New Post: Snitching on Phones That Snitch on You

A very interesting article, gives you a chance to think about the drain of my data(

And apparently the snitching can put one’s life in peril

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… also in a domestic violence situation. Numerically that may be more significant than being the target of drone strike, which is more of a niche problem, one hopes.

I wonder if it would be possible to use the Librem 5 and other free’d devices to create a whole eco-systen that protects everyone’s rights. You might have to actually create a new internet of sorts to make it work.

At first perhaps, only L5 and Linux PC owners might be capable participating. Every time a legal agreement is at issue, something like the GPL would be a standard part of any agreement made there, to create legally binding enforcement of some basic electronic rights as a part of the new agreement, whatever the new agreement is about. New users using newly freed devices on a newly free’d internet can create a whole eco-system that neither Google nor Apple could enter legally without obeying strict rules that dis-empower them there (they would be just like the rest of us). All of their rights to spy and advertise would not exist. No one there would have agreed to either Google or Apple’s terms and conditions. Any violation by the tech giants there would be a criminal/prosecutable violation.

In such an eco-system, social media could eventually flourish. Even the banks might eventually capitulate rather than being ostracised or replaced by crypto-currencies. It would be like re-creating everything that Google and Apple created, except tha Eula’s and contracts between people and businesses would be subject to laws that criminalize spying and otherwise not respecting the rights of others. Such a system might even criminalize any ads that people don’t explicitly opt-in to. If the technology works and the users all agree on this, it should work.


If you expect that to happen, you’re going to need more than the GPL.

That’s the problem. Governments don’t care. They are part of the problem.


This is more or less our long-term goal and why Purism launched Librem One to begin with. If you build an entire hardware/software/services ecosystem on free software and open standards, and pro-privacy stances like Librem One has, then you make it hard for companies that rely either on spying or lock-in to live. On our platforms you have to interoperate, you have to share your code, and as a result if your code phones home or otherwise spies on people, people are free to fork it and remove those bits and keep the rest.

Google’s approach to protect their profitable business (search) is similar to Microsoft’s: scorched earth. If a competitor gets their profits primarily from a product, release your version for free. In Google’s case instead of releasing IE for free to choke Netscape, they released GDocs and Android for free to choke Office and Microsoft’s attempts at mobile OSes, for instance.

Apple’s approach has been more or less the same through its life: become the gatekeeper in control of the hardware and software so you can simply remove anyone who is directly competing with you on your platform. Make your products work really well with each other, at the expense of working with anyone else. Everything “just works” unless it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Like with copyleft in general, we are flipping the anti-competitive things Big Tech does on its head, and using our openness as a strength, an advantage, not a weakness. It’s an area other Big Tech can’t compete because they aren’t willing to be open and interoperable.


There is a new german book “Jeder Mensch”, in English “Any human” or “every human” from Ferdinand von Schirach (german lawyer and author). In this book he proposes six new rights in addition to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Artikel 1 - Umwelt
Jeder Mensch hat das Recht, in einer gesunden und geschützten Umwelt zu leben.
Artikel 2 - Digitale Selbstbestimmung
Jeder Mensch hat das Recht auf digitale Selbstbestimmung. Die Ausforschung oder Manipulation von Menschen ist verboten.
Artikel 3 - Künstliche Intelligenz
Jeder Mensch hat das Recht, dass ihn belastende Algorithmen transparent, überprüfbar und fair sind. Wesentliche Entscheidungen muss ein Mensch treffen.
Artikel 4 - Wahrheit
Jeder Mensch hat das Recht, dass Äußerungen von Amtsträgern der Wahrheit entsprechen.
Artikel 5 - Globalisierung
Jeder Mensch hat das Recht, dass ihm nur solche Waren und Dienstleistungen angeboten werden, die unter Wahrung der universellen Menschenrechte hergestellt und erbracht werden.
Artikel 6 - Grundrechtsklage
Jeder Mensch kann wegen systematischer Verletzungen dieser Charta Grundrechtsklage vor den Europäischen Gerichten erheben.

Let me try a translation:

Article 1 - Environment
Every human has the right to live in a healthy and protected environment.
Article 2 - Digital Self-determination
Every human has the right to digital self-determination. The exploration and manipulation of humans is illegal.
Article 3 - Artificial intelligence
Every human has the right that algorithms that incriminate him/her must be transparent, verifiable and fair. Essential decisions must be made by a human.
Article 4 - Truth
Every human has the right that expressions of officials correspond to the truth.
Article 5 - Globalization
Every human has the right that only goods and services being offered to him/her which were produced and provided under the preservation of universal human rights.
Article 6 - Fundamental rights prosecution
Every human can, by virtue of systematic violations of this charta, raise fundamental rights prosecution at European courts.

Article 2 would probably make the business model of Google, Facebook & Co. illegal.

P.S.: please tell me if you would translate something differently.


These six new rights look worthy of passing in to legislation.

It appears that there are two paths to enforcing digital rights; civil and legislative/criminal code. The civil path can happen any time two or more individuals (Hopefully many more individuals), make a binding agreement. The legislative/criminal code method may be more enforceable, but is much more difficult to achieve politically.

Agreed. It would take much more than just the GPL. The only similarity that would exist between the GPL and such an agreement would be in how everyone who participates is bound by the same agreement.

You could tie it into some sort of blockchain contract. Maybe call it “Librem” lol. You stake a certain amount of Librem on the blockchain and in doing so you agree to participate in the new freedom respecting internet. Any violators of the contract will have fines against their stake, if they persist, they lose all their Librem and are blocked from the network.

There are a lot of good things about blockchain. But blockchains have to be funded to pay for the integrity management. In bitcoin, they use hacking of the cryptography to validate each block. A consensus/voting system could be used. There are other ways. But blockchains are still not available for free from what I can tell, anymore than use of a server is free. Also, blockchains put whatever they protect in to permanent records from which keys are generated. Are we sure that we want every word we ever type to outlive us?

A two-factor authentication system and strong contracts might be good enough. Associations could be created to build and manage software that detects and exposes data scrapers, crackers, and other violators to protect its subscribers . The association would be like a homeowners association, except it would protect its members privacy as opposed to protecting real-estate values. All access would be tied to verified real individuals who would have to pay fines for violations and who can be kicked out permanently, if their violations are egregious enough. An alternate internet would be like the existing internet except there are rules that have to be obeyed. Hackers could never get a foothold because every association would be different, hard to identify, and have different security mechanisms. After a cracker is known by their real name and is blacklisted, no association would let them in.

again too general and vague. the main concern is the Gl0b@l-D33P-$T@T3 … which is even more obscured than a black-black-box ! :sweat_smile:

Very good. But I wonder about “die Ausforschung” in article 2. I did not read the book (but I will) and I am not a native German speaker but I would like to use another word than “exploration” (not a native English speaker either …). Perhaps “snooping” is not a word to be used in law texts but I was thinking about the old rule of “brevhemlighet” or “posthemlighet” (privacy of correspondence) which is completely forgotten in the digital era. It should be re-entered into legislation concerning digital rights. The acting of Google, Facebook and Apple should simply be criminal.

I do not for a second believe that it is possible or even desirable to stop all digital snooping (the police in Sweden got very good evidence against criminal gangs when their encrypted communication was revealed). But it must not be possible to gather information so easily. If they sit and put information about me together manually - be my guest. The very reason that I supported Librem 5 from the begin is that it has not these mechanisms in the very core of the system as in Android and other “modern” systems. The automatic gathering of information is the worst culprit.

I was also not sure if “exploration” is the best term, but I don’t think it’s totally wrong. Would be interesting to hear what a native English speaker thinks about this.

“Forschung” is about finding out something new. So this is “research”. “Erforschung” is similar but a bit more concrete. I would say it refers to the process of research. “Ausforschung” puts the emphasis on finding out more and more, maybe until nothing is left unknown. I would say that in contrast to the other words abhove it is not used in reference to science.

To snoop on someone or to spy on someone may be alternatives to exploration.

“Ausforschung” is quite suitable in German. It has a lot of different translations into English but I checked translations of sentences (to get some context) and came up with the word “surveillance”. In fact it was in the context of “illegal surveillance” (illegale Ausforschung) and that is what the activities of Google and Apple should be called.

Yes I thought of surveillance, too, but it is a bit different. It is more Überwachung (Observation, Monitoring).

While that matches at least part of the actions of Google & Co. there are slight differences to the other terms. I don’t say that surveillance isn’t the best term, just that this should be taken into account.

There are generally different strategies when it comes to translation like, being most readable, staying as close as possible to the stile of the original or staying as close as possible to the semantic of the original. I think we should take the last strategy.

Would be interesting to see what professional translators are going to choose in case this will be translated.

Of you want to see this proposed rights to become reallity you might want to sign this appeal. which redirects immediately to

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The problem with “illegal surveillance” is that it can be made legal, but it is also the collection, analysis and retention of information about the person for commercial purposes that I think needs to be addressed.

Speaking of that, I wonder why gnunet hasn’t advanced more than it has?

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Good question. Perhaps when everyone went with Google and Apple, they probsably figured they already abandoned any shread of privacy they might have had to begin with, so why should privacy even matter anymore.

Gnunet looks interesting.

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