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Many pages have mandatory sms verification. But i would like to use these pages without revealing my identity. Typically these pages do not function with free online sms services. Paid SMS services such as Twilio OTOH require sms verification. I would be happy to hear about any services or solutions or work-arounds to obtain sms verification that maintains my privacy.

Sorry if this question is off-topic, happy to get redirected to another page.

2 Answers 2

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Sadly, the SMS verification is a privacy stealer, because it does not add a bit of security: plaintext SMS are easily intercepted and tampered with. So if you're looking to avoid this - the only reasonable way to do so is to buy a smartphone or a single-board computer+cellular modem and register it for someone else, make a huge forward payment from his side and park it in a safe place with a battery backed power and an external cellular antenna. After that - Tor will help you to connect to this device and to obtain/send all the codes you need. I've done it myself when I had to, this particular schema is working - proven on my personal experience, I used SBC and 4G modem with antenna attached.

P.S. The question is totally not an off-topic: Tor is an important component in this solution.

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  • the problem with getting a physical sim card even on anotheer name is that it might compromise my privacy - it needs to be provided by some to me and that is a link that reduces my anonymity quite a bit Sep 25, 2021 at 22:45
  • indeed, but there's no silver bullet in existence. Buy a booze for some hobo and ask him to do it for you - it will never remember you because of alcohol's memory killing effect ;)
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Sep 26, 2021 at 19:06
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In addition to privacy issues of plaintext SMS detailed in the nice answer by Alexey Vesnin, SMS also discloses my location to the network operator who might collude with the web service provider and thus link and reveal important information about myself. I therefore needed another solution that works exclusively via online services. I funded a bounty on Gitcoin to get me access to a sim card. This is not a good solution for 2FA because someone else can log me out of accounts but it does suffice for verification steps as used by Twitter and Discord. If needed, I can remove the phone number from the account afterwards.

I did not check if this complies with T&Cs of the involved platforms, please make sure to check that yourself if you're considering this.

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  • even if it fits T&C, as the practice shows us - a phoneless accounts are subject to be forcibly re-verified at random times. And the location disclosure can be mitigated - there are some services for it, but the core of the problem is that SMS can be turned off for you by an operator, 2FA performed, your account logs dumped and then the SMS are back again. You won't see a message - but you're compromised. That's how Russian FSB has done with Navalniy's collaborators via MTS cell operator, they werer catched by hand - and no consequences for anybody of them so far for 4+ years
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Oct 5, 2021 at 9:28

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