Sadly, I’m in the UK where they passed the Online Safety Bill. Because of that Signal would no longer be available in the UK and I was wondering if there is any alternative to Signal or anyway of still using it?
The messaging app I got are Discord and Telegraph which I know are problematic on privacy perspective which only using it as other people use it and not other messaging apps are better with privacy.
My threat model isn’t high and I more just want to still retain bit of privacy despite the bill which I know would be difficult but not impossible.
The closest I can think of is Matrix which the reason I barely used it was lack of moderation which has some room that shares child-porn and that just me searching “gay” to look for LGBT public room to join to make friends instead of getting result of rooms sharing illegal porn.
Signal isn’t automatically leaving the UK due to this bill, as far as I’m aware it’s still available and working fine.
Signal to me is not a mass social media app where you search for groups, since I do not use matrix because I am old AF.
Other services offering E2EE include Apple iMessages, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Meta’s Messenger, although not all of them provide it by default. Telegram only offers end-to-end encryption in a couple of places: Secret Chats, plus voice and video calls.
The idea of Signal switching to user name vs phone numbers would remove the location of users data. Americans at least I am still crying over Signal dropping SMS support so why not drop the phone numbers…
Signal could just report, we do not know where our users are located and we do not care.
I cannot say for certain, I know the wording of the exact bill was not changed, but Signal should be fine. About 2 months ago the Gov said that the scanning needs to be “technically feasible”, while maintaining standards of privacy and accuracy. This gives services like Signal a reason not to leave the UK market.
Try getting your friends on Session.
Download Signal apk from their official website + VPN or TOR
But I understand that it might not be possible for other users in the UK
Perhaps it’s time to make your own encryption algorithm and share it with a few close friends. Make an app that encrypts/decrypts pasted messages. Share this app with only your close friends (I think only your true best friends will be willing to adopt your encryption app and honor your privacy needs). Even with Signal, only my closest friends would download it and use it with me. Only those who actually want to talk to you will go out of their way and use new applications to continue to stay in touch with you.
As much as I wish I can do that, I have little to no coding experience beside knowing the basic of python which I can’t imagine it would take me anyway if I am being honest. Otherwise, sound like a fun project which I don’t have the skill to do it.
That’s great! Signal seems to be working fine for me so far. Still unsure if the day would come where Signal would be unavailable.
You may be able to use Signal in the UK even in the event that they left. If the UK government starts blocking access to Signal domains, you can likely mitigate this with censorship circumvention (it is accessible in Signal settings > Privacy > Advanced > Censorship circumvention) this was used in Iran as noted on Signal’s blog.
I’m guessing your main concern (rightfully so) is using Signal with other people in an event where the app is taken off UK App stores and so on, in that case I would agree with @Draken and try getting as many people as you can onto Session. I would start exchanging details ASAP, and even if you wanna just use Signal for now, you can keep the app on your phones and switch over to it in the event Signal stops working.
With close friends and family NextCloud Talk looks interesting.
If they do choose to remove signal from the appstore/play store (which idt they’ll do) then you can install molly from F-droid. If on iOS, I guess you’ll need to change your country for the app store. Signal itself is censorship resistant, and even if the government blocks it you could just use a proxy.
Yes, I have tried it. It feels magical to have a video call with someone in a different country, run from your home server!
1: Do you have any clue how problematic it is when platforms try to cobble together their own encryption?
2: Who would want to use some shady system set up by their friend just to be able to have any contact with them?