deGoogling via the network

Greetings.
All of my ROMs have a VPN and InviZible Pro (Tor, DNSCrypt). Recently, on one of them, I was going through InviZible’s list of DNSCrypt servers. Getting rid of AdGuard (no anonymization) and also looking for servers closer to my location. I then came across a server called decloudus-nogoogle-tst. Its description says

I thought that was interesting so gave it a shot and enabled it but then forgot. Couple of days later I pulled up Aurora Store and had problems. Got no network errors and whatnot. Took me a minute before I realized the issue. That DNSCrypt server was working as intended. Once disabled I was good to go with Aurora Store.

On another device and ROM I have IVPN. It has an AntiTracker feature (not unique among big VPN providers) but it also has a Hardcore Mode that blocks all Google and Facebook domains. Gave it a test. Indeed, it does block everything.

I couldn’t access any sites that use Google. In a web browser I searched for a movie trailer. The YouTube link was inaccessible. Then I searched for my Instagram profile, clicked on the link, that too was inaccessible. Aurora Store no longer worked, neither did NewPipe for YouTube videos. This would also mean, for microG users, not enabling any Google-related features like GCM as they probably wouldn’t work ( I don’t need/use which is why some of my ROMs have only UmifiedNlp).
The deGoogled DNSCrypt server and IVPN’s Hardcore AntiTracker definitely work as advertised.

On my desktop as well as on Android (in the past with Firefox-based browsers) I use the Privacy Redirect add-on/extension. YT links automatically went to Invidious, Instagram to Bibliogram, etc… Recent Firefox/Fennec/Mull no longer allow that extension but Iceraven does. That makes it ideal in this scenario.
UntrackMe or UntrackMe Lite would probably be necessities also.

As the IVPN AntiTracker FAQ and blog post state, this will force you to consider alternatives.

Being completely deGoogled and deFacebooked means trying out other ways to get what you want. No Aurora Store, no NewPipe (maybe HoloPlay or some such instead).
As far as individual apps that might make calls to Google and Facebook, maybe App Manager’s in-app tracker blocker (root of course or some adb magic) might be useful lest apps fail due to not being able to reach some G/FB destination.

We/some go on about deGoogled ROMs, deGoogled apps, but I wonder how many of us are truly willing to be completely free of all things Google/Facebook. Admittedly, I’m not close to being there yet.

EDIT: Yes, I know TrackerControl can essentially serve the same purpose but since it occupies a VPN slot it can’t be used by those who want/use a VPN service.

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If only there were some privacy redirect that could kill G :imp: :imp: gle’s %#@&ing reCAPTCHAs!

Although there is a Firefox add-on that can auto-solve them for you sometimes. (GitHub - dessant/buster: Captcha solver extension for humans)
But unfortunately you’d have to unblock the reCAPTCHAs first.

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I would truly…have one tenth of your ability, @marcdw.

NextDNS offer a blocklist that blocks all Google requests. As you describe, no access to Aurora, Newpipe and so on. By checking every blocked request one by one, it’s possible to whitelist only 3 requests that allow to use Newpipe, for exemple.
As Newpipe use Google (YT) addresses, I can’t figure out how use it (or any substitute to YT) without allowing them.

Thanks for the discovery. I will try this at home ASAP :slight_smile:
(I was always too lazy to start experiments - and later maintenance - with PiHole or similar)

Thanks @marcdw for your post, very interesting :slight_smile:
BTW, link for AppManager is : App Manager - Android package manager | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository

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NextDNS is free only for a very small amount of traffic.

I used it and payed for, but in the meanwhile I don’t use it any longer. No advantages for free Security DNS services…for me.

Interesting topic.
There are a lot of tools to limit traffic: Adaway, TrackerControl, App Manager (what a stupid name for an app…), DNS66, RethinkDNS, personalDNSfilter, Warden, AFWall+, Blokada… A comparison would be very helpful.

I have had similar experiences, (but don’t have the knowledge like marcdw). For example, if I block all Google trackers in the browser (currently using Fennec) in TrackerControl, many websites no longer work. I then try to avoid these websites as much as possible. But the whole web is full of google and facebook. These two companies are more dangerous than corona.

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Your right my friend…but you say nothing new

More dangerous than a beer? Maybe. More dangerous than Covid-19 Coronavirus? Interesting idea: how many UK deaths have Google and Facebook caused? :wink:


I know that this is a truism by now :slight_smile:
My only point is that there can be no 100 per cent foreclosure of Google as long as they virtually own the net.
There are people who resign when they learn that it is not possible to live without Google anyway.

I don’t want to deny the danger of Corona. I am not a Corona denier :slight_smile:

The diffusion of the “gogol & face de bouc” 's viral activities is more efficient than the “beer-flue” 's one.
It affect (infect) more than 1% of the population…

If you have enough beer, then you don’t need gogel anymore… :joy:

France ~67.000.000 humans
Daily drinkers ~42.000.000
~12.000.000 of them are problematic drinkers…

Pernod-Ricard and gg/fb have the same profit logic: “Use at your own risk”

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Excuse my absence. Feels rude to start a thread and not participate in it. Got sidetracked.

I would love to see a nice comparison of those type of tools. Something along the lines of those comparison charts that wikipedia uses. Apps along the side, capabilities in columns (firewall, blocks ads, blocks trackers, encrypts DNS, etc. and so forth) with yes/no/partial or red/green/yellow with copious notes.
I’m sure such a chart exists, just haven’t looked for it.

I’m quite sure it is extremely difficult for any of us to browse the Surface Web with Google and Facebook domains completely blocked.
If one were starting out completely new, never having Google or WhatsFaceInsta accounts; fully aware and versed on privacy & security; about to get their first Android device (obviously deGoogled); G and FB domains blocked; they would fare better than the rest of us. But still, unless one is doing all their business on the Deep or Dark Web, doing some of the most basic things on the Surface Web, like shopping, reading news and blogs and whatnot might be difficult and frustrating.

It will take a lot of time and work to move away from and find alternatives to sites that are not tied to Google, FB, and others.

On a related side, only one of my devices is unrooted and still locked, a OnePlus 8T & OxygenOS. An old, known issue here is that all OnePlus system apps seem to phone home to open.oneplus.net.
I forgot about that until recently when I went back to my TrackerControl / InviZible Pro combo (in a bid to help out someone in the latter’s Telegram channel). When I rebooted the phone, TC was populated by 45 system apps with that domain blocked. Despite the fact I turned off everything in “Experience Improvement Programs”.

I’ve mentioned before, elsewhere, that all or most Google apps have been disabled, replaced by FOSS alternatives.

I plan to run TC for awhile, gather up info, then create or add to InviZible’s DNS blacklist. After that I can dump TC again and go back to my VPN service / shadow socks / InviZible combo.
On this phone I definitely don’t plan on blocking G & Facebook domains but I have other devices/ROMs where I can afford to do/try that. Will see how that goes.

@smu44 Thanks for notifying about the AppManager F-Droid link. :+1:

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Maybe have a look to Nebulo.

Nebulo is a free, open-source, no-root, light-weight dns-over-https, dns-over-tls, and dns-over-http-over-quic client for Android with emphasis on privacy and security. Nebulo is fast, highly-customizable, ad-free, efficient on the battery, contains zero analytics / tracking. Goto the installation section to set up Nebulo on your Android device.

Maintain their own f-droid repo:

the charming thing about the app: you can also run it in non-vpn mode and thus continue to browse other VPNs.

You can not only enter a secure DNS, which is then used system-wide, but also maintain and use various blocking lists.

Quasi the same as trackercontrol and/or blokada, but IMHO more modular and flexible.

Thanks. I was aware of Nebulo and already had their repo in my F-Droid. Just never got around to checking it out. This time I will.

Double protection?: TrackerControl can also be used with it by following the steps regarding Netguard (TC is based on it). That’s how I knew I could use TC with InviZible Pro.

Funny that they say Aurora Store is an F-Droid mirror. :grin:

I think it is a mistake. Contacted the author to fix it…

EDIT:

fixed :wink:

grafik

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