[Tinkerphones] "We don't control our lives" - smartphones - tinkerphones - debian on smartphones

Naqiao naqiao at naqiao.hk
Thu Jul 30 14:54:34 CEST 2020

The idea of being able to run Debian on a phone is nice, but I think it misses
the main point of the problem, this is, that mobile networks and phones are
basically designed to control people, it's a political issue more than a
technical one.

I think the way to go is just stop using them, at least for a while: "no phone"
can be better than a "bad phone".

It may sound crazy at first, but technically is much easier than most people
imagine, you can do it yourself in a few days:

- Get some virtual SIP numbers, both mobile and land-line, according to your needs.

- Redirect the SMS to your email and voice calls to your SIP account.

- Get Android emulator configured on your desktop/laptop computers, for the
  occasional app not available for PC.

- Switch off your mobile phone and forget about it.

That's all, it just works, if enough people do that phone makers and politicians 
will begin to change their policies, it's just a matter of how many people will
stop using their phones.

You may think very few people will stop using them, but I'm not so sure, there
are many people that would like to stop using their mobile phones for very
different reasons if they had a good, socially acceptable, reason/excuse to do so.

The fact is that trying to make a current smartphone "free and non controlling"
is a lost battle, you can get better than average, but still very far from real
freedom, it's an asymmetric "war" where a few weak people try to defeat a few
very powerful ones, and the outcome is clear.

But the other way around, stop using mobile phones until makers provide the
means to use them in a free and non-controlling way, is much more easy to do and
more likely to be successful, eventually they will prefer to lose some control
over people and devices than to lose too many users, it's just a matter of

In the near future it could well become fashionable to stop using mobile phones,
if you look around you, there are much more crazy "fashionable" things happening 
all the time, and anyway you look at it most people could live without a mobile 
phone, it's just a matter of changing your way of life and/or thinking ;-)

On Thu, Jul 30, 2020 at 02:12:30AM +1000, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
> With respect to "smart" phones, it can be reasonably claimed that we don't control our lives.
> At the hardware level, the baseband (radio) computer in almost all cases has access to RAM, thus access to your passwords and keys for any open wallet or encrypted filesystem, etc.
> Notwithstanding, we owe it to ourselves to run an operating system which at least does not deny to us, our right to install and run any software of our choosing.
> The average Android and iOS Apple phone, is a strict walled garden into which only authorised software may be installed.
> Software "Apps" which are not authorised (or have been banned) by either Google or Apple respectively, are not available in the respective "Play Store".
> This is abhorrent, a centralisation of power, a blatant censorship vector, financially burdensome to those of meagre means, and fundamentally unethical in principle wrt the suppression of the basic rights of the end user (refer to Richard Stallman's GNU General Public License for details of fundamental human rights in relation to software/ apps/ computing).

More information about the Community mailing list