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Re: Whatʼs wrong with with a phone? (was: Buying cryptocurrency

From: Roberto Beltran
Subject: Re: Whatʼs wrong with with a phone? (was: Buying cryptocurrency for fiat while avoiding nonfree software)
Date: Fri, 08 May 2020 15:19:51 +0000

> > > > require a cellphone
> > >
> > > Whatʼs wrong with a phone? Afaik, SMS is perfectly usable with free 
> > > programs.
> >
> > It depends what you mean. There is currently no way to send/receive SMS 
> > over the cellular network without running non-free software, since all 
> > cellular baseband chipsets require non-free baseband firmware
> No, I definitely have not meantthat. If nonfree firmwares are haram for you, 
> then you are stuck somewhere in 70-s. To the best of my knowledge, there is 
> no SSD or HDD with free firmware on the consumer market, for instance. Iʼve 
> never heard of a free firmware monitors either, do they exist? No digital 
> camera. Hardly even an automatic washing machine.

If the firmware is read-only (like there isn't some proprietary software for 
the user or vendor to update it), and it doesn't load proprietary software into 
a replaceable software part of the machine then it's straight by strictly libre 
standards. I know at least some SSDs would end up being bad by this standard, 
but there are very likely monitors, digital cameras and washing machines that 
are all good. Maybe it's more like stuck in the 90s/2000s. It's funny you bring 
up washing machines because most people around here have to use a laundromat or 
shared washing machines for their apartment building, so it would mostly be a 
concern for building and laundromat owners.

I think there's a lot of confusion with this part of libre because maybe people 
have slightly different opinions, but also because of lack of information about 
the hardware and people conflating their other interests/goals (privacy, 
security, etc) with libre.

In the case of phones for me personally, the Replicant breakdown of things is 
confusing for this reason, and on top of it all I don't agree with their 
version of free hardware and they sprinkle that in too.

But as far as I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't know much 
about this) the modem/baseband and boot firmware is really software (not the 
sort of firmware that's okay) and is proprietary or it loads proprietary 
software onto Replicant  and at least the boot firmware would have to be 
present on all fully supported Replicant targets (I think the modem can be 
disabled but then no data/sms/calls through cell towers).

The Librem 5 is probably all good (sans baseband), but it's not like I can get 
one, for a number of reasons.

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