Regarding recent F-Droid situation

Hi all, I hope you are well.

In case you haven’t heard, we have recently received a great deal of FUD initiated by a maker of a new competitor app. We have been flagged with F-Droid anti-features of NonFreeNet, and Tracking.

While we agree with the former, since as you all know we do offer a paid VPN in order to be able to support the development of the app, the Tracking flag is just unfair and overblown. We never had any intention to track our users, nor share any information about you with third parties. We’ve been present on F-Droid for several years now, without ever raising any concern. If you have been following our announcements, you may also be aware that our presence on F-Droid was occupied with a non-explainable tardiness from F-Droid in regard to reviewing our update merge requests, causing at least 2-4 week delays for availability of the majority of our update releases. This together with the recent events begs to question F-Droid’s objectivity.

Nevertheless as a gesture of good will, and by still assuming good intentions of the F-Droid maintainers, we decided to make some changes in our implementation, and address the concerns raised. The upcoming release of Blokada 5.12 will include those changes (along with other updates and bugfixes). There is nothing you need to do, and you should not notice any change in behavior of the app.

We hope you appreciate the level of transparency on our side, and hope you keep enjoying Blokada.

12 Likes

i’m just upgraded to the plus version and really enjoying with all the features of this app, and meet what i need regarding my privacy.
i really appreciate the effort of all the dev on this great app.

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I’ve been recommending Blokada to anyone I know that has an un-rooted Android phone for years, and more recently to anyone I know who has an iPhone. That won’t change. I always inspect change-logs and recent commits for Blokada, along with any other programs I rely on. It should be obvious to those who do the same that there are no privacy concerns with this application. Keep up the great work guys! Sorry to hear about the unfounded F-Droid drama.

P.S. It should also be noted that the competing application is inextricably linked to Cloudflare DNS, which - like most other DNS resolvers - does collect some data from whoever utilizes it. This is referenced in an obfuscated fashion on the app’s privacy policy page, and discussed very clearly on Cloudflare’s own privacy policy pages. This renders the competing app’s hyperbolic issue report blatantly hypocritical, and F-Droid should be encouraged to clearly disclose the relationship between the app in question and Cloudflare.

P.P.S. Has anyone from Blokada been in communication with the F-Droid team? It seems that you’re already in the process of making a new custom build for F-Droid, but I think it would also help if you guys communicated with them about the questionable source of that commit, along with pointing out the competing app’s ties to Cloudflare, and the fact that they are introducing a paid tier of their service next month. It should also be pointed out that the optional paid features in Blokada are in no way necessary to use all the crucial functionality of the app (which is no different from the situation with many other apps on F-Droid that are not being dishonestly targeted). I cannot stand malicious marketing techniques, and I find what they’re doing to be extremely deceptive.

7 Likes

For future reference: Blokada anti-features: Paid features and trackers (!8536) · Merge requests · F-Droid / Data · GitLab

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