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


the growing pains of freedom right?


Well OK let’s say that you call a call centre and get the ubiquitous notification that the call “may be recorded for training and quality assurance purposes” yada yada yada. In that case why can you not turn around and tell the call centre person that you too will be recording the call?

Regardless of whether the Librem 5 ships with call recording functionality, being open source, you can bet that someone will build that functionality if they need it. So you should assume that the functionality will exist sooner or later. Might it be used unethically and/or illegally? Yes.


Yes! @null has hit the nail on the head. Choice, choice, CHOICE – and RESPONSIBILITY.

Think about it… anyone could be an autistic savant and remember everything they have ever heard with perfect clarity. What’s the difference between that and recording a call on your LIbrem 5? Really. Oh, you can play it back and hear the other guy in his own voice, you say? Well, sorry to say, but so what? That horse done got out of the barn! Deep fakes are already a fact of life. You can be made to say anything (audio deep fake) or do anything (video deep fake). What? That wasn’t you in that video robbing the bank (or throwing the Molotov cocktail at the cops)? Oh yeah? PROVE IT.

Purism’s responsibility is to give users a device that is secure by default, and the choice to do with as they please – even if that choice is to do crime. No different than the manufacturer of power tools, cutlery, firearms or automobiles. Choice, choice, CHOICE – and RESPONSIBILITY.


…you might do illegal stuff with the internet, L5 should not have internet access…Right?

I dont understand the whole discussion. If you ask your the counterpart for acceptance, you may record the call. This feature is not illegal by default. Also in case of fraud, you would be happy to record the conversation.


I think the legal aspect derailed the conversation around the respect of privacy / societal good aspect, which is the more important piece in my opinion. I mean some things that are legal do not respect privacy and are not for the good of society yet they are legal.

There are useful aspects to having a conversation around problems technology enables. I don’t personally believe this is a technology problem nor one to be solved by technology, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some future technology that allows for a better solution to the problem of some parties consent some don’t; and sometimes there is valid justification to break the trust (though in this scenario I would personally end the conversation and move future conversations to a venue with multiple witnesses. I do think this is more appropriate than secretly recording a conversation but I do acknowledge that this is my opinion and not an objective truth)

The point about not including this feature by default on the grounds that it would be better for society is not an unjustified point in the conversation. I believe the majority who have voiced their opinions, thus far, are against this but that doesn’t make the point less valid.


From a technical standpoint there is no reason why the Librem 5 could not support call recording.
The microphone and speaker are routed over an audio codec connected to the main CPU, so the main CPU handles all audio.
The modem will transmit and receive raw PCM audio to the CPU, which therefore will have access to all audio information in a call and thus be able to save and store it as it wishes.

The only reason call recording could not work would be, if the analog in- and output were to be directly routed to the modem which, as I see it, is not going to happen.


well they are good for A kind o society - a technological based dictatorship in which the individual has no freedom nor does he need one … so it DOES serve a purpose for many just not people that want/need freedom.


Depends on where you live. There are different scenarios.

  • Law does not permit in most circumstances
  • Law requires the other party’s consent
  • Law requires you to notify the other party but does not require their consent (acceptance)
  • Law does not require even notification in some circumstances

Pick the scenario that fits where you live and the specific circumstances. (In all cases I am talking about the situation where you are a party to the call. I am not talking about intercepting someone else’s calls, which would nearly always be unethical and would nearly always be illegal.)

The functionality should generally still exist.

However let’s get to the point that we can even make and receive calls - before we worry about whether we can record those calls.


In Canada, you need only the consent of one participating party (you, making the recording and having the conversation) to record a conversation (calls included). Many Canadians don’t know this because they watch American TV and assume it’s the same here as it is in the states. I once worked with a guy who kept saying things like you have a “warner brothers smile” and kept pestering to be in one of his low budget ‘b movies’. Finally, I watched a clip of one of them. I don’t care if it’s horror based, anytime clothes by females are worn less on screen than worn on screen with a shitty script…it’s porn. I was continually being pestered to be in porn at work even after I told him adamantly I did not want to be in one of his films. I recorded a conversation of that pestering and emailed it with a link to one of his films to HR. I had a new shift partner the next day.

If I lived in America, I probably would still be being sexually harassed at work having my only option to file a complaint, enter into a he said/she said ‘game’…and wait to see if truth would win against lies. The pain in the ass of going through all that is punishment in itself regardless of outcome. The two party consent laws in America are dumb because they protect the guilty. We don’t have them here.

I don’t see why an app need be in an official repo to run on the librem5 (or even how it could be licensed to do that, really) so I can’t see how this is even an issue because purism needn’t take any official risk (and that would only be because they’re in America) if someone in a different country wanted to make one.


Purism legally can’t. Try to record a call with a samsung, apple, or alexa (btw, just get a clapper and clap on / clap off already, she takes about 30 seconds to start up and reconnect…but it works if you’re not banking, pouring your heart out to her, or anything) device…you can’t because of American laws. You can still record with a suction cup and microcassette recorder though.


If the country in question requires consent of both parties, it is still potentially legal and therefore it is still reasonable to create such an app.

Maybe the first time you run the app, it brings up a dialog box requiring you to acknowledge that you take all responsibility for whether recording the conversation is legal and all liability if it isn’t legal.

In my country, in the specific situation that you describe, bullet point 4 would apply (you can record the conversation without notifying the other party), although I am talking here about a phone conversation, not a face-to-face conversation, which is a whole other area of law.


This is false.

Not all of the US has the same 2 party consent laws. Each state gets to make its own laws on this front.

Android can record the call natively. (Tested with a non-rooted Android phone)
The iPhone can record calls natively. (Tested with a non-jailbroken iPhone)

Google is based in California like Purism and can legally provide the call recording option not just in Android but also via Google voice as providing the option is independent of whether or not its use legal 100% of the time or only a fraction of the time.


Can you please detail what you mean by native and how you did it. I have an iphone and have no idea how i would do this. (I absolutely do not want to, but for the discussion i like to know whats possible!)
My google results where more of a work around against apple tactics to prevent this. (Group call and some magic via goggle voice but just for incoming) Both are far form native in my understanding.


For iPhone at least, you have to download a 3rd-party app to do this.


I record calls with Samsung so Samsung is definitely able to do it. There is no warning of it either. It just records and saves. But I did need to install an app for it.


That’s not the law I was talking about. Keep in mind this information came from Samsung when when I called them up and bitched about not being able to do it with mine; Apparently there are FCC standards regarding cell phone manufacture (i.e. hearing aid compatibility etc.). I’m not saying it’s never going to happen, I’m just agreeing with @ramnasko that it’s not going to come from purism. That’s ok though, it’s a FOSS phone and that it would come from elsewhere makes total sense.


We don’t even have such laws in my country. Again, even if it’s not from purism themselves I don’t see how it’s an issue because it’s most likely going to get made.


@leetaur The app in this solution is also using the conference call feature to function. So does on other app i check in the app store. So for me this is still kinda hacky and far form native support as stated by some.

@topic Just to be clear i’m full on with the mind set that it should be (and will be) easy to implement a recording feature on the L5 as it is part of having an open platform which you own and can do what ever you want. But what i’m not so okay with is that a feature which is controversial, as can be seen by this thread, is shown as feature which is common on other platforms (which i doubt) and therefore should be provided by purism.


I’m shocked that this feature is perceived as controversial.


Can you say a little more? With your comment i can’t figure out what you perspective on this is?