Will the Librem 5 be able to record calls and save them to storage?


I can only disagree with guru because he clearly sees this as an offensive or dishonest action. You underestimate the “enemy” (surveillance). Honest people always make this mistake. You can see it throughout the history of mankind, in politics, everywhere.

We won’t drop the weapons when we have to deal with such organizations (sic). In Greece (I bet everywhere else) they call you for anything, banks, products, whatever they found out by surveillance that you might be interested in. If starting the call you say “our conversation will be recorded” they always hang up immediately.

The ability to do that is a weapon not to be thrown away. Use you honesty to use it properly. Knifes are used to cut bread. We will not throw them away because they can also kill.


Recording a call with my ISP saved me to pay a wrong fee in a court. So that’s a must have feature.
If a man is a bad one, is not about a feature or a tool, same for a good one, deny a service because someone could ise in a evil way is like to say no one could use the fire to cook or to be warm because someone could use it to burn someone else


I can double @Caliga that i don’t see this as a hard problem.
From the past 2 years i follow purism i would bet that this feature will not be or very low on their todo list. And if they implemented this it would most likely automatically inform the other part of the conversation about the recording. This is not a too common use case with some controversy aspects about privacy. So not that attractive to put any resources on with so many other this to do.
And i actually i never had a phone that supported this out of the box.

So for all the people who want this, i’m pretty shure you have to find a third party app dev to build this.


That was my bad, my title was ambiguous. I meant record and (save automatically) not (record and save) automatically. The feature that I am trying to ask about is opt-in convenient recording and convenient saving to local storage of calls.
I edited the title to make it less ambiguous.

I do not want them to protect us from non-free software, I merely want them to not force it upon us. I have no problem at all with opt-in non-free software. I just think that non-free software should be easy to avoid. And opt-in easy to avoid recording is also what I am asking about.

Not always. I could easily spy on my neighbours without preparing it. And I could easily take my phone with me and spy on random people. I would not even need to call them.

Not always. It depends on the situation. There might as well be no chance that they discover it.

With the camera they do not have to choose to meet me. I could spy on meetings that I was never invited to. With the call recording feature however they would need to talk to me on the phone which they could refuse.

…and them telling me secret information on the phone. Recording is pretty useless if there is nothing to record.

I will implement it myself if it is not included.

I got saved from a lying boss thanks to it. Hence why I am so adamant about having it. Just because we respect people’s privacy does not mean that we should throw out our weapons and become easy prey. It just means that we should use our weapons ethically.


What about playing a sound to the other person every X? I had this with customers form the US which were recording a call. Every like ten seconds there was a beep, when I asked him he told me that he was recording the call.

I have never recorded a call (no need yet), but I can think of legitimate use cases. As in so many things it has to be consensus. Could also be for an interview.

If not beeping you could also have once you press the red button to record the call an overlay that you should inform the other person that you are recording and confirm that (even if this is not a law in your country just because of respect).


i’d only agree to use a software-recording app that uses this way of reccording if every other one EVERYWHERE would use one such as this… i don’t particularly like this way of doing recording of audio. imo if you CHOSE to speak to someone else that means you are prepared to face the consequences and you should not open your mouth unless you are prepared for it. same goes for all social media in text or audio etc.

what about the pro-youtubers out there ? they do it for the money but they are still responsible for what they say …


This would mean that there is no private talk, kind of no privacy at all. As you know knowing that every word I say at all times would mean that I change my behaviour due to that knowledge which is the self applied censorship.

Don’t get me wrong - I am in favour of the possibility to record, but I also get that recording someone without their knowledge and agreement should not be done. Not even telling him does not give him the possibility to not talk. So from the developer point of view it is currently not wrong to not implement any of my proposed features, from the end users point of view, you should definitely make the other one aware.

So thinking this through I think the legal question should be moved by law from the person to the manufacturer as you will never be able to check everyone if they recorded without consent. On the other hand it would be easy to check if products to be sold comply the laws of your country. So in the end I think I agree with you, that everyone should have some kind of such (privacy by design) features - enforced by law :slight_smile:


spoiler alert ! isn’t freedom great like that ? the TRUTH is we do self censorhip most of the time precisely because we know this to be true but sometimes we slip-up and that’s when we fear of beeing recorded and getting punished for manifesting our true beliefs. yeah the centralised internet is great …


Not a good idea. Regulations that put the responsibility on the manufacturer lead to locked down, signed binary blobbs in base band modems and WiFi equipment, to avoid the technical possibility to do something unlawful (emitting more energy than permitted, using bands that are not allowed).
Similar legislation could actually lead to a situation where a Librem 5 is no longer possible, if the manufacturer is required to prevent changes to the system that would be against the law. This could ultimately remove the freedom to replace the operating system.

It’s good to have laws, but where the government tries to take your ability to break the law, it gets dark quickly.

Maybe you just meant the official (shipped) operating system should abide to the law, but I guess that’s already the case anyway :slight_smile:


From what I understand that’s exactly the opposite of freedom.

@Caliga - yap - only the officially shipped. As it’s open source anyone could change it the way he likes to have it. I guess if this issue would be important enough we would end in some kind of DRM chain :wink: which we all love.


Just imagine that you were in my situation: Your boss intents to lie in order to screw you over — in court if he must. And he falsely accuses you of being a liar. Would you be glad that you did not record his calls and because of that have no evidence of his lies? Would you be glad while the lying bastard screws you over? Or would you have preferred to have recorded his calls so that his lies will not stand in court?

Secret recordings are a self-defence weapon that —like many other self-defence weapons— must be used properly and ethically. I do not deny that they can be misused like the camera can, but the only people who cannot misuse things are defenceless people because the power to defend yourself almost always comes with a chance to misuse that power for other purposes.


doesn’t fear God and doesn’t shy from Justice - a pretty nice example.


Given that the baseband will not have direct access to the microphone, and that every pulseaudio sink has a “monitor” source. It’ll take some script-fu, but should be doable on day one. Integrating into the dialer would likely be a bit harder.


I totally understand you. But there is another secret weapon against things like that.

In German we have a saying: “Wer schreibt, der bleibt” (which rhymes) and means “the one who writes stays”.

We have the same problem here that dejure you can make verbal treaties but if you have no witness, you cannot prove it in court. That’s at least why I also at my job always try to confirm it via some written word - even if it’s repellent. (Also depending on the level of trust you have to someone and his memory :wink: )

I think there are situations where recording audio is good, even that the other one cannot hear it, but that’s for me more something for a whistleblower (but I am sure that there are also other valid use cases). For 99 % of other scenarios there is a high abuse possibility.
Following this thread I changed my mind a bit and would say that a beeping tone should not be done mandatory (as you could find a way to record it without anyway on a free phone :slight_smile:) and maybe only the person recording should be made aware of breaking the law (at least in some countries including some of the US) if not highlighting it to the other person.


In the Netherlands there are very good laws for secret recordings. It is allowed to secretly record a phone conversation as long as the recording party is a participant of the conversation and the recordings are kept private. The recordings become unlawful as soon as they are publicly shared or used to blackmail with. Those laws protect people’s privacy yet allow such recordings as a tool for self-defence. IMO it is the perfect balance.

But I agree that writing is definitely great for such cases and when I do not trust someone I always try to get everything in writing. However some people insist on calling so recordings can be great to fall back on.


there is still the issue of the call recording itself beeing a “manufactured” evidence but that doesn’t matter since it can be done with other tools and the L5 having call-recording or not wouldn’t change the outcome if someone is hell-bent on hurting you.

something else springs to mind here. recording calls just to have a comparison sample in case someone tries to manufacture a conversation. well this is already paranoid enough so i think it’s best if we leave it where it is.


This is irrelevant because in reality scammer are generally not hell-bend on hurting their target. Scammers scam people not to hurt those people but to make a profit. If a target can fight back hard enough to not be a profitable target or to be a risky target then a scammer will generally back down even if he could hurt the target by pushing on.

Recordings still make for a much stronger than case than just one’s word. And the stronger someone’s case the more chance that his opposition will back down or —if they do not— lose the case.

Yes I can record with my Android, which is what saved me. But I want to use the Librem 5 to make calls, not Android.


Different juristicitons have different rules, let’s just have a record button on the call screen and leave the ‘rights issues’ up to the individual.


no i meant the heavy budget weaponised Ai stuff that happens on workstation/server class machines in order to plant evidence/social-engineer. i did say “manufacturing” as in - building a conversation from the ground up using voice patterns NOT a real call-recording happening between two or more real people on opposite ends of a line.

the scary kind of stuff that often ends up in the media (as real evidence) not just in a local court room. for instance all the vocal patterns that youtube collects from hundreds of thousands of people has been used to train and develop Ai assistants (vocal-pattern recognition, abstraction, modelation, recombination, etc, etc) all from “farming” real-life human audio recording. mountains of data really. all that data - do you really think it’s beeing used just for making pretty voice-Ai-assistants ?

another issue - but this is getting off-topic - is after i heard Googles Ai chat bot sometime ago i really got to question this subject and where we are headding. it really is the death of trust as we know it.


Just a side note. I sometimes get the impression, that some understand their rights only as their individual rights. Individual freedom to do things and don’t see us together as a society.

Some things (maybe not this thing) should not be left to the individual. If you leave every responsibility to the end user, Google, Facebook and co can always say that the individual could have chosen not to upload images of other people they don’t have the rights to, or WhatsApp all addresses of their address book (which you as part of this adress book never accepted). We had this same discussion about allowing people to post hatred, Misogyny and such on librem.one and we will encounter such questions again.

For me leaving a decision up to the individual is fine in this case, I only think that the individual should at least reflect what he is doing in case it’s something like this.

I think that maybe there is a different understanding of a society across continents - but we can work on this with such constructive discussions :slight_smile: