have an min attack. Now that I think about it this should still work today if you jam more modern frequencies, hence force the target phone to GSM... But that's another story). Or do you mean it's not encrypted after leaving the tower to i.e. NGN networks?

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    • #42
      Originally posted by V10lator View Post
      For real?
      Technically no, but in practice yes.

      GSM encryption exists but it is a flat-out joke for modern equipment (could be broken with commodity hardware 10 years ago). https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2010...p-on-gsm-call/
      And FBI plainly admitted they are having lots of fun with GSM https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...g-very-common/

      3G/LTE encryption is good but is used only for the wireless signal (i.e. from the phone to the cell tower). If someone goes and wiretaps the actual tower or the network infrastructure they can intercept the message, which is harder than analog wiretap, but still relatively easy and doable. (while if someone wiretaps internet infrastructure and you are using end-to-end encryption they can't eavesdrop a damn thing)

      Also, in many networks (in EU at least) the operators move the voice and SMS to GSM frequencies/networks that would be otherwise unused, so they can keep all the 3G/LTE bandwith for internet access.

      (now ofc. you could build your own GSM Tower in your car, let it send with much power and just place your car near the target mobile. The target mobile will connect to the strongest tower - which should be yours - and the tower decides if encryption is used or not.
      There is also a variant of this attack that forces the phone to downgrade its network from LTE to 3G and then to GSM, and from there you can eavesdrop. It's well-known since 2006, but none did a thing about it.
      https://www.privateinternetaccess.co...hone-location/

      So yeah, by all intents and purposes, voice and SMS are not encrypted, although it's not trivial to wiretap them as it is with analog (where all you need is to physically connect a phone to the same wires)
      Last edited by starshipeleven; 03-15-2019, 09:31 AM.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
        No offence, but I really don't think changing default font is "basic functionality".
        It's something that any user can do on a desktop because it could improve readability if one can set their own font. Esp. if you're dyslectic. So yeah, basic functionality.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by Vistaus View Post
          It's something that any user can do on a desktop because it could improve readability if one can set their own font. Esp. if you're dyslectic. So yeah, basic functionality.
          I'm an IT professional, your argument is invalid. (tm)

          More seriously, I have never ever seen any normal person even acknowledge the concept of font changing in Windows in my experience, so I'm still not convinced.

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          • #45
            Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
            I'm an IT professional, your argument is invalid. (tm)

            More seriously, I have never ever seen any normal person even acknowledge the concept of font changing in Windows in my experience, so I'm still not convinced.
            I knew people who were dyslectic and needed the Dyslexie font to be able to read better. So they changed their font on their computers to the Dyslexie font. And I also knew quite a few people who changed the font their Samsung Galaxy's just for fun.
            And I have a slight hint of dyslexia as well, so while I don't need the Dyslexie font per se, I would like a more readable font on my Android device. Currently, I cannot do that because I can't root this phone, but my next phone can be rooted and I will for the sake of changing the font.

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            • #46
              Originally posted by cybertraveler View Post
              Reading through the blog post, it seems that they really have made some nice privacy improvements... however:
              • Most of the improvements are centred around protecting you from third party apps. This is good, however I expect the actual Google OS will ensure that Google (and all the entities connected to it) get access to lots of your juicy data; especially if you make heavy use of Google services (mail, calendar, file storage etc etc).
              • Phone manufacturers may selectively disable privacy features.
              • If you are given a fixed ROM by your phone manufacturer you have no idea if it actually contains privacy respecting code or not. Same deal with the Whatsapp communication app. People were talking about how great it is for privacy, but you are only given a binary so you largely have to trust that the app you are delivered is the same app that the security auditors said has "good privacy".
              • As long as phones have modems running proprietary firmware which have access to unencrypted, main, system memory, you have a very deep privacy danger lurking in your phone.
              • Finally: this is Google we're talking about.
              • ...
              • Google
              • ...
              • "privacy"
              • ...
              • Google
              • ...
              • "privacy"
              • ...
              Houston; I think we have a problem.
              I get what you guys are saying, but they really have made some improvements. They even added some machine learning features now that aren't network-assisted, namely the live captioning feature. I think they are at least make a step in the right direction with that. I don't trust them in general but it's not all bad.

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