If you’re looking for an alternative, we recommend 1Blocker (1blocker.com) by Salavat and Alex.

Salavat has kindly offered 3-months free to anyone switching from Better to 1Blocker and he will be donating 30% of all revenue from those accounts to Small Technology Foundation on a monthly basis to help fund our work.

To take advantage of this offer, please contact Alex via email at support@1blocker.com or on Twitter at twitter.com/1BlockerApp.

@aral I can recommend 1Blocker, too. A great piece of software.

@aral Maybe I misunderstand you. But I *think* you’re saying:

• you shut down because you can’t in good conscience operate under iOS, but

• you’re recommending equivalent s/w from people whose conscience doesn’t so restrain them.

This seems … incongruous?

Not to mention that—please correct me if I’m wrong—shutting down Better made iOS measurably less private.

I bought your s/w, if that matters.

@babelcarp Basically it’s this: just because we’re not going to continue developing for that platform doesn’t mean we expect everyone to throw away all their devices and get more privacy-respecting ones.

I researched an alternative so we could suggest one as a courtesy, to save people the time of doing so themselves.

The impact of shutting down Better is statistically insignificant compared to how fundamentally client-side scanning violates privacy. That’s why we took the decision.

@babelcarp (Because staying on would mean lending our legitimacy to the platform. Essentially the same as saying “this platform basically protects your privacy but web tracking doesn’t.” Used to be true. No longer true the moment Apple finally releases client-side scanning.)

@aral But you’re abandoning iOS *before* they deploy client-side scanning. Plus, they appear to be backing away from it, at least for the near future.

@babelcarp @aral They're deploying the first phase of client side scanning in 15.2 (ie, removing end-to-end encryption for iMessage). They've not said they're cancelling their scanning-for-fingerprints plans, just delaying them as a PR move.

@tfb @aral You think they're twirling their mustaches, *wanting* to compromise their users' privacy?

I think they are feeling pressure from governments and lack the fortitude to resist it.

@babelcarp @aral I don't think it requires mustache twirling, I think they believe the garbage they're trying to sell the public.

They proudly announced a system whereby they would spy on teenagers' messages, and save any nude picture for their parents to review. They backed off from that absolutely horrifying idea, thankfully. But that they proposed this idea at all is shocking. Whatever is going in internally there, from the outside it's indistinguishable from malice.

@tfb @aral I have no emotional investment in Apple’s goodness or even cool.

But in my world their actions are consequential, so I have a certain interest in understanding their motives. That would be true even if I considered them my enemy.

One possible unspoken motive is, to the extent that fingerprinting images/videos works as advertised, it could support what the tech/media industry calls anti-piracy, don’t you think?

That's sad, but understandable.
My trust in Apple is zero from that day they announced their side-scanning project

@lightmat Yeah, it feels really sad. A lot of work went into that little app.

But we knew that it, and Apple, was always just a stopgap.

Given Apple’s new direction, we can no longer support that platform even as a stopgap.

@lasombra I know, I’m rather sad about it too but we cannot in good faith continue developing on that platform given what they’re doing with client-side-scanning and given how they’ve treated us in the last two years.

I’ll be writing more about that soon and we’ll be chatting about it on tomorrow’s Small Is Beautiful.


@aral Yeah, this whole change is, at the very least, quite unfortunate.

It also tells me how much many developers are dependent on it to make a living and are willing to bend backwards to accommodate Apple.

may they be fondly remembered by those who loved them.

@aral This makes me sad - but thank you for all the work that has gone in to it over the years.

@aral It is sad. But it's also consistent and honest! And somehow not too big a surprise when one looks at how things evolved... My respect and hugs 💕 — still I'm sad. 😢

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