Crowdfunder for a free/open phone crosses $1M mark


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/05/librem-5.html


#2

This just might be up a friend’s alley. She’s constantly hacking her Android phones to disable features or add in features she wants (such as increased security and encryption).


#3

Yeah, but does it have wireless charging and a headphone jack?


#4

has a headphone jack, don’t know about wireless charging.


#5

Wireless charging can sometimes be added on with an expansion card.

The galaxy series had a specific set of pins for it, because they made a case with wireless charging. Vendors produced many add on cards which slotted in between the phone backing and the battery.


#6

Sounds good, but what’s the app selection like? Can *nix applications and games be re-purposed to run on this device?


#7

I asked them about wireless charging when I backed it. Here’s the reply I got:

“This is not something that’s on our priority list, but if the campaign
succeeds and there’s enough interest in the future, we might consider it
for the next hardware revision.”


#8

$1.5 million seems like a very small budget to do their first phone development project. I hope it comes to something.


#9

I thought the same. I’m not confident this will succeed long term even if their crowdfunding hits the goal, but i would like to see them do well.


#10

Phase 2 is add Android apps in a virtual space or something.


#11

This is most likely a stupid question, but how does one get a phone provider for such a device?


#12

A lot of wireless carriers will sell you a SIM card to which you can attach a plan (usually but not always pay-as-you-go) that you bung into an unlocked phone like this.


#13

Without my phone audiobook reader life would not be worth living.


#14

I can see that you probably live in the USA. In most other countries on this planet, people buy a cellphone and a cell network contract separately. For example, I can use my present network contract with any phone I please. If I buy this phone, I will simply transfer the sim card to it and it will then be associated to my old number and data contract.


#15

From their project page, they sold about 1600 phones, they will sell a bit over 2000 if they reach their goals.
There are about 2 billions cell phones users on the planet.

What exact use is a phone which respect my privacy when all the people who know me leak data about me continuously?

I can have a super-secure phone, people who know me already have:

  • uploaded my name, address and birth date to google or apple servers dozens of times
  • uploaded my wi-fi password to the same servers when backing up their phones
  • taken and tagged (including GPS position and time stamp) pictures of me
  • noted events about me, professional and private appointments, in their online diaries
  • and probably more I do not know.

#16

The title is misleading because the phone is not free. Apple and Google don’t charge for iOS or Android.


#17

That can be disputed. Sure, they do not list an end user price for it and will not hand out a purchase receipt, but they sure have a large plus line for these items in their yearly report. It just that they found more devious ways to bill us for it than plain old sell and buy.


#18

That’s a damn fine point.

I guess the reason to have one of these phones is to support the idea that phone security is a good thing? And maybe one day folks will start to wake the fuck up to this nightmare we’re unleashing, and then you can say to them how they should get a phone like yours.


#19

Reading the phone’s features it seems that it’s primarily designed to stop other parties from actively snooping on the phone’s owner while on the go. So security researchers, reporters, etc. They can have their phone in their pocket and know for a fact it’s not leaking data about them. Security does start to fall apart if one is having a phone call or texting someone that isn’t using encryption but i assume that the people buying this phone won’t be average users.


#20

For these users, there already is the unaphone zenith:
https://unaos.com
https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/5/4/11590338/the-unaphone-zenith-secure-indiegogo