[Freedom-misc] do you know the necunos.com phone?

mason at masonhock.com mason at masonhock.com
Wed Sep 26 21:07:46 CEST 2018


Looks interesting. If the main operating system and bootloader are free than  
these phones will be freer than Replicant phones, and if Wifi and Bluetooth  
work then they will also have practical advantages over Replicant phones.

However, the modem will still be proprietary, which makes it a little  
misleading to say

"our goal is to give you 100% open source device, from metal to pixel, from  
hardware to software."

More generally, promises of privacy should be qualified with the fact that  
liberating the main OS will not address an important privacy issue. All cell  
phones are tracking devices. This is not because of proprietary software or  
hardware. It's inherent to the design of the cell network. The only way to  
turn a cell phone into something that does not allow you to be tracked is to  
disconnect it from the cell network (i.e. disabling the modem) at which point  
it is no longer a cell phone, just a portable computer.

The neo900 and Purism phone will have a modem kill switch, allowing the user  
to disconnect from the cell network when they don't require the ability to  
send or receive calls and texts. This does not solve the tracking issue  
either, but it mitigates it. Being tracked some of the time is better than  
being tracked all of the time. It does not appear that the Necunos phone will  
have such a kill switch.


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