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Recent twts in reply to #ghroc5q

Another thing that doesn’t work anymore after blocking network traffic from my Android phone: Some push notifications.

I run a Matrix server for our family. I use “FluffyChat” on my phone. Traffic from the phone to my Matrix server is allowed and chatting in FluffyChat works.

But I don’t get any notifications anymore on new messages.

So, what’s going on here? Does FluffyChat, which only really needs to talk to my own server, rely on some cloud service for notifications? Seriously? 🤔 How does that work, does this cloud service see all my notifications or what?

Anyone around who did app development on Android? Can you shed some light on this?

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@aelaraji@aelaraji.com It would appear so. 🤔 (I’m too lazy to set that up, though, I rather just don’t use notifications. They’re not that important in this case.)

I was not aware that I needed a cloud service for something as (seemingly) simple as local app notifications. 😳

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@movq@www.uninformativ.de I haven’t done any app development, but I know notifications on phones are indeed dependent on cloud services run by the OS vendor which talk to servers run by the app vendor on your behalf. This is supposedly better on battery life, but it conveniently lets your OS vendor read all your notifications.

Mobile XMPP clients usually implement notifications using XEP-0537 and it goes like this:

Your XMPP server -> Client vendor's notification server -> Client OS notification server -> User's device

It’s not end-to-end encrypted so servers will usually just send a dummy message through (You received a message from juliet@capulet.lit!) so you have to open the app to see the (hopefully) encrypted message.
It’s a similar flow on both iOS and Android and I assume Matrix clients work the same way.

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Actually, it looks like notifications using Google’s service can be encrypted end-to-end. I don’t know if this is used much in practice or if you can tell if the notifications on your device are encrypted. There seems to be some conflicting information out there.

Even if the content is encrypted, though, you’re still giving quite a bit of metadata to Google by using their notification service.

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@mckinley Thanks for the info. 🤔

This is quite bizarre. Why are we accepting this? 🤔 I guess it just doesn’t matter to people when they use Google for everything anyway (mail, Google Drive, …) … 😒 Bah.

It’s extra “funny” in my case, because I run that Matrix server myself, so I assumed that data is only sent between that server and the clients. But no, of course not, lots of things still get shoved through Google and Apple. 😂😭 How silly.

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