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Text Messages Are Being Censored in Canada (bloggerbust.ca)
8 points by dustfinger 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments



Hi Dustfinger,

On a somewhat tangential subject, I'm familiar with both Canada and US. My general assessment is that authoritarian tyranny (censorship, taxes, conformism etc. ) is probably significantly higher in Canada than in US . It just does not make headlines because Canadians are a relatively docile lot. A significantly higher proportion of the American population cares about free speech etc. and are vocal about it, so it makes it to the headlines (Snowden, RMS etc.). Case in point ( details are sketchy because I read it in the news several years back, it could even be inaccurate news): the Canadian govt was tapping Skype way before the US govt. It was doing it as far back as in 2008.

Canadians are also more likely to be self-censoring kind of people so this blocking of text message could be some zealous ethics department in a telecom provider also, not necessarily the govt.

( side note: looking at your past posts I was pleasantly noticed that you are probably interested in life extension and related topics. For example:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20640480

and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19515169 - I assume that was a reference to the website by David Pearce that I read almost a decade back)

Read my very unpopular posts and get in touch with me if you wish.


> I assume that was a reference to the website by David Pearce that I read almost a decade back)

I now realize why you said that. The post you are refering to was unlinked. It now links to itself. It use to link to https://www.huxley.net/. I wonder why it unlinked? I bet I posted the title and neglected to include the link :-S


I agree that conformism is high in Canada. Thank you for you comments. Have you tried to reproduce my results?


My apologies for not trying to reproduce the result. I didn't see it worth my time. I personally assume that all communication is censored/monitored. ( think 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' the novel). Short of building hardware ground up I cannot be assured that there is any privacy. Of course I'm not saying that commonsense steps like encryption should be avoided.


- make of sender/receiver devices: iPhone XR (sender, iOS 13.2.3), receiver (LG G7, Android ??)

- carrier service of sender/receiver: Fizz (sender), Koodo (receiver)

-geographic region of sender/receiver: Qu├ębec (Canada)

-the exact text that was sent: secure communication lower case.

We tested a message before "test", it was received. Then tested "secure communication" (it was blocked). Finally, I tested another "test" message and it was correctly received.

If it's real, this is a real problem. Having the chance to live in Canada, I've never felt the feelings of being censored. First time and it makes me feel very weird.


Was it received by the recipient?


Nothing for the "secure communication" message. Both other tests have the "test" word.


Thank you!


If you are able to reproduce my results, please post any relevant details that you are comfortable sharing. If you are unable to reproduce the results, then that would also be useful to know.

Relevant details include:

- make of sender/receiver devices

- carrier service of sender/receiver

-geographic region of sender/receiver

-the exact text that was sent.

Also, don't forget to include if the text was received by the recipient or not.


Tested from Telus to a SMS voip.ms phone number (and also in reverse). Messages beginning with "secure communication" are not delivered.

I tested with the exact string "secure communication" and also with "secure communication does not work" - in both cases, the message is not delivered.


This is why we need to be very careful in shouting down other people's thinking. It may feel good to see a group blocked on YouTube ... that is until they come for you.


Yes, every healthy discourse can benefit from a healthy opposition.


Just a quick comment to say that I updated my post this morning. I added the posted results to a table at the bottom of the article. I also clarified that we do not know that this is censorship at the moment because there might be another explanation.

So far this has not gained much interest. I am super busy this weekend, but next week I am going to cut out some time to dig into the source code and related RFCs.


I will post more details about my own devices tonight or tomorrow morning, including geographic region. If I get enough submissions I will compile anonymous results and make them available publically.

Feel free to post on my blog or contact me directly (contact info on blog)


I wonder if it's being censored by your phone provider or it's on the government level


That is an important question. At the moment we can't draw any conclusions. I only own two devices, so it is difficult for me to conduct comprehensive research. I am also a little concerned that a script to autosend randomly combined words to a set of devices would result in my account being band by my provider.

I am guessing that someone on HN is setup to conduct this sort of research?




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