This is an editorial by Anthony Feliciano, Bitcoin Event Organizer and Advisor.
Now for the second part of my series on how our smartphones spy on us. Could you Looking for the first part over here.
In this part I will talk about:
- Get rid of your mobile operating system on Googling.
- Getting around your SIM, eSIM, and IMEI while using your phone
- Bitcoin and Lightning Network applications that can be used on a de-Googled phone.
- Steps to building your withdrawal plan.
CalyxOS and GrapheneOS
GrapheneOS offers a google play sandbox:
GrapheneOS has a compatibility layer that provides the option to install and use the official versions of Google Play in the standard app sandbox. Google Play never receives any special access or privileges on GrapheneOS instead of bypassing the app’s sandbox and gaining a massive amount of privileged access. Instead, the compatibility layer teaches it how to run within the app’s full sandbox. It’s also not used as a backend for OS services like anywhere else because GrapheneOS doesn’t even use Google Play when it’s installed.”
“[It] It replaces some functionality of Google Play Services while maintaining greater privacy and privacy.”
This allows you to download apps that you already know and use every day.
I’m an existing GrapheneOS user and have had a few years now – this is my plan to opt out when I’ve had enough of the big tech companies and bypass strict government. I tested many GrapheneOS features and tools that I can and can’t use. In my next article I will share what you can also do.
SIM, eSIM and IMEI
Every time you buy a new phone from a provider, you adhere to KYC (Know Your Customer) protocols, and hand your information over to the cellular provider. In return, you get a new smartphone with an extension SIM card (or on some newer phones eSIM), and set the file imei number which allows access to the provider’s cellular network. This information can be part of a file call advance for logs, along with all data, text, web history, etc. as well. So what can you do? You still want to connect with friends and family, access the internet, and connect with the rest of the world.
You can still enter Best Buy today and purchase Unlocked phones cash Money. Buy the cell phone directly, and it won’t be tied to a provider like Verizon, ATT, or T-Mobile. There is no personal information posted, and you can take your phone to any provider you want to access by purchasing a SIM or eSIM card.
* Bitcoiner Pro Tip: You can buy an eSIM and pay via BTC or Lightning.
Bonus Bitcoiner pro tip: Before buying, make sure when you visit any website, that you are using a file VPN wow Tor To reduce your online footprint. If you are going to buy via BTC, please make sure to use post-CoinJoin BTC via JoinMarket. For Lightning, make sure that the funds you use to open channels of your base layer BTC are from the CoinJoin post to make Lightning payments. One example of a website offering eSIMs for BTC is silent, link.
This is the ultimate step in my withdrawal plan. When buying a SIM card, the choice is yours. When a SIM card is purchased with cash, the phone’s IMEI number will be given as part of the activation to ensure it is not blacklisted (stolen). My phone unsubscribed via SIM is not activated, my phone is old model so there is no eSIM option. I use Wi-Fi hotspots to access the internet along with VPN and Tor. There is an advanced technique called IMEI spoofing – I haven’t tried this method, but the goal is to get around the blacklisted IMEI from accessing network providers. Changing the SIM card will not help either, because the IMEI is still blacklisted.
*Note – When using Wi-Fi, very little information about the device is logged i.e. MAC address, device model, browser used, operating system – your SIM number and IMEI are not logged. However, if your phone connects to a cell tower, the information will be logged and the records can be easily obtained by simply tracking the IMEI number.
Bitcoin and De-Google Smartphone
Now to the Bitcoiners who are finally tired of all the spying and tracking, let’s add some Bitcoin and Lightning Networks apps to really make your phone the perfect opt-out plan.
Below is a list of Bitcoin and Lightning Network applications developed by developers and companies that release them with the name Android Bundle Kits (APK files). APK files are vitally important when using de-Googled phones because the developers behind them allow them to be installed on your phone without the need for Google Play and all the tracking behind it. as such samurai I found out, having your app in the Google Play Store means You have to comply With their request to remove security features. Samourai did the second best thing – direct download via APK.
Below are the Bitcoin and Lightning Network apps I use and where to get their APKs, but there’s probably more.
- Zeus: Directly on their homepage there is an APK download. Perfect application to use to connect to your node.
- breezeFrom their Github page: “Breez is a Lightning Network mobile client and hub. It provides a platform for simple and instant Bitcoin payments.”
- electrum: Download the APK file for Android. **Note: Connect the Electrum to the .onion address of the node’s network, do not use automatic servers when connected **
- Tor: Download the APK file. This is the Tor browser used to connect to the Internet.
- samurai wallet: Download the APK file. Call your Samourai Dojo or use it for whirlpool.
- BlueWalletBlueWallet is an easy-to-use wallet for both Bitcoin and Lightning.
- SBWSimple and easy Bitcoin and Lightning app
- ProtonVPN: This is the VPN I use – they have a free client with country-limited connection options, but they also offer payment tiers. Find a quality VPN service that offers their apps via apk.
- cable: You can buy a SIM/eSIM with Bitcoin to get a phone number to use as one-time verification via SMS. (You may want to create a new Telegram account, because you may have used your personal number to verify your account)
- an itemA chatting app that is used by many. Some have heard of Matrix, element is the app that you can download to your phone.
Anyone using APK files should only use the ones on the project’s main website or Github page. It’s highly recommended that you avoid websites that offer APKs for an app that you can’t find – I don’t trust them, the sites have rebuilt them and who knows if you’re getting the real app or an app loaded with remote access to whatever info goes in there. So, if you can’t find the project’s APK easily on their site, contact them directly and ask them.
Steps to build your own opt-out plan:
- Choose Googled OS.
- Download Bitcoin and Lightning apps at home.
- Add security apps like VPN browser and Tor.
- Leave your home, take your spare phone with you.
- Find out what works / doesn’t work for you.
- What are the apps you “can’t live without?”
- Ask yourself, “What security holes did I miss?”
- Gain confidence in being able to use Bitcoin privately.
I hope you found this article useful. To me, this is just another rung as you climb the ladder of the bitcoin rabbit hole. Using technology doesn’t mean we have to give up liberties for easy and convenient choices. This means that we can develop a choice plan while still using Bitcoin. If you enjoyed this, give the other two articles a read, “Is this Mobile Banking – Bitcoin on the go— where I make my Lightning mobile knot and take it on a road trip. Then read,How to make a Lightning Network Node MobileThis is the technical guide on how to make knots animated. If you can combine all three themes, you’ll really be on your way to opting out.
I’ve included three photos to shoot the end goal.
This is a guest post by Anthony Feliciano. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.