/e/ connects to connectivitycheck.gstatic.com and google.com when connecting to WIFI

privacy

#1

Hello,

I noticed /e/ still connects to connectivitycheck.gstatic.com and google.com when connecting to WIFI.
I think this is in order to quickly connect to captive portals.

There has been a discussion within LineageOS and they said they’re not anti-google so they’ll keep this check on google servers. They mentionned that they don’t have the infrastructure to face the connection of all LineageOS smartphones if they replaced the URL by one they own and I understand this.

In the other hand I’m sure google keeps track of the connections to these servers.

In the case of /e/ which aims at keeping our data to ourself and get rid of google, don’t you think it would be a good idea to change the URL? Or maybe to disable this by default?

Thanks!


#2

check you default DNS. If it is 8.8.8.8 or 0.0.0.0 change it, because that’s google server


#3

Where would one check this?


#4

This is a known issue and already reported on gitlab: https://gitlab.e.foundation/e/management/issues/146


#5

And how to change it?


#6

While changing the default DNS server, the devs ran into problems:

So this issue seems to be more complex. While skimming through the Settings-menu, I did not find an entry for changing the DNS server.

However I am aware of two ways to change the DNS-server that /e/ uses:

  1. If your network-provider sends DNS-server IP-addresses by DHCP, then /e/ will use them.

  2. If you setup a VPN connection for your device, you can instruct /e/ to use an alternative DNS-server in the server-VPN-configuration-file with the command push "dhcp-option DNS IP-address".


#7

It looks like there is no easy way to find out the DNS servers, that android is using.

I did not test them, but there are apps available, that try to accomplish that: https://techwiser.com/check-your-dns-server/
Also it seems possible to find out the DNS servers with a self written program as explained here: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3070144/how-do-you-get-the-current-dns-servers-for-android


#8

that’s indeed a very useful advice. user friendly support for wireguard should be therefore a nearly indispensable feature of /e/.

without VPN you shouldn’t make use of public WLANs etc., because google isn’t the only data hungry enemy out there (e.g the national postal service here in austria is known for selling data sets about the predicted political affinities of their customers even if you only correspond by good old snail mail – see: https://wien.orf.at/news/stories/2957293/).


#9

From my point of view it’s not about changing the configured DNS server but the URL Android uses to check the connectivity once connected to a Wifi, regardless of the DNS used.


#10

I agree, that the DNS issue is offtopic with regard to the problem that you described in the opening post of this thread, but I hope that you are fine with me trying to answer the questions that came up in the discussion.


#11

0.0.0.0 seems not to belong to google: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0.0.0.0


#12

Open in a browser: https://ipleak.net.This will not only show you which DNS you are using but also a wealth of other information concerning your connection and browser.