Using Your Librem 5 to Even the Score


#1

When Purism speaks about our privacy rights, the Librem 5 is always the tool to regain our rights as strictly a defensive measure. Has anyone here considered that the Librem 5 could also be used to do more than just play defensively? Consider the following: 1.) The open source community might create a web browser for your phone that fights back. Every web page that you visits sees you as a different person, but never as yourself unless you click on a “Show Cookies Honestly” button while on their website. As fake profiles are randomly generated in the background and distributed to snoopers, you browse the web anonymously. Every website never asks you to accept cookies. It just accepts them. But it quaranteens them and uploads them to a shared repository. Your random profile generator that runs in the background downloads cookies from this same repository to build many different false profiles for you to show to anyone who tracks you. The idea is to poison the metadata to negate the value of targeted advertising. 2.) An app is developed that does the following: you input the make, model, and IMEI number of the phone that you want your cell phone provider to see you as. They never see your Librem 5 on their network. All they see is your old Android/Samsung phone on their network, long after you’ve quit using it. 3.) Robocallers are not just blocked, they hear what sounds like a real person answer the phone. “Hold on, I’ll be right back” the voice says. A few minutes later the voice returns “I am really sorry for the delay, please wait because I won’t be long now”. Eventually the person returns “I am really sorry. The man on my other line is so nice and after my purchase from him clears, I’ll get right back to you. Don’t go anywhere”. Meanwhile, your phone never rings. 4.) Purism could create an unbreakable authentication protocol. Anyone who wants to text you or make your phone ring has to sign-up and install the authentication app. Signing-up and calling a protected phone is free. But having your phone authenticate incoming calls causes a few dollars per month.

Does anyone else here have any ideas about new apps that would not only free your phone, they fight back?


#2

That sounds a bit dodgy i.e. is a privacy issue itself.

I think your previous suggestion is better, which I think is that cookies are thrown away so frequently that you have a succession of unique identities, and your identities never repeat. However profiling uses more than just cookies.

Already discussed in this forum but changing your IMEI number may be illegal in some countries.

How does it know that it’s a robocaller? I like what you are trying to achieve but it may be that you have to answer then touch some button that causes the remainder of the call to be handled by your time-waster assistant. One problem with this though is that it may tie up your phone. You really want to transfer the call somewhere else but that might be fairly difficult.

Bonus points: The best pranked robocallers have the recording of the call uploaded automatically to a video sharing site. :slight_smile:

Overall, I agree with your goal but my priorities will be

a) have a phone
b) have everything working that needs to work
c) then start fighting back.

Another general approach to some of your early points is “privacy rating”. People rate web sites as to how privacy-friendly they are - and you simply don’t visit low rating web sites.


#3

Firefox partnered with someone to make a fake web profile generator, to trick advertisers and protect your privacy. When your not using your computer your supposed to let it open random websites to act as if your browsing.

EDIT: https://trackthis.link/


#4

Not bad ideas, but…

For #2, changing your unique identifier still leaves you with a unique identifier. I don’t think it would do very much (if at all) towards privacy.

For #3, the robocaller is still getting confirmation that your phone number is owned by an actual human who “answers,” and as such that number will still get sold and passed around. I don’t believe they get together and say “this number is a waste of time, don’t bother.” I think it would be better to provide some sort of “the number you’re trying to reach has been disconnected” response. At least then there’s a chance whomever has it will throw it away.


#5

Yea ,I think it would be funny to attack the stingray fake cell towers haha send code in sql injection that scrambles their operation hahaha


#6

This reminds me of It’s Lenny.


#7

If this worked to deter them, scambaiters wouldn’t get nearly the amount of calls they do.


#8

I have also thought that perhaps, some company like Purism could create an opt-in (probably a paid service) phone call authentication system. Sub-audible tones like those used to open a repeater squelch in amateur radio, could be used. Except the tones would change rapidly in a very unique pattern as the signal is sent out to ring your phone while it rings. If the app on your phone doesn’t get the exact series of required tones as the phone rings (probably a repeating pattern that is unique at every call), it would supress the call and you would not hear it ring. The authentication server and the app on your phone would have a back-channel communication via your data connection, to agree on what the rotating sub-audible tone pattern should be to allow the call to go through. The same thing takes place for the person making the call, to prove to the authentication server, who they are. Anyone who doesn’t want to sign-up (for free) and install the app, doesn’t need to reach me. Anyone who signs-up and abuses their ability to call me would be blocked by me. Telemarketers would be quickly identified as such by the authentication system and categorized appropriately. Anyone who wanted to, could opt-in to receive those telemarketing calls, which would be blocked by default. Spoofing phone numbers and disrespect for your phone number would be a thing of the past.


#9

I used to put and old 12KB modem on my land line with auto-answer after 3 rings connected to nothing.

Just for the screech.


#10

The VoIP company selling the NetTALK Duo has a free service that does the robo caller time waster trick. It’s really convincing. It’s different people each time. Sometime’s it’s a guy fishing at sea, other times it’s a mom managing three mischevious boys, and so on.