Please Stop Using WhatsApp (And Everything Else That Isn’t Independently Audited)

Not that anyone cares, but not only are Asians much more free than Westerners, they also have more basic privacy.

Probably part of that is that they’re actually concerned about their freedom and privacy, whereas white people have surrendered all of their humanity to the democracy system.

Nikkei Asia:

Signal, a private messaging app, logged 7.5 million downloads globally between Jan. 6 and Jan. 10 following endorsements from the likes of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. That marks a 43-fold increase from the previous week, according to Sensor Tower, an app-analytics company.

Another messaging app, Telegram, said it amassed more than 25 million new users around the world between Jan. 10 and Jan. 12, helping it surpass 500 million active users — compared with WhatsApp’s 2 billion monthly active users as of February last year.

Despite reassurances from WhatsApp that the company does not, and cannot, access private conversations as they are automatically encrypted end-to-end, it has failed to halt the mass migration.

Signal and Telegram have topped both Apple and Google’s app stores in several countries over the past week, including the U.S., several European nations, and Asian countries where WhatsApp is the dominant messenger.

“After seeing the long list of personal data declarations from WhatsApp, I decided to shift [to] Signal in order to protect my privacy,” said Kwok Ka-wing, chairman of the Hong Kong Financial Industry Employees General Union, adding that he is wary of the overreaching control of Big Tech companies.

Kwok is among the scores of activists, scholars and celebrities in Hong Kong who called for people to abandon WhatsApp, which is used by close to 80% of the city’s population. Awareness for data privacy and security has grown in the financial hub following the widespread anti-government protests in 2019, when protesters used anonymous messaging apps to avoid police surveillance.

“The migration to Signal reflects growing concerns with privacy and security more in general and losing trust in WhatsApp, and Facebook, more specifically,” said Lokman Tsui, an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who specializes in privacy and online communications.

“Facebook promised it would not force WhatsApp to share data with them when they bought WhatsApp,” he said. “They have broken that promise.”

Tsui added that Signal, a nonprofit app that collects only the absolute necessary metadata, made it stand out in an increasingly crowded app field. Signal is supported by donations, including a $50 million loan from its co-founder Brian Acton, who also helped create WhatsApp and has long been an advocate for data privacy.

As the reader is aware, I’ve been shilling Signal for years and years.

It’s the best possible choice you can make for a messaging app on a phone.

On a computer, Ricochet is still better, I would think.

At this point, you can truly get rid of WhatsApp and the other garbage, and use Signal exclusively. Your normie friends are all switching. Even boomers are switching.

What Facebook did by incorporating WhatsApp into Facebook is just nuts, and it basically makes the company irrelevant. People can already just use Facebook messenger if they don’t care about privacy. The entire appeal of WhatsApp is that it was separate from Facebook.

As far as Telegram – understand that it isn’t encrypted by default, and no group messages are encrypted (it is kind of difficult to encrypt a group message anyway). You have to select a special thing to encrypt messages in Telegram, which actually makes it worse than what WhatsApp was up until last week.

Furthermore, Telegram is NOT open source and NOT independently audited.

As far as I’m concerned, all closed-source software should be considered totally insecure at this point. The claim that it’s closed source for financial reasons doesn’t really even make sense anymore, by the way. Just so you understand. Telegram is not scared someone is going to use their code to make a new Telegram to compete with them. Closed source software is now equivalent to black ops.

I get that everyone is telling everyone to go to Telegram, because it’s not banning people yet, but they banned ISIS which means they are going to ban MAGA. Anything that bans terrorists is eventually going to ban MAGA, because we are currently witnessing MAGA be classified as a domestic terrorist group. So, whatever. Follow people on Telegram if you want, but keep your personal information off of it and don’t expect it to not just ban everyone in the near future. The only reason it hasn’t done that already is that the CIA is using it to try to overthrow the governments of Belarus, Iran, etc.

Just understand: Telegram is not a real privacy app.

I highly recommend you really, really get serious about privacy at this point. I’ve written about it a lot. I will continue to write about it. But get a VPN, use Tor, use Monero, use Russian or Chinese email services, don’t connect anything to your real name, etc. etc. etc.

I am even at the point where I’m recommending that people buy Huawei phones. You know that there is no one spying on you then, at least as long as you don’t download some leaky app. Well, maybe the Chinese are spying on you, but why would the Chinese want to spy on you? What are they going to do with your information? Why would they even take the time to collect it?

Apple has held pretty strong over the years, but I think that after 1/6, that’s going to come to an end. The new version of Android that Huawei is using is safer than anything.

Use Linux on your computer.

Just delete everything.

Seriously: set your email and all your messaging apps to auto-delete.

We are in lockdown mode here, people.

Red alert, the building is on fire and the doors are locked from the outside.