Archived: https://web.archive.org/web/20220501212233/https://old.reddit.com/r/privatelife/comments/ug9qnc/writeup_criticism_of_rprivacyguides_grapheneos/

I wanted to publish this a week ago, but my machine was begging for repairs and it gave up, so it stayed dead for a week. So, here we are.

Hello! The dust has settled. There is something I want to talk to all of you once again, something that I wrote approximately 23 months ago about, and has been stickied on this subreddit ever since. No, it is not the smartphone guide, and it is a lore that I do not think anybody except me has ever attempted to shed a light on, except until a month ago when BurungHantu, founder of PrivacyTools.io, did.

As always, my aim is to stay objective throughout, and drop my opinions separately in a section at the very end. I also want to mention that this is a lore that basically nobody other than me has tracked in this depth, and nobody else carries a record of these events in this manner to date or ever can.

REMINDER: NONE OF THIS WILL MAKE SENSE IF YOU KEEP ON READING WHILE NOT READING LINKED ARTICLES/SCREENSHOTS I MENTION AS I GO ON.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

A lot of people seemed to appreciate BurungHantu’s blog post, and openly saw the censorship attempted across subreddits r/privacy, r/opensource and r/PrivacyGuides. This last one is the new “privacy” cool hangout cafe of the mainstream privacy subreddit circle.

THE PLAYERS IN THE GAME

Before we move ahead, it is a good thing to make transparent the characters involved, so that we know who plays what role. A lot do not like this, apparently, because they want to fake objectivity.

TheAnonymouseJoker (shameless plug): the “arbiter of truth” <insert Micay comment link>, “false privacy prophet”, wumao, 50cent, Chinese plant (https://i.imgur.com/vOyaidS.png), Putin bot these days… I am an independent privacy/freedom writer in the community with no donation/money channels and no links to YouTubers (Techlore, The Hated One, other privacytubers) and privacy communities in any form or way whatsoever. I am also a long term active user and promoter of the Fediverse platform Lemmy.

trai_dep: A power moderator on Reddit. Moderator of r/privacy, r/PrivacyGuides, r/privacytoolsio (now defunct). I have spoken about him extensively in my 2 year old criticism writeup. One of the 2 characters in BurungHantu/PTIO’s recent blog post.

Jonah Aragon: A power moderator on Reddit. Moderator of r/PrivacyGuides and r/techlore, and Techlore Matrix room. The other person and focal point of BurungHantu/PTIO’s blog post with many revelations.

carrotcypher: Another power moderator of Reddit. Moderator of r/privacy, r/opensource and dozens of micro digital privacy/censorship subreddits.

Daniel Micay: Developer of GrapheneOS, a security focused AOSP-based custom ROM exclusively for Google Pixels. Known to submit hardened malloc() patches for Linux kernel. A very controversial figure in privacy and FOSS/Linux communities. Uses @strcat and u/GrapheneOS handles across various platforms.

madaidan: Admin of GrapheneOS, NoGoolag, SpiteChat communities/chatrooms across various platforms. The “insecurities” blog chap, notorious for a lot of misinformation in FOSS and Linux communities but opposite in a big chunk of mainstream privacy community. A staple of the “redditor hackerman” starterpack, for people who know nothing better.

anupritaisno1/clannad/Coooom Yuki Nagato/randomhydrosol: same user, multiple names over time. They are one of the GrapheneOS members who use a lot of sockpuppets and frequently change pseudonym username. madaidan’s friend.

Note: clannad is seen changing username across Telegram and Reddit over time: https://i.imgur.com/V7McLFO.jpg

cn3m: a friend of madaidan, who regularly spreads pro-Apple propaganda in privacy communities. For the most part, the account serves as a sockpuppet of someone since it has stayed inactive since 10 months.

Lunacy: one of the newer GrapheneOS community parrots out there on Lemmy (now defunct). Comment activity was suspiciously similar to that of madaidan. An active member of GrapheneOS community.

akc3n: moderator of GrapheneOS community, and active on PrivacyGuides and GrapheneOS subreddits, as well as on XMPP hunting users.

Note:

Tommy_Tran/B0risGrishenko: New moderator of r/PrivacyGuides with suspiciously proven close links to GrapheneOS community. Did a hitpiece on me to gain recognition with PrivacyGuides team. Uses sockpuppets and identity obfuscation a lot on internet.

THE STORY. ONCE UPON A TIME…

GRSECURITY/SPENGLER SAGA

Let me dial back the time machine to a few years ago, when madaidan’s “insecurities” blog came into existence. It brought in a fair amount of fandom to him for some bizarre reason, which nobody has been able to pin down realistically. I can pinpoint it down to one big reason - anti-Linux faction of FOSS community, a large part of which is Brad Spengler, head of grsecurity, a security team that makes Linux kernel patches but gets rejected due to very arrogant behaviour, and even got reprimanded by Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux kernel in a mailing list.

Some related threads on grsecurity:

https://web.archive.org/web/20220401163814/https://www.theregister.com/2017/06/26/linus_torvalds_slams_pure_garbage_from_clowns_at_grsecurity/

https://web.archive.org/web/20220416203735/https://old.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/pupumh/brad_spengler_grsecurity_brags_about_hoarding/

https://archive.is/f5djI

https://web.archive.org/web/20220416203035/https://nitter.42l.fr/spendergrsec/status/1486366129438212098

madaidan’s certain amount of influence comes from the kind of Reddit and internet community that revolves around a particular group, a faction that I see as very anti-Linux and anti-FOSS for the most part, not because criticism is bad, but grift in the name of criticism is bad. I will expand upon this more in a moment.

I am sure, most are wondering what does madaidan have to do with this. Apparently, there have been way too many instances where, upon criticisms in discussions, GrapheneOS community proponents often cite a bunch of URLs, among which grsecurity is one of them. And this is not a one off instance, so I will link a couple screenshot threads from Lemmy from 6 months ago, which is an exchange between u/Lunacy and me. I will cite this in a later part of article as well.

< Lunacy Lemmy thread pic> https://i.imgur.com/dgWcn2J.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/fRXHRoR.jpg

ENTER THE DANIEL MICAY

He is a very underrated but important part of this whole story. I assume many people have an idea of CopperheadOS company splitting between Micay and James Donaldson (u/darknetj on Reddit) due to a lot of controversies and tussle I have nothing to do with, and therefore I will avoid commenting on. After this tussle, GrapheneOS project was born, essentially a fork of CopperheadOS in layman terms, which was also developed heavily by Micay. GrapheneOS is largely an AOSP fork of a fork with some security patchwork on top of it.

Here I would like to mention a little anecdote from 2 years ago, something Micay always avoids acknowledging for some funny reason. This screenshot is from my reddit inbox, where I was messaged by CopperheadOS CEO regarding something.

COPPERHEADOS CEO MODMAIL

https://i.imgur.com/hujn4P1.jpg

I will let the readers interpret this on their own.

DANIEL MICAY AND MADAIDAN’S POWER OF FRIENDSHIP

Moving on, there is a thread and mailing list I want to mention, which will help connect the dots as to how Micay and madaidan are not just related, but intertwined into each other, like a grandma’s woven sweater. Most have no clue about this, so I will share the mailing list URL and screenshot here.

In the below reddit thread/screenshot, Daniel Micay and madaidan argue together against Firefox. Before the Tor Project mailing list happened in August 2019, the whole anti-Firefox sentiment mysteriously used to not exist in GrapheneOS community.

https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2019-August/013995.html

https://www.unddit.com/r/firefox/comments/gokcis/firefox_is_insecure_refuted/

Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/8nkO5Ll.jpg

A SERIES OF COLLECTED THREADS OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS…

I will now share a Lemmy masterlist I made, perhaps a collection of various conversations by madaidan and his friend cn3m. Here is the URL: https://lemmy.ml/post/73800/comment/66676

I will relink the Lunacy Lemmy exchange screenshot once again, since Lunacy’s comments are important for context.

https://i.imgur.com/fRXHRoR.jpg

I have never explained anything about the comment threads in my masterlist before, so this should help.

https://i.imgur.com/UHhQRIU.jpg I think this is self explanatory and shows madaidan’s argumentation that is otherwise deleted by him.

https://i.imgur.com/FiYhbkk.jpg: madaidan being very 4chan-y in terms of blaming the computer language for problems in particular software code (in this case Linux kernel), while dismissing everything when it comes to Windows. His blog page about Linux is a massive piece of “toilet paper” repeatedly debunked at this point. If you think the phrase “toilet paper” is mine, come, have a look.

https://web.archive.org/web/20210929053611/https://old.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/pwi1l9/thoughts_about_an_article_talking_about_the/

https://web.archive.org/web/20220111035527/https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25590079

https://archive.is/zxS72

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@TheAnonymouseJoker
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THEY KILLED THE MOZILLA FIREFOX SECURITY!!! THEY DID IT REDDIT, THEY GOT US!!!

cn3m: https://web.archive.org/web/20220418212845/https://old.reddit.com/r/netsec/comments/i80uki/theymozilla_killed_entire_threat_management_team/g1703is/

madaidan: https://web.archive.org/web/20220418213345/https://old.reddit.com/r/netsec/comments/i80uki/theymozilla_killed_entire_threat_management_team/g162g4r/?context=10000

This is the tweet linked in this reddit thread by cn3m. https://web.archive.org/web/20200812145114/https://nitter.net/MichalPurzynski/status/1293220570885062657

I need not tell how reactionary the title and tweet is, and the comments in the thread is something for everyone to read, especially the ones above in full context.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220418214200/https://old.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/iox6rq/should_i_get_an_iphone_if_i_value_privacy/g4gy3sh/

Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/WswGLuP.jpg

According to cn3m, PRISM is just a buzzword and irrelevant. Apple is good. You think that last one is a far reach? Why not… check the top comment of this very post I linked above?

https://web.archive.org/web/20220418214232/https://old.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/iox6rq/should_i_get_an_iphone_if_i_value_privacy/

Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/xcryYvM.jpg

I have noted in my smartphone guide an entire section at the start dedicated to Apple since the past year and a half, which anyone can see. Plenty Apple shenanigans are listed upto forced local storage CSAM scanning, the Big Sur blunder and the refusal to admit colossal Apple Mail security hole existed.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220418214833/https://old.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/e9t4ck/a_user_here_threw_ad_hominem_at_a_wikileaks_tweet/

Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/aRzy5Gg.jpg

Apparently the moderator of r/privacy, ourari (American who uses iPhone), believes Wikileaks is questionable, and the leaks regarding PRISM are also questionable. This is not me, and this is not some alternate dimensional interpretation. I specifically linked the Wikileaks tweet in post mentioning one of the most popular images that circulate regarding US corporations’ involvement with their military-industrial complex government.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220418215428/https://old.reddit.com/r/GrapheneOS/comments/ia9zyv/does_vanadium_prevent_webrtc/g258csu/

Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/mtKqhvs.jpg

cn3m, the moderator of r/GrapheneOS, says:

The ISP/VPN company tracking with a 1 in a million user agent like(figure of speech) browser like Bromite is reliable.

A friend told me what they were working on a year or two ago. We both worked in the industry at the time. That is as specific as I will get.

A MICRO REWIND ONTO SMARTPHONE GUIDE 1.0 DAYS…

The above r/GrapheneOS citation is from August 2020, and somewhere during the above citation explanations from masterlist, I created the smartphone guide 1.0.

Just 3 months before, in June 2020, I documented what was done to my Smartphone guide 1.0, originally posted on r/privacy, here: http://web.archive.org/web/20220501154153/https://old.reddit.com/r/privatelife/comments/h8hsdh/exclusive_rprivacy_moderator_deleted_smartphone/

I do not think I will repeat all I wrote there, so you can take time and read it. I think it is important to read this before you proceed, to understand deeply what all is going on.

For you, it should not add any more than 10-15 minutes into reading this writeup, so I think it is worth it.

A LITTLE CRITICISM INTERNET DRAMA

https://www.unddit.com/r/privatelife/comments/im23hl/a_response_to_tajs_stickied_writeup/

Screenshot, since the0 has deleted their post and account: https://i.imgur.com/bipqN6d.jpg

You are free to read it, or ignore it. Either way does not matter, but I tend to remain transparent, is the only message I want to send here.

WRITING THE r/privacy AND r/privacytoolsio CRITICISM POST

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501161858/https://old.reddit.com/r/privatelife/comments/gtv8ut/writeup_criticism_of_rprivacy_and_rprivacytoolsio/

I think everyone on this subreddit has seen it stickied since eternity, and needs no explanation. Pretty short if you want to revisit or read for the first time. Lots of modmail exchanges with r/privacy moderators.

REMEMBER, YOUR SUBREDDIT SUBSCRIBERS ARE YOUR PROPERTY /S

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501162316/https://old.reddit.com/r/privatelife/comments/h0hji5/emergency_this_subreddit_could_be_taken_down/

I documented this. It seemed to be an attempt to nip me in the bud, but everybody is not a chump that prefers the ease of being run over by the bus hopelessly.

THE TELEGRAM PRIVACY SCENE

So, I used to participate a lot on NoGoolag, one of the main privacy Telegram groups. I was usually met with slurs and abuses, since this was the original GrapheneOS den, spearheaded by madaidan, anupritaisno1/yukinagato and friends. While I could not screenshot anything, I managed to screenshot one instance, where madaidan called me a r*tard. I never replied with slurs, so they were always left pissed and angry and helpless.

August 8, 2020: https://i.imgur.com/BHhhaGD.jpg

I think this should be proof to present my case strongly enough. Not enough? I have one more collage of GrapheneOS Telegram chatroom from when I created the Smartphone 3.0 guide.

https://postimg.cc/ZBqQ3pXD

PRIVACYTOOLSIO SUBREDDIT SAGA AND THE MASKOFF MOMENTS (PART 1, LATE 2021)

One would think, how did you skip to mid 2021 from end 2020? Because COVID pandemic kept everyone busy with the mental health issues, falling for and debunking conspiracies, getting their vaccine doses, doing their house chores and what not. For me it was a nice time in the personal gym at my home, and watching a lot of documentaries and learning lots of stuff.

Here we are, mid 2020, when u/BurungHantu after a year of hiatus due to mental health issues, comes back. r/PrivacyGuides is created, and the reddit admins have granted r/privacytoolsio moderation powers to r/privacy and r/PrivacyGuides heads, trai_dep and JonahAragon. Everything was taken away, including the GitHub, except for https://www.privacytools.io website itself.

The true face of censorship can be seen with r/PrivacyGuides moderators censoring left and right BurungHantu’s posts. We are still in end 2021.

https://old.reddit.com/r/PrivacyGuides/comments/qkvo9h/why_was_uburunghantus_post_removed_owner_of/hiz8le1/

$8,000 donations stolen: https://i.imgur.com/7zMDiz9.png

Yes, there is a part 2, but before that something else happened too… something seen never before in privacy community.

SMARTPHONE GUIDE 4.0 AND THE FALSE PRIVACY PROPHET

https://old.reddit.com/r/privatelife/comments/rohq46/100_foss_smartphone_hardening_nonroot_guide_40/

I posted my guide on the day after Christmas, as I planned for finalising and publishing the guide around New Year’s. Then something happened. A particular chap B0risGrishenko posts a whole thesis about me on r/PrivacyGuides, and I am notified of it. The following archive.is links are in progression for the same post, as you notice removed comments and changes in post text later on.

January 6, 2022: https://archive.is/gUfk2

January 7, 2022: https://archive.is/7wKJW

January 13, 2022: https://archive.is/Lm86i

You can take time reading this on your own, but I recommend atleast going through what this person wrote about me for internet clout.

I covered it in a post very briefly, but with the evidence in one place.

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501171543/https://old.reddit.com/r/privatelife/comments/s0h73l/rprivacyguides_continues_its_harassment_campaign/

Guess who is this B0risGrishenko? Oops. https://i.imgur.com/E9QQnTC.jpg

You can also look up when he was made the moderator of r/PrivacyGuides. I do not know if Tommy_Tran got a promotion after bashing the enemy of trai_dep, but it looks far too convenient when nothing else is going on.

Tommy/B0ris was okay with carrying on this vitriol onto Matrix as well. https://i.imgur.com/HAS1Gof.jpg

And encouraging people in the above slandering post to ban this subreddit. https://i.imgur.com/EP5qkSK.jpg

Quite a good moderator pick. Maybe it is a one-off thing, maybe these r/PrivacyGuides moderators are good people.

dng99/dngray, another moderator, is a homophobe on r/PrivacyGuides Matrix room. https://lemmy.ml/pictrs/image/c4b697de-4f5c-4547-a9f0-0a936c262d7c.png

The person joepie91 you see is a former moderator who left PrivacyGuides, and announced it in a post on Lemmy. https://lemmy.ml/post/140943

Interesting, isn’t it?

ANY CRITICISM OF GRAPHENEOS AND PRIVACYGUIDES = PETTY TROLLING, TROLLS, MANIPULATORS, CONCERN TROLLS…

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501174434/https://old.reddit.com/r/PrivacyGuides/comments/rocouf/should_i_go_for_calyxos_or_grapheneos_on_a_pixel/hpzn9nb/

https://old.reddit.com/r/PrivacyGuides/comments/rocouf/_/hpxudxt/?context=3

Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/3sGHg5S.jpg

Notice akc3n, trai_dep and dng99 together replying to the same user, where trai_dep takes the moderator action.

The whole thread with removed comments, screenshotted from https://www.unddit.com/r/PrivacyGuides/comments/rocouf/should_i_go_for_calyxos_or_grapheneos_on_a_pixel/:

Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/qvqs0cQ.jpg

The most interesting comment chain, where GrapheneOS and PrivacyGuides moderators really work like the same entity:

PRIVACYTOOLSIO SUBREDDIT SAGA AND THE MASKOFF MOMENTS (PART 2, SPRING 2022)

Now we are getting closer to recent times.

BurungHantu publishes his blog post in the open: https://web.archive.org/web/20220407091222/https://www.privacytools.io/guides/jonah-aragon-privacyguides-failed-attempt-to-takeover

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501174543/https://old.reddit.com/r/PrivacyGuides/comments/ttxqas/shadiness_in_the_privacy_space_jonah_aragons/

This post is a very open demonstration of what is going on. I will let you be the judge.

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@TheAnonymouseJoker
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GRAPHENEOS TAKING OVER PRIVACYGUIDES BY A SINGLE PERSON

Tommy_Tran proposes a funny thing - to remove rule 1, asking for closed source software caution. Not that it was ever practiced on r/privacy, r/privacytoolsio or r/PrivacyGuides, because of all the Apple shilling openly allowed, but the message is stronger here.

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501174616/https://old.reddit.com/r/PrivacyGuides/comments/siqc69/consideration_on_removing_rule_1/

A month later…

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501174740/https://old.reddit.com/r/PrivacyGuides/comments/tdtbcz/recent_changes_to_privacyguides/

The goal is simple, to recommend closed source software, and to purge Firefox recommendations. This plays into how GrapheneOS developer and community has a hatred for Firefox, which I explained in depth above. They also get to control the big privacy subreddits easily.

HOW THESE PRIVACY COMMUNITY GATEKEEPERS DESIRE POWER AND CONTROL

You feel like that is a conspiracy? Sigh. Here is another citation to not disappoint you, right from the horse’s mouth, carrotcypher. You may revisit start of the post to see who he is.

http://web.archive.org/web/20220501175544/https://old.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/thikeo/lets_use_lemmy_instead_of_reddit_centralization/i18h6ai/

Ctrl+F find “carrotcypher” to see the comment:

“No thanks. I like how reddit works and isolating discussions to obscure alternative platforms and forums removes a lot of the diversity of knowledge and experience. I do think its important to have an alternative ready as a threat to keep reddit in line though.”

Lemmy must remain an obscure platform for the person who moderates 50 subreddits. After all, how will he satisfy his internet hunger, if not for being a Reddit power moderator? Lemmy, a Fediverse FOSS platform, is bad. Reddit is good because conflict of personal interests.

CONCLUSION AND TL;DR

There is no TL;DR and summary. Go through it. This is a record of largely everything that has happened in the reddit privacy community scene in the past 3-4 years.

And this is exactly why I initially created r/privatelife, this subreddit. I wanted to free all of you from this, and hopefully I did. The other goal is to spread a pro privacy libre culture, but that will take time, and people.

I have been very angry and pissed with how a bunch of internet people can irongrip and ruin communities, and make a fool out of people. That is all that keeps me going. That is why I have no ways of being donated to, refuse donations and have a very transparent yet limited internet presence, both IRL and under this pseudonym.

Free yourselves of this misery that is these privacy communities. They do not serve your interests, they serve their moderators and the 20 people that talk on these subreddits daily. They serve to keep you busy on the internet, when you should organise your tools and instead accomplish things in life. Stop wasting time on the internet, and get off your keyboard now.

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privatelife - privacy, security, freedom advocacy
!privatelife

    This community is meant to advocate privacy, security and freedom in an concise manner, free of prejudice bias, free of politics, free of cultist thoughts.

    Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say. - Edward Snowden

    Reddit: https://old.reddit.com/r/privatelife

    Matrix: https://matrix.to/#/#privatelife:matrix.org

    Telegram: https://t.me/r_privatelife

    READ THE RULES

    1. Opinions are welcome, facts more so. Attack arguments, not people. Hating, baiting, trolling, flaming will be dealt with strictly.

    2. Discuss closed source software with caution. Advocating for it strongly (cult brigading) can be treated as violation of this rule.

    3. Editing titles of article links is strictly prohibited, unless and until the summarisation remains accurate to the context of the article or paper. Such link post will be removed without questioning.

    4. Targeting of any country, person or nation is strictly prohibited without valid reasoning. Evidence if not presented against the specific company/corporation/individual will be treated as personal attack and/or hate speech. This will result in a warning, then ban system.

    5. NO PERMA BANS! Ban system will work as follows:

    1 day --> 3 day --> 1 week --> 2 weeks --> 3 weeks --> 1 month --> 3 months --> 6 months

    Severity of the ban system will be dealt with based on degree of violation and circumstances.

    1. NO FACT-LESS EVIDENCES, NO FALSE RHETORIC Evidence has to be credible. The onus of this lies on the claimant. The same applies on the user who questions proven evidence. Violation of this rule will be dealt with strictly.

    2. Copycat posts serve to litter the community, increasing quantity and decreasing quality of posts. As such, posts will be removed. Repeated attempts will receive warning.

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