5

Has anybody had a closer look into this module what it really does? I want to know if the functionality will work if bluetooth is turned off. I guess a surefire method to test this would be to remove the SIM, disable all antennas and measure EM radiation (though I'm not sure if there's still cell tower communication with the SIM removed).

Even if the answer above is no: I don't want this software on my Phone.

  • Is it possible to modify Google Play Services (GPS), remove contact tracing, and use GPS as usual after? This seems the best option but an update might then again overwrite it.
  • Root and remove GPS. I have a OnePlus 7. Will everything keep working well except the Google apps of course?
  • LineageOS maybe but I like OxygenOS a lot..
  • Other options?

Much would be cleared up if we can see the code. Is this possible?

10
  • 1
    For more information: Exposure Notifications: Using technology to help public health authorities fight COVID‑19 (comment edited to remove incorrect info about LineageOS with Google Play Service)
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 1 '20 at 19:08
  • sorry but you are using a GOOGLE product and you have accepted policies if you are paranoid you should not use any smartphone at all. CCC has little information
    – alecxs
    Jun 1 '20 at 21:02
  • 1
    @alecxs i did not accept contact tracing as far as I know.
    – progonkpa
    Jun 1 '20 at 22:24
  • 1
    you have accepted policies on initial setup. google can do everything. its like facebook own all rights on everything you sent with whatsapp. btw you know you can't use google maps without google play services? google was always tracing phones
    – alecxs
    Jun 1 '20 at 22:54
  • 1
    As @alecxs mentioned in his answer, contacts tracing through new Covid API is not the only thing you should be worried about. If you have been using a phone with GMS for a few months, Google definitely knows more about you than you do. The only working solution is to not use any of the Google products at all. But it's not only Google, do not use Facebook and many other apps which track your IDs and analyze your data for personal profiling and targeted advertisement etc. Selling your data to third parties is also not beyond question, and not even uncommon, I'd say. Jul 24 '20 at 8:10
4

The Covid contact tracing in Google Play Services is an API. And according to he documentation this API is working opt-in. By default your device will not track anything. Also note that "contact" in this context means "a cryptographically random token generated by a different device that was within Bluetooth range at a certain time". No contact data like name is transmitted.

For "activating" this interface you need at least one of the Google certified Covid 19 tracing apps (there can be only one app per country and only public health agency is allowed to publish one).

And in such an app Google enforces that the user has a switch for enabling and disabling the tracking system.

However if you still not trust Play Services with integrated Covid tracking API you should switch to a Custom ROM + OpenGApps. Every device I have tested that uses this combination does not provide the COVID contact tracing API, even if the very latest version of Google Play Services is installed. Hence it seems like the tracing API is generally disabled for Custom ROMS using OpenGApps. It is still unclear why on some devices with CustomROM and OpenGApps the COVID tracking API is available and on other devices this option does not show up even with latest OpenGApps installed.

You can verify on your own if your PlayService support Covid 19 tracking:

Open Settings -> Google If the first entry in the services list shows you something about "Notifications on encountered Covid 19 infections" than the API is ready to use. If not then every Covid tracking app that wants to use this API will not work (the app will just show the error code 39501).

10
  • Do you know if a useful test would be to install a COVID app and see if it reports errors?
    – Paul
    Jun 2 '20 at 18:27
  • 1
    An API doesn't tell us what it actually does. It only tells us which functionality is public. In other words, one could toggle off tracking and think: I'm all good now. But who's to say code is not running autonomically in the background, activating your bluetooth without showing it and report back home as soon as there's an internet connection, or even via a green card cell tower channel? I know this is out there. Then again, many things happening today are too.
    – progonkpa
    Jun 2 '20 at 18:33
  • 1
    I just checked my Galaxy S5 and my SM-T713 and both have LOS 16 dated 4/19 with OpenGApps and I have the "COVID-19 Exposure Notifications" listed at the top of Settings -> Google services.
    – Paul
    Jun 2 '20 at 18:34
  • 1
    @Robert In normal circumstances I'd agree with you. Now, they'll get green light from governments because of 'the common good'. They attacked our Constitutional rights globally, tracking is the next lock step. Tracking is voluntary atm, though the installation was not. I deem it extremely likely that tracking won't be voluntary soon. That is if all people keep going along with this bs narrative.
    – progonkpa
    Jun 3 '20 at 9:47
  • 1
    @progonkpa Tracking on Android was always possible even without the new tracking API. You can simply use Bluetooth to send whatever you like. Hence technically it does not make much difference. France for example has released their apps that do not (and will never) use the Google API because they want a centralized system.
    – Robert
    Jun 3 '20 at 11:35
2

Google Play Services v20.15.15 seems to be the last version before covid tracing was added. Stock phone FW versions released before April 2020 should all have a lower version of Google Play Services - don't update past 20.15.15

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1

Contact tracing is not the only way a user can be tracked and mass-scale user tracking has been in motion for a long time. Some examples:

One mitigating measure against Google Play Services' tracking is to root your device and use app like cn.wq.disableservice. With this you can have control over GMS and block single actions, like prevent GMS from updating itself. It's painful to understand all the things but it should be technically possible to block data transfers.

disable-service

This however would not be sufficient. You are already being profile/tracked when you are using:

  • proprietary software or services (such as Android OS as shipped by an OEM);

  • various services such as cloud syncing of personal/private data;

  • real-time text to speech translation -- your audio could be getting saved onto the cloud. You can see some of that data collected by Google here;
  • maps with real-time live traffic data.

Some services/software, such as Google Play Store, even force this tracking by requiring the user to sign in to use the product. Furthermore, a staggering number of Android apps use some sort of analytics such as Firebase.

3
1

I'm shocked!

Given that all persons are equal before the law ... (noting that a corporation is given a special status of a fictional person and is considered equal before the law) ... Is it lawful to install tracking software onto someone's device without their knowledge or consent? Prior to the rollout the Covid-19 API, this would be a no brainer. To do such a thing would be black hat monster hack a baby death material. Now that google and apple (equals to myself as persons before the law) have done it, and now that the whole internet is silent about this kind of thing being anything but extremely abnormal levels of abuse in pwning someones box, maybe I made the wrong choice in chooseing Jedi rather than Sith.

This is the crime of the century and its compounded by tailored web search results on Yahoo, Google and Bing so as to prevent access to information on getting rid of, what is in every other circumstance INCLUDING THIS ONE malware.

The crime of the century... if not, remember, as an equal before the law, I have the right to do to your device what google and apple have done to your device and my device and everyone's device if you judge this to be legal what has been done to my box and the boxes of a billion people across the planet without their knowledge or consent. If you judge this to be morally right ... so be it ... be my bitch, cos its what you deserve. Its pure criminality from massive corporations carried out in a concerted syncronised manner taking advantage of the crisis to exploit literally billions of people.

If you dont want to be my bitch and you dont want to be googles bitch either then I salute you, most noble ladies and gentleman for having enough regard for your own rights being violated such that you might even have regard for my rights and the rights of others round about you and since it is the case that you're not my bitch, heres some instruction to REMOVE the covid 19 api from Android.

Caveat: Basically this is removing google to the fullest extent possible from an operating that google played a big role in creating. I'm not an expert in the Gnu Public Licence v2.0 that android ships with due to the fact that it is a fork of the linux operating system but my feeling is that the installation of software like the Covid-19 Notification API is a violation of the GPL2.0 and Google will need to write its own operating system under its own licence terms in order to lawfully ship any further versions of android because theres clearly a undocumented backdoor which not only has implications regarding google and their continued usage of any gnu software of software shipping with a GPL license, but implications about whether this is a sustainable corporation where Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is to be protected by the rule of law. Either the UN goes of Google goes ... or google infiltrated the UN and we live in a technocratic prison surveilled in our movements everywhere unless we have geek level knowledge to opt out the prison system ... until free speech is abolished where we cant even access that information.

Did I tell you I was shocked?

Summary

  1. Transfer all your phones contacts into the phones SIM card.
  2. Download the APK for alternative browser to chrome to external sdcard
  3. Move all the files you want to keep from phones internal card to the external card
  4. Factory reset phone
  5. Wait for factory reset
  6. Skip past google credentials prompt
  7. Switch off app permissions
  8. Delete google apps like youtube and chrome
  9. Disable and close google play services and mute error messages about its impresence
  10. Install browser apk from sdcard
  11. Browse to independent app store and download replacement apps

Okay here goes...

Details

  1. Transfer all your phones contacts into the phones SIM card. Your phone is about to be wiped and your connection with google is about to terminate. (There are working alternatives to everything google, so you'll hardly notice once youve did all this.)

  2. Go to mozilla or opera or whatever browser you like, go to the website and download an apk of the latest browser from them. The actual APK. You're not going to install this yet. Your going to save this to your SDCARD and install it later. You will need this file and its the only file you will need. If Mozilla or Opera or Dolphin or whatever are playing funny buggers and you cant find the location of the APK file on their websites, consider a site like APKPURE which is like Google Play Store except its not google. See if you can find a decent browser apk there as chrome is essentially infected by a virus called google (how ironic) which will track your location and report your movements and contacts to unknown parties. Note that google drive is also infected by the same virus and additionally, users using google drive will find that google is actively looking inside the files they store on google drive, and self-admittedly deleting any files it doesnt like the look of. No kidding. Google is out to lunch, breakfast, dinner, supper, the whole shebang.

Read this from the people who wrote the GPL licence android ships with https://www.gnu.org/proprietary/malware-google.en.html

  1. Now you have a browser APK on your sdcard, you want to go through your whole phone and copy across any files on the phones internal card to the sdcard. This can be time consuming depending how much you keep stored on your phone. All the data on the phones internal memory is about to be wiped so make sure you dont forget to copy across any memes containing grumpy the cat as that would be sacreligous.

  2. Reset your phone. (internal memory only if given the option). To do this you can go to settings->system->reset options, or you can just switch off the phone and switch it back on again whilst holding the volume up button.

  3. Wait for factory reset to complete and your phone to come back to life.

  4. First screen ... please type in your google credentials. If youre phone presents you with a button saying "go fuck yourself" at this point then you should press that button but theres not many phones that have that button installed although it would be a useful feature now we see what google is actually capable of. Either way, dont ever type any google credentials into a smart phone again. I use ubuntu mobile on my phone now and Im somewhat worried by canonical telling amazon every web search I make which is an invasion of privacy from the get go and is frankly taking the biscuit but google is trying to eat the whole cake.

  1. Pull down the top menu and click the cog icon to open settings. Go to apps and notifcations then from there app permissions. Go through all of it and switch it all off right away.

  2. Go back to apps and notifications. See anything google? Chrome? Maps? YouTube? Get rid of it ... oh no you cant! Well just disable it then force stop the app which is already running in the back ground ... just incase you needed it to be running. (Once upon a time there was an operating system called windows 95 and you could only run games once all the background tasks were gone. Progress brings us to a point where these phones run programs we just assume to be safe because ... well google wrote them ... its not like google would install spyware on your phone ... google can be trusted right? Shut up bitch! (I apologise to the ladies and gentlemen out there for my abusive language towards abuse enablers.) Get rid of everything preinstalled by google before you even start using your new fresh phone, most especially ... google play services.

  3. This is the complex and controversial bit because alot of the software installed on your android under the "show all services" option (all 3 billion apps that are considered more like apis than apps because they arent designed to work alone), all the ones wrote by google expect google play services to be there so this step, although the most essential part of getting rid of and REMOVING COVID 19 NOTIFICATION API from your currently pwned android device, means you are going to cause some error messages to show up which you can mute because even though they say they need google play services, they actually dont.

They need to use google play services to carry out their spyware functionality so if you arent just using the phone app to like phone people and you need the functionality of google collecting your metadata about your phone call and sending it all to google and whoever their partners may be, then once you remove the google play sevices, the bad news is that the phone app will only work as a phone app and not as a spyware app as well. Some people see this as good news but you never hear them on searching google for the existence of such people who dont want to be spied on when making phone calls. Isnt that strange?

The long and the short of it is, that theres about to be a few error messages that will appear immediately and may pop up occassionally over the course of the month until your phone is bedded in, so to speak ... until youve used all the apps you usually do in the course of a month and youve caught and dealt with all the error messages as they come up. This will include your phone dialer, text messages app, camera app and basic functional apps. They will all work without google play services but just wont have all that advanced "I <3 being spied on" functionality google would so assure us that we love.

So go on disable google play services and force stop it, just like chrome, youtube, photos, drive, gmail, etc. (You will still be able to access drive and gmail via your browser (APK on the SDCARD from earlier?) but unfortunately these instructions dont come with recommdations for a sick bag you should use once you realise how pwned you are using these "services".)

Now deal with the error messages. If you click on the error message itself, it raises up the google play services app, expecting you to click enable. Thats not what you want to do. Each error message starts off with the name of the app that generated the error message. Go to settings->apps*not.-> the actual app that generated the error messages then click on notifications. In there you find a setting saying "google play services notifications" or something to that effect. Switch off these notifications. If this notification toggle isnt there then theres the option of switching off the apps notifications generally.

There will be three or four of these errors to work through right off the bat. Other error messages might pop up later in the day as you use an app for the first time on your freshly factor reset device. Just disable the notification on the app itself. Its unlikely youll see any error messages after the first hour. Maybe the first 24 hours youll have dealt with all of them. Maybe one will pop up in a week, maybe a week. You will find your phone and its apps (non google) still functions perfectly without google play services and the error message more like a mutable warning rather than some fatal crash. You dont need google albeit android is semi-built by google. Its when you sign up for all the google trash you kind of opt out the android/linux GPL2.0 designed to prevent you from being exploited. Did I mention ... googles software is malware https://www.gnu.org/proprietary/malware-google.en.html ?

  1. Go to files (yep its probably google as well but you can replace this in a moment if you want. Go to your sdcard and find the file "browserAPKIdownloadedEarlier.apk" click on it and youll be asked about installing from other sources. Files is not google play store so, yes, you want to install from other sources - your sdcard will be the primary means of installing software. Click through everything that needs to be clicked to get the browser installed. Now that thats done, you cant start looking for an alternative to google play store because your not a bitch.

  2. I use APKPure myself but there are a variety of websites which cater toward getting the APK of a app rather than instaling from the fancy mechanisms like you might have with a samsung or a huwaii app store. I think some of these stores-by-manufacturer might provide you with an APK store independent of the fact you dont have one of their phones. If you can download the APK from it, then it will work in android. The one thing you need to suss out is whether your phone is 32 or 64 bit and whether is ARM or x86. If its x86, sod this whole post and just install a touch screen version of linux. Its easy and your options are as open as a desktop pc. With ARM theres a few versions of linux you can install but its beyond the scope of this text to install it. Have a search for "UserLAnd" (sic) if you want a better version of linux on your phone than android but it can get quite techy at the moment.

Most phones will be arm32 but try downloading APKX files and if they work on your phone congratulations you smarmy bastard you have an ARM64 chip in your phone.

You probably want APKs for email. You can fill out your gmail address on the create account screen and most email clients will fill out the server details automatically. Theres a google help page about setting up your email client manually with correct SMTP, POP3, IMAP etc kind of stuff if the email app your choose doesnt do it for you.

My android set up was AquaMail. Some mail clients are "pay for it", connect through "google play", jump through this hoop jump through that hoop, etc. Aquamail just does the job I want it to do which is to deliver the same functionality as eudora or pegasus would have done in 1995. Email has not moved on much in 25 years, but operating system changes have made these perfectly working applications defunct.

You can go use gmail for the internet directly through your browser as well, as you can hotmail, outlook, yahoo etc but if you want an email app then AquaMail is just one of many you can try for yourself from your new appstore.

The only other apps Ive ever had on my phone was vlc and games. Have a look at apkpure or whatever app store you like and take your pick. Space station simulator is a brilliant game, I purschased through google play store. I can download the demo version but I cant upgrade it to the paid version, not even by purchasing it again since the writer only sells on google play store. Im hoping this will change and maybe steam or some company will step in to secure from piracy while allowing purchases without google play.


Well thats the end of the tutorial on how to opt out of having your article 12 rights extremely violated by large multinational megacorporations. Im glad I chose android because apples restrictive proprietorism means the iOS users are limited to any help they can glean from the BSD community and frankly, anytime Ive used BSD, Ive always ended up with a bit of broken hardware because it tends to go places other operating systems dont. Its great that BSD can allow me to change the WIFI radio settings to ratings outside the law within the UK if I want this feature but now my BIOS screen is as broken AF and frankly BSD scares the shit out of me. I dont think theres many BSD geeks that can afford to live on the free support menality that iOS users might hope for. The best way to make an iPhone safe from apple malware, is 1) Switch it off 2)Throw it in the bin 3)Buy and Android and start this tutorial again.

Summary

  1. Transfer all your phones contacts into the phones SIM card.
  2. Download the APK for alternative browser to chrome to external sdcard
  3. Move all the files you want to keep from phones internal card to the external card
  4. Factory reset phone
  5. Wait for factory reset
  6. Skip past google credentials prompt
  7. Switch off app permissions
  8. Delete google apps like youtube and chrome
  9. Disable and close google play services and mute error messages about its impresence
  10. Install browser apk from sdcard
  11. Browse to independent app store and download replacement apps
0

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