How do you get SMS with end-to-end encryption to work on Phosh on Pinephone Pro?

Hi! I receive some text messages, for example SMS from missed calls. But I’m not getting any more messages and I noticed that it might be due to end-to-end encryption.

Device: PinePhone Pro Explorer edition
OS: Manjaro ARM stable with Phosh (Beta 30). The problem also occurs with other distributions.
Firmware modem: Custom or stock.

Can it be solved?

How did you notice that?

As far as I know, SMS is a feature of the mobile network
and is not encrypted
nor is it designed to be.

That is (or might be) an issue - but likely not related to … encryption.

After not receiving an SMS, I inserted my SIM into an Android smartphone. The message has arrived and in the details I read: “Rich Communication Services with end-to-end encryption”.

… sounds like advertising for some service you did not know you’d soon want and need :grin:

Thats not SMS … its RCS …
What is RCS messaging, how does it work, and will it replace SMS? | Digital Trends

Which is becoming the new standard, actually supports encryption, and is available in modern default messagers like googles ‘Messages’

Use end-to-end encryption in Messages - Messages by Google

Apps like “Signal” which at one time purported to provide encrypted messaging and SMS have in more recent times ceased ‘supporting’ SMS, in recognition of its inherent security holes.

If you want encryption, without needing to manually share keys between users, you need to either use RCS or an internet(data)-based application such as Signal. ‘secure sms’ is a mythical oxymoron.


No. SMS (Short Message Service) is insecure by design - and there is nothing you can do to make it secure.

Technically - if both are using a pinephone - you could exchange public gpg keys and then encrypt the messages using your counterparts public key in the terminal - paste the content into the message app and send.

Then your counterpart can read the message decrypting using his/her private key - and vice versa.

Same technicque can be applied to any kind of private message exchange.

Thank you all!
My goal is not to have encryption, but to receive the messages that various contacts could send me. Since many use the new RCS technology on Android smartphones without their knowledge (believing they are sending a simple SMS), I don’t know what to do to receive such messages on my PinePhone Pro.
If the problem cannot be solved I would simply miss these kind of messages, if i understood correctly…

While Rich Message Service (Chat) is intended as the successor to SMS there is Ifound no indication that I didn’t notice if the protocol supports encryption.

Even though Google are trying to push Apple into the protocol with no success - perhpas that will change - for know it is just Google and Samsung.

Thank you @cscs for pointing out my oversight :slight_smile: :point_down: my bad I didn’t search directly for it.

Well…I think I solved my problem, but I still have to test this solution:
I have deactivated RCS technology on my old Android smartphone. I read that it should be deactivated before inserting the SIM on a new smartphone…
Probably the problem of not receiving this type of message would also have occurred on a smartphone other than the PinePhone Pro.

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I got curious and you are right - to avoid issues one needs to turn of rcs and the old phone and turn it on on the new phone.

From a quick search I found these topics

A support thread

A deactivation portal

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Use end-to-end encryption in Messages

When you message someone who also has RCS chats turned on in Messages, your chat conversations automatically upgrade to end-to-end encryption. With end-to-end encryption, no one can read the content sent between you and the other person.