What do you want advice about?
I want to try and make my Pixel (with Graphene installed) even more private from my cell provider.
What have you considered or looked at already?
I don’t want to buy a whole new device, so I’ve considered Silent Link as my phone has two IMEIs. I mostly just want to know if both IMEIs can be correlated by my cell provider, since I theoretically have a second IMEI that isn’t tied to my identity at all.
In brief, tell us about your privacy threat model?
I don’t actually have a high need for privacy. I want to try and have a ridiculously high threat model for fun. I want to be as anonymous, private, and secure as possible. I’m willing to sacrifice a lot of convenience in order to do so. Regardless of that, I still do need to have data wherever I go.
Are the two numbers in sequence?
If one is xxxxxxxx1 and the other is xxxxxxxx2, then it’s easy to find you based on the first number.
Yeah that’s a good point. I just don’t know how to get the second IMEI. Every guide I’ve seen only gets you the physical SIM’s IMEI. Do you know how to show the second one? I’m on a Google Pixel 6, if it helps at all.
Go to About phone, there you can see IMEI for sim slot 1 and 2, maybe you can only see it if you have a sim in the slot.
I have a sim in both, and I can see both IMEI. The numbers are not paired, but they are very close.
I just checked the format, the last digit is a checksum, the numbers are in sequence on my pixel 6
Damn it. I just checked my IMEI(s), and the only difference is the last two digits.
You can still get an unlisted number for the second sim slot, it’s an easy way to avoid having to use your personal number online.
I got an eSIM from the company where I have my personal number, the extra number cost me $1 per month.
Well right now I just use a prepaid service for data that has KYC. Would it still benefit my privacy if I switched to Silent Link?
I don’t want a phone number at all, since they’re terrible for privacy.
It’s only a benefit if you know someone would be able to obtain your identity though the phone company, I personally feel it is a waste of money.
My IMEI are 8 digits different. I use Mint eSIM paid with a masked credit card.
I have a separate device I have used to access my account once using the Mint app. I am letting this number expire and hope to get a new line buying 3 months, getting 3 months free.
I have not come across phones with multiple IMEIs, but the way it normally works is as follows.
An IMEI is associated with your phone and is assigned by the phone manufacturer.
An IMSI is associated with your SIM card and is assigned by the network operator issuing the SIM.
If you insert your SIM card into a phone or enable an eSIM in a phone then the network operator will keep a record of that IMEI/IMSI association.
There is a way to spoof your IMEI and IMSI, which I also do.
I removed my IMEI addresses from my phone through AT commands (telnet) and flashed the phone with GrapheneOS with a locked bootloader. After that my phone is not able anymore to make cellular connections + I use my phone in airplane mode and only use Wifi.
Very interesting. How did you issue AT commands to the phone? And also, how do you make sure you don’t screw something up and render your phone unable to connect to cellular networks? (If you still want that capability)
I just follow guides of the specific pixel model, in a lot of countries where only whitelisted IMEIs are able to connect to cellular towers you’ll find people who change their IMEIs to whitelisted ones. Many times you can find guides from these countries on youtube which shows you step by step how to use AT commands, root the phone and unroot the phone in order to write a new IMEI.
Remember when you remove IMEI numbers from your phone you cannot connect to cellular towers, also if you want to have your phone make use of IMEIs again then you are not able to bootlock your phone anymore. Because locking the bootloader will always end up in the IMEIs being removed.
Secondly, for cellular connection I use a 4G portable router which has IMEI spoofing ability. So every month I spoof the IMEI on my 4G portable router + I use a new SIM card with data plan on it (mostly around 7GB, which costs me around 10 dollars a month). So I end up having a new IMEI address and a new IMSI address every month thanks to IMEI spoofing abilities in my 4G router (which is not known to many people).
I’ve seen people say GL.iNet modems allows you to change the IMEI, but I don’t see how this is useful to most people.
It only hides you from the phone company, it would take a lot more to hide you from a government agency. You could buy a eSim with crypto, and get close to the same results.
GL.iNet modems are bad for IMEI changing, I use a modem which has IMEI changing embedded within the software which corresponds with its firmware. Changing your IMEI is very useful but its only useful when you also change your SIM card. eSIM is the same as a SIM card, both use the IMSI as IDer.
Who is it that has access to your IMEI?
Your phone carrier sees your IMEI because that information is being transmitted when it connects and pings a cell tower. So your phone carrier + LE are the only ones who can see your IMEI when it pings a cell tower.
Yes, it’s LE that use it.
I assume you have no friends and no one you know in real life calls your phone, because if that happens they are going to find you real fast, you probably also shouldn’t keep it turned on when you are home.
You will have to use the phone on airplane mode of course, and only use the 4G router and change your IMEI and IMSI every month. Even with this setup you can be tracked, but the good thing about this is that they won’t have a historical record of you (max a month).