Librem 5 using tethering function?


#1

There seem to be some problems with reception, antennas, modems, heat, battery life …

Could it be a workaround to use a Librem 5 without a SIM-Card and instead connect it via wifi tethering to a (probably already available) iOS- or Android-Phone?

You could carry on using your old phone for calls, sms and maybe WhatsApp etc. and activate tethering for the Librem 5 to use. – At least for a transitional period.

On the Librem 5 you could do any other (privacy, security and freedom critical) things. Maybe via a VPN.

What problems would that way of usage solve and what problems would it cause?


#2

You can’t do this because you don’t have a Librem 5. If you did have a Librem 5 then most if not all of those problems would be solved. :slight_smile:

That aside, should work. Biggest problem would be hauling around two phones (and two chargers?).

VPN on the Librem 5 would be essential to get anywhere near privacy. That may or may not work. (I haven’t looked at whether you can bring a VPN through a phone that is being used as a hotspot.)


#3

Yes, you can. When I tether from my phone, VPN remains active, so the other device doesn’t need it. Also, L5 will fit sure have at least one VPN client straight out of box - their own Librem One, “VPN Tunnel”


#4

You may be at cross purposes.

The L5 handles the sensitive aspects.

The iSurveilYou handles the mobile network connection.

The VPN endpoint (client end) must be on the L5 (because you can’t trust the iSurveilYou) and the VPN must go right through the iSurveilYou.

That means the iSurveilYou must either allow VPN passthrough or the VPN client on the L5 needs NAT Traversal, or something like that. Depends on exactly which VPN client and technology is being used.

Unless you have tested, I wouldn’t assume that it all just works - or what messing around might be needed to set it up.


#5

Yep , you were right. Just now I tested it and the phone tethered to, shows it’s original IP addressz even though the tethering phone has VPN active and showing the IP address of the VPN server it’s connected to.
That was very naive of me to assume.


#6

If I understand right, phone A is using a VPN while tethered to phone B. Phone A’s connection appears to originate from wherever the VPN server is while phone B appears to be based from wherever phone B is, correct? If that’s the case and you’re doing your internet activity from phone A, then it works as intended, yes?


#7

It could work, so that even though the iSurveilYou device can monitor all traffic passing by, all it can see is encrypted communication with the VPN, it cannot see what you are really doing, which sites you are really connecting to, etc.

However, knowing how The Big Company making iSurveilYou usually does things, if this were to work now there is a risk that it will soon be changed so that tethering is only enabled after the iSurveilYou has verified that the connecting device is on a list of trusted devices. Trusted devices will probably include other iSurveilYou devices as well as iExploitYou, iSpyOnYourFamily and iLockYouIn devices. :smile:


#8

For tethering via USB that already happens. However all you have to do is touch OK on the iSurveilYou.


#9

So as long as you touch OK it will give Internet connection (by USB tethering) to any “unknown” device, like a Linux laptop? Then that should work for a Librem 5 also, I guess. You could walk around using a Librem 5 with the iSurveilYou attached as an external dongle for Internet connection.


#10

I suppose the point is that the device somehow has a unique id and the device has or has not been seen before. This only applies to USB tethering, perhaps because with a USB connection to an iSurveilYou you can do much much more than tethering - and because tethering via USB does not intrinsically require a password.

If you tether via WiFi, you probably don’t have to worry about confirming the device but you do of course have to enter the WiFi PSK that is displayed on the iSurveilYou screen into each would-be client device.


#11

PS One of the benefits of the “trust” check is in combating “dodgy chargers”. A normal charger supplies power but no data. A dodgy charger unexpectedly also supplies data and attempts to activate USB-accessed functions. Without the trust check, it would be dangerous to charge using a public charger (such as may be provided in transport terminals, workplaces, hotels, cafes, …).


#12

Which is why I have a ‘USB condom’ that is simply a little adapter that strips out the data pins and lets power through. Works well with conventional and slow USB charging, will become more difficult in times of USB-c and power delivery…


#13

Should be pretty simple to make a smart filter. Just needs to listen on the client end for the ‘please turn up the voltage’ message, and relay that to the charger end. The chips needed are available on digikey or similar.