New Post: I (Finally) Fired Google

I haven’t. I don’t want to derail the thread, but I am using a trustworthy ISP so I am comfortable with my home DNS traffic traversing their network. If I didn’t trust my ISP, I wouldn’t use DoH (which is just a VPN that’s specific to DNS, in practice) but instead would tunnel all of my traffic to a VPN I did trust (or Tor). Again I don’t want to derail the thread so if you’d like to talk at length about DoH I’d be happy to, but I’d prefer we do it in a new thread.

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Not everyone has the same skills and abilities that Kyle Rankin has. And even Kyle has some work to do routinely, just to maintain his privacy on-going, on his own devices. It seems like Purism or someone else should create a specification for internet communications, and an application to go with those specifications, for use on privacy-oriented librem hardware.

Under those specifications, it is likely Librem 5 phone would even be capable of browsing the Google and Apple-infested parts of the web. Too bad. All of those web-sites lose my visiting them or even my being aware of them unless they comply with the specification. They lose my business. I don’t read their news stories nor buy their products. It’s like they don’t even exist to me. I learn to live in that new eco-system. That eco-system (like Librem hardware) grows over time. So web-site owners have a choice to make as to which side they want to be on. So I can easily learn to shut out the Google/Apple eco-system completely over time.

For web-sites that comply with the specification, I can open a simple app (keep it very simple), and make a few basic choices that will affect my privacy. Do I want to let any site retain my browser or site preferences or not? Do I want to allow any advertising, or not? No advertising means I will never see an ad, period. Maybe have five or ten choices maximum. But no long list of choices that I don’t know the implications of. Maybe more like five choices that I fully understand the implications of. I can become quite of an internet luddite. I already am. I want the internet back, the way it was before Google and Apple started harvesting my information from it. So the idea is to re-create an internet through specifications that I agree with, but that won’t work on my devices when Google and Apple try to step-in. So you know that you’re safe and have control when using librem hardware and software that meets that new specification. It might even be a good idea to throw in a piece of required code in to the specification that rejects teasers from web-sites that are not compliant, from complying only long enough to entice you to bypass your own security to get to the enticement. Create a new GPL key that can only be used on sites that intend to maintain full compliance to the specification at all times.

Would anyone else here like to see such an eco-system?


I don’t see companies getting on board, unfortunately. Tor already exists, offering an effective way for people to protect their data in a lot of ways, but a huge number of commercial websites block access using Tor :confused:

I’m reading that AT&T did in fact shut down their 3G network yesterday. Being as AT&T shut down their 2G network years ago, that leaves only 4G and 5G available for the AT&T network. Purism lists AT&T as being the network backbone for its MVNO service. Can you confirm that voice calling with the AweSIM service is still working today? If so, I’m assuming that Purism must have gotten VoLTE working with the BM818-A1 modem on AT&T’s network.

Just tested and yes, voice calls work and use VoLTE. SMS also works as does MMS with the most recent update to mmsd-tng.

I should note that by default our modems don’t have VoLTE enabled so you have to perform a few AT commands to enable it. We have been discussing creating some kind of tool to enable current L5 owners to make the change without having to issue direct AT commands to the modem over the command line.


Am I correct to assume the steps to enable VoLTE via terminal commands for the BM818-A1 modem are found in the following page?

Yes those are the correct steps to enable/disable VoLTE, although I personally use screen instead of socat, but either works.

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Presumably at some point the software will enable VoLTE by default because in the US you seem to be approaching rapidly the time at which, without VoLTE, calling won’t be possible at all. From what is said, if the customer is using AweSIM, that time is already upon you. (It’s obviously a clunky look if Librem 5 + AweSIM doesn’t work out-of-the-box.)

I would really like to see VoLTE as an on-off switch in the GUI, rather than a separate tool. That way I could easily test it in my country a few years in advance of actually needing it (and test it on multiple networks).


I think its rather if the customer is using an L5.

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Yes. From what is said, if the customer is using AweSIM on a Librem 5, that time is already upon you.

I don’t think it is quite the case that all networks (MNOs) in the US have closed down 3G but perhaps you would know better than I.

Fair enough. I don’t know of any modern phone that doesn’t do volte though, so I guess I don’t know. I personally haven’t been paying attention because I’m using a pixel 5a and don’t expect my L5 any time soon.

The remaining final shutdowns are currently scheduled as follows:
Sprint (owned by T-mobile) - March 31, 2022
T-mobile - July 1, 2022
Verizon - December 31, 2022

Besides having the capability, a phone apparently has to be certified for each network the OEM wants it to be functional with. So some regional models/firmwares will have VoLTE in some countries, but not in others. So AT&T, for example, will allow a certain regional variant of, say, a Samsung 20, but not other, international, variants of the same device. See this PDF from AT&T.

But maybe we’re hijacking this thread a bit too much…


In simple terms, does it mean that some people’s phones will simply stop working on those dates if they are a customer of those above that you mention?

Only calls. Data should still work.

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If their phone manufacturer has tested and certified their phone model with the particular network’s VoLTE technology, then they will continue to work. If not, the network will probably reject the phone and push the customer to get a different, workable phone…in fact, the network has probably informed those customers already.

But the network will probably not allow the phone to remain on the network if it can’t do VoLTE. The network legally has to provide the ability to call emergency services.

I don’t think volte will affect that one way or another, that’s an enormous lawsuit waiting to happen.

I think @amarok’s point is that … giving service to a customer but not allowing phone calls (because the phone doesn’t support VoLTE) is a higher legal risk to the telco than simply withdrawing service from the customer (provided that the customer does not have a fixed term contract that is still in force).

If 3G goes away (so VoLTE only), there is no magic way of still being able to make a call to emergency services.

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Maybe so. I admit I don’t know the details of the law (in the US) dictating that every phone has to be able to call 911, perhaps there’s an expiration date (something like for up to 5 years after date of manufacture or whatever). And for example att sent my Dad a free replacement 4g flip phone a while back, so that may be “due diligence.”

But if the old phones can’t contact emergency services anymore, then they need to say that to everyone. It may be that they have, but I haven’t seen nor heard it.

Here are the relevant legal requirements from the FCC: