New Post: I (Finally) Fired Google

and also replaced the default search engine in my browsers with it so if I typed a search query absentmindedly in the URL bar, it also wouldn’t hit Google

This bugs me too but really I would like to disable this implicit searching functionality completely. It is security / privacy fail that you can accidentally send confidential information to any search provider. I choose to have a separate search bar, so the address bar should be for addresses only.

In Firefox I have not found a way to disable this implicit searching. Possibly implementing (and then installing and choosing) a new search provider that either always fails or at least accesses a web site controlled by me that just returns an error would do the job - but that is beyond my knowledge to do.

Possibly choosing a search provider that I never use (e.g. bing) and then poisoning the domain would work.

But these are workarounds for something that should be simple!

Yes, you can use AweSIM on any unlocked phone in the US that supports the ATT network.

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I use Garmin devices. They run completely offline and my newest one also gets traffic updates over FM radio.

The nicest one was a gift and is nice and fast. I’ve also had luck finding cheaper, older (and slower) ones in local thrift stores. All of the ones produced over the past number of years get lifetime maps, unfortunately you have to use a Windows application to get the latest versions (there has been some level of success in running this in Wine but your results may vary). However, you can also download and load Open Street Maps alternative maps.


Contact us and see if we can work out a discount for a “family plan”. I don’t believe we have one listed on the site but if we can figure something out, perhaps we should.


It’s a good point. I host my own DNS and have for years so it didn’t occur to me to bring up, but of course many people directly and indirectly end up using Google DNS even though there are alternatives like Quad9 that appear to have better privacy protections in place.


If you’re running your own DNS, probably you’ve opted for DoH. Additinally i’d suggest thinking about something like mentioned Reverse DNS Resolver Unbound that doesn’t share all your requested URLs with one or two providers (a bunch of data to create a profile), but splits it, so everybody only gets a small portion of your requests (no profile possible).

Combined with a Pi-Hole it’s a top team you only realize once it doesn’t work anymore (and you’re amazed by the sudden amount of ads popping up all over the place :wink: )

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@Kyle_Rankin, has AT&T started disallowing any Librem 5’s on the AweSIM MVNO yet? Since the L5 is not on their approved list, I mean.

TomTom has some units that can be updated over WiFi without any computer software, apparently.

But it’s really stupid that their devices are built on Linux and that they don’t feel compelled to provide a desktop software package for Linux users. Their maps and navigation are still proprietary, though, I think.

AweSIM MVNO is working just fine with L5. We make sure it does as it’s pretty important :slight_smile:


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.