We all know that having a phone number is nice to have. I have used my SIM card for many years and it spread across every scam site I could think of. I recently got a SMS that had my old online name and I was kinda chocked that they still kept that stored, after years and years a name I had long left behind came up in a SMS.
By this point, it would only be realistic to buy a new one with a new number. There is my answer. But it becomes more complicated than that now that you’re in the big league(Purism). About privacy and security.
So, having a phone number will give you a number, but it will also be tied to your real identity. Here in Sweden, our “government” stores this information and a site like Ratsit uploads it to the web, so anybody can access my number. Unable to remove anything.
So it getting tied to your real identity, is there nothing I can do to prevent some of this? Outside of Sweden too of course.
Also about the communications, and where you travel. I remember Purism talk about how you really shouldn’t use a SIM card. But most people will, because it’s only natural to have a phone number.
What can I do?
with librem 5 there will be other (as convenient or more) ways to comunicate. we have all gotten used to having a phone and a number because it is convenient but that doesn’t make it “natural”
we speak about “natural or nature” as something that we are born with or gifted with no immediate payment requirements or those that can be used by man without the risk of beeing enslaved by another. it is also things in nature that allow us to better ourselves and then ones closest to us and by extension the whole universe while still remaining transparent and open.
the mere fact that a sim card CAN be tracked by man proves it is unatural. it is the same EVERYWHERE not only in sweden and that is a price we are paying for convenience. the only problem is that price and the burden that is born with it grows hevier and heavier each day.
the solution is doing things in a way that is as close to how natural laws operate as possible and baking that up with a strong PUBLIC STATEMENT of PURPOSE and COMMITMENT just as purism has done and kept their word so far.
there is also the issue that lingers arround - ANY man made tool is only as good as the collective intent and understanding allows it to be. as such ANY BUILT TOOL can always suffer improvements. it just gets harder and harder to improve with each iteration and costs always go up …
so - what to do ? my advice would be to have a solid understanding of how things work and why they are allowed to maintain their existance in their current FORM. also it isn’t a bad thing to learn how to live without these tools or simply study how others have spent their lives when these things weren’t arround then compare that to what you allready know so far - then do a DIFF operation and decide for yourself always keeping in mind one general TRUTH - each thing that exists is either moral or imoral or a combination of the two. the only variable is how much they dominate or get dominated.
You’d have to get a new SIM card (obviously a pre-paid one using cash for both the initial purchase and for any top-up codes) and then be sure to never mention your real name (or have it mentioned) in any (plaintext - voice or SMS) transmissions you make with that card. Trusting who you talk to is going to be a huge issue here.
You would also need to not put it in any device which you’ve used before (or for which the serial number is recorded and can be tied to a purchase which you have made, eg. credit card payment to some organisation who both records these serial numbers, ties it to card details and then makes that information available to third parties), and you also should avoid making any direct communications to other numbers which your existing device has contacted so that someone with access to the connectivity records can’t just cross-correlate it and say “based upon who they’re contacting, this probably belongs to person X”. Combining these two behaviours will prevent, at least immediately, this new electronic pseudonymic persona in the form of the SIM card to your meatspace identity.
Future analysis, however, can be made by looking at the location history of your new phone. If it’s broadly the same as your old one, then that’s another means of correlating it with existing data with an aim to inferring who it belongs to. So you’ll have to not use it in the same places you used to.
All that said, SIM cards (more specifically, their unique IMSI) are still and always will be inherently trackable to someone with access to the cellular core network. I honestly don’t know much about alternative communication methods accessible via phones (aside from some vague idea about using only IP-based communications on a trustworthy network over TOR, in an attempt to throw up as many speedbumps as possible to any possible pursuers).
I want to add something, that is not obvious to all but is to some:
I am an electronics and RF technician, and have acquired my skill in the army. (western country but this is not political, so which doesn’t matter).
The assumption that you need some “inside intelligence” (i.e. to listen to your conversation I need to access your service provider) is a mistake.
I personally used a device that can monitor a range of frequencies (inc. service provider/coded manufacturer encryption or decryption in that case INCLUDING police/fire department, NEIGHBORING military and more!).
It even tells you which are currently being occupied LIVE.
Now the ethics behind using the device aside, it is obviously expensive, and we could NEVER use it just cause. Everything anyone does is logged and such.
In my humble opinion, the only secure transmission is a wire that you patrol yourself. (tapping a wire is also not hard).
I don’t as much mind government have the ability, but more the reasons behind using it active all the time
I do VERY much mind private entities having the ability.
In order to have future generation being able to make their own decisions we will have to push hard on no commercials where they shouldn’t be, so all those privacy violations can have no funds behind it.
Back to our point, in every western country (and prob. most eastern by now) using a cell phone in any method is not safe. It is enough you rented a car and they have put your name in their system under that “new” phone number and there is a link to you again.
I will also argue that if you did all that TungstenFilament suggested well, doesn’t help if same circle of people called you. Then voice recognition has an easy job determining who it was with a new number.
Sorry to rant but was just making sure people really realize that safe cannot really be if you are using the same tech as the opposing team. You have to invent and use something different to have real safety. Until society wants/demands to be safe as a whole.
i’m more concerned about our general lack of care for our freedoms beeing taken away and easy/convenient surogates put in place. https://puri.st/
phones are kinda much about being accessible without internet, so it is possible to play some encryption game on the voice, send some digital stuff on the line, and voilá! 4 sure they can catch up with tech for becoming a middle man (if they know the algo) without a certificate authority, but the init can go online, and only the device security is in question then. 4 sure they will know that ur talking with John Doe, but the message is the important part. btw actually i could imagine the face of an xy agent listening to some digital noise! X’D
u can block the spammers’ numbers and the hidden numbers.
the message is the important part
There’s more than one important part. Imagine seeing someone making a couple calls to an extreme cycling event organizers, and a week later or so making calls to an orthopedist. Or calling the same person while in a shady area, followed up by your phone connecting next to a school, repeated a few times. A lot of the time, there’s really no need to know the contents of conversations to fill in the gaps.
clearly, theres always much metainfo around that can be puzzled into a bigger picture, and lesser is better, but the most important is the communication itself… but yepp, its my mistake, that i expressed myself poorly…
No mistakes here, I just think it all depends on the depths of security you are trying to achieve.
And I think dcz just hit all those small remaining points.
Personally I think it all depends on the funds, but as a group, our funds get stronger i.e thank god for Purism.
And who knows how far small people like us can push them…
I speak 5 languages and one of them is Russian. you should see what they are capable over there having less enforcement at their government level. Really eye opening.
Soon, because technology advancements, it will really hard to do anything that is “under the radar” but also easier to implement different “ai runarounds” to load the system. its a never ending battle.
In terms of surveillance, or something else?