Here article: Location Data and Anonymity

Hi! I found this article on the website of Here.

What is curious about it:

  1. Your location data can be successfully used to identify a person.
  2. Our cell phone modem shares our location with the provider frequently and thus leaks our location data.

So if you consider 1+2, then Graphene OS, Lineage OS and Sailfish OS are still not protected against such indentification.
Librem 5 with a HW kill switch that you carry in offline mode and use LTE/WiFi only for seldom brief moments would be definitely superior as you have the modem component of the hardware under much better control than for example Graphene OS which still uses mysterious Google LTE modem deeply integrated in the SoC.

Ok, we still have the question - when is this applicable if in most cases our providers knows our identity anyways. And if the location data of the provider leaks somehow to third parties. So maybe the use case is very very limited to countries where you still have anonymous SIM cards.

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Sounds like a job for a false flag operation. When you turn on that WIFI kill switch have it emit the same ID across the board. (They won’t know you personally, just where all the turned-on L5’s are.)

What happens then when two L5s are on the same network?

Yes, that is the funny thing, that if everyone else is always online and you are under the few who are sometimes online sometimes offline, this makes you an interesting subject for profiling.
In this very old report from a police operation in Italy, they noticed a group of people switching off their phones:

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Oooohh. Even as a flash mob like the folks on youtube ala “Improv Everywhere”

Imagine a group of L5 users hitting their kill switches in unison. On and off perhaps spelling out something in Morse code! Like: “Catch us if you can!”

Sample “Improv Everywhere”:

Who actually plans on using a Librem 5 with the modem disconnected unless they need to initiate a call? As best I can observe, most of forum users here (even the Purism fanboys) hope it will be a replacement for a regular smartphone. Regular smartphones are always available for receiving phone calls, so practically speaking (if you want the Librem 5 to be like a regular phone), you have to keep the modem connected so you can receive calls.

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The point John is that with Librem 5 you have the choice. You can carry your phone with the modem switched on or off.
With almost any other phone, you don’t have the choice at all. Your modem is switched on all the time and can connect to the cell phone tower arbitrary according using a mysterious closed source code running in the modem.
It is always about the choice.
Giving the user the ability to choose.
It is scary when we as people give up our anonymity and privacy that easily.
The ability to locate anyone anytime anywhere is just mind-blowing. And we just trust blindly that nobody would abuse this ability or that no malicious actor would be able to gain unauthorized access to this ability.
This should not be the world that we want.
And every time a consumer buys a product that continues this trend this is not just a purchase. It is a vote “I am OK with giving up my privacy and anonymity”.

When you think about it, what did the recording of the personal data for buying a SIM card achieved?
Criminals can always source a SIM card by paying money to a drug addict to buy a SIM card. While normal people got one step less anonymous. And this without a real fight.

Regardless, even when given choice, all (or practically all) of the FOSS boys and girls still will have their modem on at all times. So when you put the theoretical aside (I.e. “You can turn off the modem and only turn it on when you want to call!), even the FOSS boys and girls will still willingly give up anonymity for practicality (being able to be called whenever on their Librem 5). Meaning the theoretical isn’t practical, and thus is practically irrelevant.

Whole lot of (mildly demeaning) conjecture you’ve got going on there.

I get your point, John, but I don’t agree.
Being 24/7 reachable is not an undisputable necessity.
You have more and more proponents of digital detox, deep work (ref. Cal Newport), more strict managing of notifications ect. that it is not unimaginable for a person to switch the phone only from time to time.
As I said earlier - I already seldom use conventional phone calls for communication. For me most communication comes through messenger apps. And usually the messages are going to wait there until you have time for them. So I could check every several hours and call back if someone needs something from me.
This would not be for everyone. But claiming that it is not a real use case is also not true. There are people who could and would afford to be offline from time to time. Just like people put their phones on silent / flight mode from time to time.

And don’t forget that when you are not on the go, you can use Librem 5 over Ethernet. So you can be online over Ethernet and using VPN or something without leaking Wireless/LTE signals that give up your location.

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I’m just telling it like I see it.

Ah, clever. You should share with google and them how you’re able to see the behavior of all (or practically all) of the FOSS boys and girls. You’d be rich, man!

I agree with you, though I obviously cant speak for everyone (and feel that this dives into the “what is your threat model?” discussion).

If I wanted a WiFi only calling device I could get a PDA or small laptop + VoIP client and call it a day. I love the choice of the Librem5, it was presented as a phone and that’s how I’d personally use it.

Regardless though the HKS are a great option, so even if people do plan to leave them on simply having them is a nice step in the right direction.

Disclaimer: I don’t own a Librem5, on my PinePhone I leave the camera switched off bit that’s it.

I have a disconnected modem on my landline so spam callers get the screech.

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So people like you do exist. I was not hating on you, by the way. If you can live a fulfilling life that way, good for you. Seriously. I just think you are the crazy small minority, even in FOSS-land.

It is only because I use my cell phone to receive calls (still on 'droid waiting for L5 for 3 years).

The landline comes with the house internet. In effect the ONLY people who call on my land line are spam and robo-callers. I’m not paranoid, I’m just an old man saying “get off my lawn”.

It was easy, all you need to do is find one of those old modems that sit under a phone. Then solder a loopback cable on the back of the DB25 connector. It then thinks it is connected to a computer. Cross connect 2+3, 4+5, 6+8+20. You don’t even need ground on pin 7. If it has a volume slider, you can set it so you don’t have to hear it.

Thanks for the heart BTW.