Government spying / remote control chip (e911) as required by law? Is it illegal to use a phone without it?

There are some very authoritarian laws about movable wireless networks in USA. How will those affect the librem5 and its users?

I do not know what secret functions this chip has other than whats mentioned on wikipedia chip, but I suspect anyone who mass produces phones is under not to tell parts of what they have done against privacy and security.

If it contains an e911 chip, will there be a hardware switch to disconnect it, like there is for microphone etc? How about a faraday cage that slides around it with the switch, to prevent it from being tracked while disconnected? Can I have a log of all the bits which move between it and the device and run a CPU controlled firewall between them? Is the e911 chip needed to connect to mobile Internet?


Try asking a different question: would you be arrested for using a phone made before that law came into effect?


Gotta love your succinct title :heart_eyes:

I didn’t see a direct hint that any chip needs to support anything here. Basic triangulation does not need support by the phone. If a GPS signal should be transmitted, the baseband chip would need to support that. As it is a standard baseband chip, you can assume that. However the Librem 5 will be just about the only phone where the baseband chip is a standalone chip, with no direct access to memory, and with a killswitch. There’s also a killswitch for the sensors (GPS).

One cannot track a disconnected chip. There’s no magic involved. In available phones, the chip may just never be disconnected, even if “turned off”. You just need be be certain that the chip does not have a hidden capacitor.

Gag orders is what warrant canaries are for.


Its possible to power a chip wirelessly even if its disconnected from its local power source. may be the power end of such a tracking system.

Can wireless networks be connected to without blackbox chips (which may contain anything)?

I’ve saved a zipped copy of

That’s a good question.

Some of my friends went on those Anonymous protests that were popping out everywhere. They all wore masks so police couldn’t identify them.

The next day each and every protestor was brought in for questioning because they all had their phones with them so police had just brought in everyone whose number was traced at that place at that time.

So yeah, they got smart these days.


i would be interested in knowing for a FACT from the Purism manufacturers if the Librem 5 device will have any redundant battery system except the main battery used to power the device.
for example : will it have some sort of battery like the one featured on desktop motherboards that hold bios information for when the device is powered of and disconnected from any external power sources ?
i know someone that managed to reset my bios password by removing the said battery from the motherboard then after a few minutes inserting it back again.
what information will the Librem 5 keep after it has been completely severed from any power source ?

i speak from local experience. you should not have ANY centrally managed electronic communication devices on you if you do decide to participate on Protests. better yet do yourself a favor and PROTEST in a way that won’t get you HURT or LOCKED UP. how ? invest time and money into EDUCATING yourself and others(only people willing and able to participate) about Libre Computing.
lastly do your best to encourage and support people that actively invest their available resources into developing Libre Hardware and Software.

“they” were never smart. “they” have only as much power over us as we give them (knowingly or unknowingly)

1 Like

I am also interested in how the hardware kill switch works. After switch on the killswitch, Could the baseband independently do its own stuff, while cut off the connection between the main system, or will be completely shutdown and battery being cut off? The former one cannot protect you from being trace in a protest, and the latter one can.

Yes. That’s what killswitch is all about.

Not to Necro the thread but in the US that would be exceedingly illegal…that violates the US Constitution that forbids Ex Post Facto laws

Is it an option for the phone as a whole to withhold GPS information until such time as the person actually calls “911” (which may be never)? However as someone else already pointed out, various approaches using cell towers can locate a mobile phone with some accuracy even without any GPS at all.

Does the baseband chip have (secret) GPS functionality in its own right?

the politically correct term would be “we don’t know for sure - yet” because the linux micro-kernel in the librem5 contains module drivers that reference the nonfree-proprietary baseband firmware that’s on the m2 removable hardware module inside the device.

now we could roll with that or we could assume the worst - and remove the m2 module completely if that is a very serious concern in our individual use case but that is the equivalent of dark-age medical treatment of using a hack-saw to amputate a treatable leg while biting a piece of wood to not break the teeth from the live-pain.

it’s an absurd situation but it’s the best we got at the moment …

1 Like

It’s got GPS functionality, but that’s not secret and is in fact advertised by the manufacturer: LTE frequency bands

However, the datasheet (also linked in that post) indicates that the device has connection points for 2x cellular radio antennae, and then another connection point for the GPS antenna. Seeing as how Purism have already specified a completely separate satellite positioning chip for navigation data (, I don’t see them wiring up the GPS antenna from the modem.

That said, GPS frequencies are 1.58 and 1.23 GHz. While cellular radio signals don’t use those exact frequencies, they do cover that range and since you don’t have one antenna for every single frequency from 700 MHz to 3.7 GHz, they’re going to be broadband antennae capable of receiving the whole spectrum - including GPS.

While it would in theory be possible to route the incoming signal from one of the cellular antennae to the GPS receiver, I don’t know how feasible that would be - the amplification and noise filtering requirements are much more stringent for GPS than cellular radio signals, perhaps requiring a different pre-amplifier stage entirely (and ideally, an antenna which is perfectly matched to the source frequency for better signal reception - the received power level is incredibly low, far less than a cellular signal). Can this even be done? I’ve no idea. I don’t know what kind of signal routing Qualcomm (the Gemalto PLS8 uses a Qualcomm modem, but the datasheet doesn’t tell me which one exactly) put into their chips, nor what their pre-amplifier requirements are.


I used to use a Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U as a USB LTE modem (Qualcomm baseband as well), and while I can’t speak for the internal antenna configuration but it did have GPS integrated that did work with the driver software.

1 Like

“lastly do your best to encourage and support people that actively invest their available resources into developing Libre Hardware and Software”.

I tried to help with the "developing hardware " part.
Maybe I am getting ahead of most of those in the hardware development, but when I did try, I got very negative comments, as if i grew another head. On comment stated that Purism is not in the business of spending millions to do research and then try experimenting with new kinds of chips. Instead of my efforts to suggest new kinds of designs of chips, being met with constructive or in other ways positive criticism, I got almost 100% negative answers, as if to say that could never happen.
Are those who are interested in Purism’s goal of a secure base, starting with the hardware, but then are not allowing for that hardware to be considered from the start, by using new tech or even completely new science, physics, theories and the like? I don’t expect anyone to sign on the dotted line, just yet, but only to discuss what could or should be considered, for the long term. There is new stuff in terms of hardware, methods to produce it, how it is produced, the principles used, etc., being introduced all the time. Purism, I am sure would like to consider all options, to keep ahead of the game, and also to do so for plain old reasons of competition.

I am involved in an important way of developing and using physics. I would like to discuss this and see what the commenters say, so that I have some idea how it would be received by those who could actually use that physics. What I should avoid in doing this is get mired in convincing others about the physics. That just gives me headaches because of the endless discussion about the reality of it and negative comments from those who seem to have a need to protect the current physics in its high place.

I agree! For example, we already know Teseo-LIV3F supports Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), with capacity to use only the L1S signal from QZSS, therefore no other communication infrastructure (e.g. mobile towers) is there needed to locate/reach someone in emergency need. HELP112 project “found that the average location accuracy using Cell-ID was about 1.6 km, using Wi-Fi it was 23 metres and using GNSS it was about 16 metres.” On top of this project is COSPAS-SARSAT with, currently, 45 countries and organizations participating in the operation and management of the COSPAS-SARSAT system.

I cannot contribute (without subject matter knowledge and not having needed money other than to pre-order another one) but this is the way how I see Librem 5 (further) development direction, concerning the usage of GNSS on the Linux phone, as it will influence its certification as a smartphone, AFAIK. If Purism gives some more light on this, when considered very needed and achievable, relatively complex requirement (with existing GNSS receiver chip and technology) I would appreciate. And if, maybe, I’m out of the subject here (again), I hope there are people that understand better what I am looking for, because it is about lifesaving feature.

And in addition: “The FCC ruling permits access to two Galileo signals – the E1 signal that is transmitted in the 1559-1591 MHz portion of the 1559-1610 MHz Radio-navigation-Satellite Service (RNSS) frequency band and the E5 signal that is transmitted in the 1164-1219 MHz portion of the 1164-1215 MHz and 1215-1240 MHz RNSS bands.”

A general introduction only: in this paper from Fraunhofer IIS, Nürnberg, Germany (2014) is described an idea how ordinary people can profit from privacy protected localization and authentication of georeferenced measurements using the Galileo public regulated service (PRS). The PRS is realized by two signals, one in the 1575.42 MHz band and the other in the 1278.75 MHz band. These signals are encrypted, allowing the implementation of an access control scheme.

The way this theory and the items already made from it, is going, there is no further need for money from investors. The items already made according to this theory are already making enough money to make for a more than large enough critical mass that will sustain itself. That is why no further investors will be even considered. This no longer about convincing anyone about the theory or about more money. That part has been long time past into commercialization.

In case anyone has any doubts about the theory, what has been achieved by using it as a guide to design several items, which should not work according to Standard Quantum Mechanics, here is a tiny list of of the many sites, books, papers and history since 1986, dealing with the theory, the many tests done to corroborate its predictions and the items already in commercial use:
This concerns the accuracy and applicability of the Grand Unified Theory-Classical Physics, as to being the best theory ever, towards the description and explanation of all known phenomena in the cosmos and towards practical items.

How it all started, from the point of view and work(1986) of Herman Anton Haus Institute Professor (MIT) of Electronic Engineering :

“An important advance occurred in 1986, when Hermann Haus derived Goedeke’s condition in a new way.[2] Haus finds that all radiation is caused by Fourier components of the charge/current distribution that are light-like (i.e.components that are synchronous with light speed). When a distribution has no light-like Fourier components, such as a point charge in uniform motion, then there is no radiation. Haus uses his formulation to explain Cerenkov radiation in which the speed of light of the surrounding medium is less than c.”:

Haus, H. A. (1986). “On the radiation from point charges”. American Journal of Physics. 54:1126. Bibcode:1986AmJPh…54.1126H. doi:10.1119/1.14729.

“A theory of classical quantum mechanics (CQM), derived from first principles, successfully applies physical laws on all scales [1]. The classical wave equation is solved with the constraint that a bound electron cannot radiate energy. The mathematical formulation for zero radiation based on Maxwell’s equations follows from a derivation by Haus” page1:

The calculations and formulas used to develop the theory:

Electromagnetic Noise and Quantum Optical Measurements: Herman A.Haus

Nonradiation condition - Wikipedia

  1. Bibcode:1986AmJPh…54.1126H.doi:10.1119/1.14729.

A listing of over one hundred peer reviewed papers, in journals applicable to the point being made by each paper; by Randell L.Mills and associates:

A highly revealing comparison of how inaccurate Standard Quantum Mechanics is as compared to The Grand Unified Theory-Classical Physics when each is used as a guide for molecular modeling:

To cover one of the major points that Standard Quantum Mechanics is based on, the 2 slit experiment’s far field, is explained classically, without waves:

And while you are on the site of Brilliant Light and Power, you might as well have a look at the whole thesis of the Grand Unified Theory-Classical Physics, free to read by download or streaming:

General overview of the whole enchilada:

A book about the history until 2008 and how Mills was treated by the physics community:

Thomas E. Stolper: “America’s Newton The reception of the work of Randfell Mills, in historical and contemporary context”

A book mostly about the mechanism involved in the Suncell, the leadup to the Hydrino’s:

Brett Holverstott: “Randfell Mills and the Search for Hydrino Energy”:

The comments by the 50 main individuals, who are at the center of the theory, and a few guests,
on the site of GUToCP and Society, a Yahoo group:

Some of the tests, replications by third parties, university courses and lectures on the theory:!

This is a partial listing, showing a sample from each category, outlining the details of each category
regarding various aspects of the theory.