Alternatives to Signal or simple signal setup methods?
#1
Has anybody else noticed SIGNAL make it very hard to install and run there app unless its on an android or IOS device?

The likely reasons for this is they are collecting fingerprint data on o devices...

For example
ts very difficult to install SIGNAL Desktop unless u scan the QR code from your phone - IE a camera is needed and this also links your phone device fingerprint to your desktop signal.

Signal could easily allow us to use an SMS or call Verification, but suspiciously, they do not.

1) Are there any other ways to setup Signal or Signal desktop without them secretly collecting our device data?
2) Any non-Signal alternatives



I managed to convince 13 of my friends to use Signal, I can easily convince them the app is compromised and get them to switch to another app.
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#2
(01-05-2024, 01:27 PM)JamesBond009 Wrote: ... and this also links your phone device fingerprint to your desktop signal.

what i know, there is no basis for this claim. use zbar tool or other to scan qrcode and see what is there.

however, primary client and additional client needs to be identified each other, but it is not the operating systems' codes or ids. after linking, some data moves to each linked and primary client.

(01-05-2024, 01:27 PM)JamesBond009 Wrote: For example
ts very difficult to install SIGNAL Desktop unless u scan the QR code from your phone - IE a camera is needed and this also links your phone device fingerprint to your desktop signal.

Signal could easily allow us to use an SMS or call Verification, but suspiciously, they do not.

assuming that signal and signal-desktop send some hidden data, it doesn't matter is the activation sms, call or visible qrcode, it may send that hidden data anyway. i don't think it is limited to visible qrcodes.


(01-05-2024, 01:27 PM)JamesBond009 Wrote: Has anybody else noticed SIGNAL make it very hard to install and run there app unless its on an android or IOS device?

The likely reasons for this is they are collecting fingerprint data on o devices...

For example
ts very difficult to install SIGNAL Desktop unless u scan the QR code from your phone - IE a camera is needed and this also links your phone device fingerprint to your desktop signal.

Signal could easily allow us to use an SMS or call Verification, but suspiciously, they do not.

1) Are there any other ways to setup Signal or Signal desktop without them secretly collecting our device data?
2) Any non-Signal alternatives



I managed to convince 13 of my friends to use Signal, I can easily convince them the app is compromised and get them to switch to another app.

see this https://github.com/AsamK/signal-cli . it may not be good solution, but some kind of.

even i think that signal relies too much on ios and googled android. and makes things hard for other os's and ungoogled android. i may get it that being easy to install and use may bring users. but being stuck too much to the closed platforms may alienate some users as well, like me.

others criticize phone number requirement, which i think it is bad in some cases. to me, it is not so much, i wouldn't necessarily use signal with those who do not have my phone number anyway.
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#3
Hi, I totally agree that Signal can be frustrating to work with, especially on the PinePhone, but it is possible to get it working.
(01-05-2024, 01:27 PM)JamesBond009 Wrote: 1) Are there any other ways to setup Signal or Signal desktop without them secretly collecting our device data?
Let's start with data collection. It is always required to provide a phone number to register an account. As far as the fingerprinting thing you mentioned, I have not seen any evidence to support that claim.

Now if you want to set up Signal on your PinePhone, there are at least 2 options that I'm aware:
1- Install the Axolotl client:
It should be able to register an account without the need to link to a Android/iOS device.
However from my experience it is not that great and is lacking features. I can't say how usable it is in the real world since I never tried anything more than registering an account, linking Signal-Desktop to it and messaging myself. It could have improved since I tried it but it doesn't seem to be in active development.

2- Install Signal-Desktop on the PinePhone:
Sure, it is not what the desktop app was meant for, but it does work and is what I use. Since there are no official builds for the aarch64 cpu architecture, you'll either have to compile it yourself (I could never get that working) or use an unofficial binary release such as this one (disclaimer: I am not affiliated with that project, it is up to you to trust it is legit).
But then you still have the problem of linking it to a main device. To do that without requiring an Android/iOS device you can register the account through signal-cli (or even Axolotl now that I think about it). Then once it asks you to scan the QR code, you just screenshot it and run it through zbarimg, then use the returned URI to link it from signal-cli.
signal-cli doesn't have to be running on the PinePhone, you can set it up on your PC/server and be done with it after it's done linking (however you should keep it around in case you have to re-link for whatever reason).

(01-05-2024, 01:27 PM)JamesBond009 Wrote: 2) Any non-Signal alternatives
Well, literally anything else I guess. If you want something that supports E2EE and can run virtually anywhere without depending on phone numbers or other personal info, I'd say XMPP is a good option to consider.
There are plenty of clients for all platforms. I'm not sure what options there are for the PinePhone but they can't be worse than Signal.
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#4
(01-05-2024, 06:07 PM)jlucas Wrote:
(01-05-2024, 01:27 PM)JamesBond009 Wrote: 2) Any non-Signal alternatives
I'd say XMPP is a good option to consider.

I came here to say this.

Remember, XMPP is a protocol not a platform.
Cheers,
TRS-80

What is Free Software and why is it so important for society?

Protocols, not Platforms

For the most Linux-y experience on your Linux phone, try SXMO!

I am (nominally) the Armbian Maintainer for PineBook Pro (although severely lacking in time these days).
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