Purism announces the specifications for the Librem 5 smartphone

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aloniv

I am a translator!

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https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Purism-Librem-5-Specifications

- 5.7" IPS TFT screen @ 720x1440
- i.MX8M Quad-core up to 1.5GHz
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB eMMC internal storage + microSD expansion
- 802.11abgn 2.4GHz / 5GHz + Bluetooth 4
- Gemalto PLS8 3G/4G modem with one SIM
- Teseo LIF3 GNSS GPS
- 8MP front camera
- 13MP rear camera
- USB Type-C port
- User-replaceable 3,500 mAh

I wonder if Linux-libre will support this phone.

tonlee
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> Teseo LIF3 GNSS GPS

https://www.st.com/content/st_com/en/products/embedded-software/automotive-infotainment-and-telematics-software/teseo-liv3fsw.html

Is this free software?

> 802.11abgn 2.4GHz / 5GHz + Bluetooth 4

Does not say which chip it is. I assume non free software is required.

Like on their notebooks they stay dishonest about the librem 5. On
https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/
no mention that no modem will run without non free software and what purism will
do about it. If the gps and wifi requires non free software it should
be addressed on the website.

> fully free, ethical and open-source operating system

The modem requires non free software. Software which source code
you do not have access to. If the modem software is in the system, then
the sentence is a lie. If the modem software is located somewhere
else, then it is deceptive not to tell people that about the modem
the phone is running software to which you have no access
to the source code.
If the gps and wifi software is software where you do not have access
to the source code, then the above argumentation applies about
the gps and wifi software.
Or will purism ship phones having not working gps
and wifi?

We are watching one more purism hoax unfolding against people who know about free software
but do not know enough about free software.

https://puri.sm/posts/librem5-solving-the-first-fsf-ryf-hurdle/

It is rubbish. There is no modem which does not require non free software. Fsf
giving a phone ryf is not an option.

zigote
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Purism is the company which wants to make everyone believe that it is possible to modify corrupt technology in a way which ensures some utopian perfectionist world. And of course - everyone is welcome to spend money on supporting that illusion.

jxself
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"I wonder if Linux-libre will support this phone."

I think you mean the other way around.

strypey
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Joined: 05/14/2015

I find these regular group beatups on Purism really sad.

They are producing a mobile device that is much more freedom-respecting than most (if not all) others that are available. It will be sold with an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distro and the user will have root by default. It will have an F-Droid style app manager by default, not the Prey Store, in fact it will be completely Goggle-free. It will have hardware switches for all hardware that could compromise your privacy/ personal security if it's on when you think it's off. This is all good progress over anything that's been aimed at the average user before.

Yes, they can't solve all the freedom issues at the hardware level with their first device, but their goal is to create a new revenue stream than can be invested in R&D to solve them in the longer term. Also, to prove a consumer demand for user-respecting mobiles, which could help improve the attitudes and practices of hardware suppliers and other device makers.

Purism are investing significant amounts of money employing developers to write free code for mobile GNU/Linux OS and applications, which can be used by other projects like PostmarketOS. They are also running user-respecting services using free code server software, and distributing branded versions of free code apps to go with them to make it easier for non-geeks to access them, and paying people to contribute back to the upstream projects for those too.

If I'd sat down and written a manifesto for a libre hardware company when I first noticed ZaReason selling Ubuntu laptops and Android tablets at conferences almost a decade ago, pretty much everything I would have put in it is something Purism is doing. But if you lot can find a single thing that isn't perfect, you think that justifies completely writing them off and smearing the people involved? Time for a reality check.

It's easy to be a knocker. All you need is a keyboard and a negative attitude. It's easy to be self-righteous, when you're not the one who has to walk through a minefield of compromises because you're actually trying to change things instead of just carp about them on forums. What are any of the critics here contributing, in any form, towards the development of user-respecting mobile devices?

jxself
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Wow, you have really drunk the Purism kool-aid.

"This is all good progress over anything that's been aimed at the average user before."

The 100% free phone operating system has already been achieved previously with Replicant (FSF-endorsed - see https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-non-gnu-distros.html, uses *actual* F-Droid, not F-Droid "style", root access, no Google stuff.) Not that I will complain if someone wants to spend their time re-implementing all of this from scratch instead of using what already exists but there is a point where they shouldn't be given credit as if they were the ones to have accomplished this. A similiar thing was happening with their laptops where they were being given credit for things that were actually done by third parties and not Purism. Of course, Purism never corrected anything and never credited the third parties.

But the point is we already had software freedom at the operating system and "app" level; the hard part is the lower level stuff. Nothing Purism has done by reinventing the upper-level operating system and "app" layer has changed this or brought us any closer to solving the low-level problems. They remain just as hard to address.

"Yes, they can't solve all the freedom issues at the hardware level with their first device"

That should be: At all.

"What are any of the critics here contributing, in any form, towards the development of user-respecting mobile devices?"

No, because the goal is not actually achievable and yet they have convinced people that it is. This is the same problems faced with their laptops: Purism promises more than can ever be delivered. And yet they do it in a way that somehow not only woos people over to believe their impossible goals but also gets them to actively defend Purism's impossible position.

(As if Purism was ever going to be able to get Intel to give up their signing key to the Management Engine. Ha!)

There is a project working to accomplish the hard parts; OsmocomBB - https://bb.osmocom.org/trac/ but even this isn't completely possible because, at some point, you're going to need the phone to transmit. See "Using modified phones on carrier networks" https://osmocom.org/projects/baseband/wiki/LegalAspects which to summarize is:

* The FCC's approval is lost once other radio firmware is installed
* Using a device that isn't FCC approved is very likely illegal
* Even if the free software community were somehow able to partner with a cell phone manufacturer and have them use the free replacement from the start (maybe Purism?), along with FCC approval, being free means that the user has the ability to install modified versions, and this then takes us back to the beginning where the FCC's approval is then lost again. This is why I say that Purism can't actually solve the problem they say they're trying to address.

But, of course, Purism has never given the OsmocomBB project any credit or mentions that they even exist. It's all "Purism" pushing forward to accomplish things. Purism purism purism.

strypey
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I said:
> They are producing a mobile device that is much more freedom-respecting than most (if not all) others that are available ...

Then a list of some of things I included as freedom-respecting. Then:

> ... This is all good progress over anything that's been aimed at the average user before.

jxself:
> The 100% free phone operating system has already been achieved previously with Replicant

I did say "most". But I also said "device". I looked into buying a Replicant device. They are all ancient and require a huge wifi dongle hanging out of them. These are not something the average user will use. They don't have hardware switches for the cell modem, camera, mic etc. So arguably they're not as freedom-respecting as the Librem5.

> [Replicant] uses *actual* F-Droid, not F-Droid "style"

You seem to be implying that not using F-Droid is a failing. Replicant uses F-Droid because it's based on Android, a Java mess whose development is ultimately controlled by Goggle. The Librem5 doesn't use F-Droid because its touchscreen OS is based on GNU/Linux, so it wouldn't make any sense to do that.

> Not that I will complain if someone wants to spend their time re-implementing all of this from scratch instead of using what already exists

That's not quite correct. They are using GNU/Linux, which already exists. Work has been underway to port GNU/Linux to touchscreens for years in projects like Ubuntu Touch/ UBports and more recently in projects like PostmarketOS. I'm not sure if KDE and GNOME already wanted to developed touchscreen versions of their DEs and app suites, but given that the vast majority of devices running a Linux kernel today are touchscreen mobiles, it seems like a logical step.

What Purism have done is create a hardware platform specifically for these touchscreen GNU/Linux projects to target, fund salaries for a bunch of people doing the work, and packaged it with a UX and form factor (no dangly dongle) that might actually be useful to the average user. This is a much more ambitious project than a libre Android fork targeted at a narrow pool of old Android devices (eg *not* the Fairphone).

> This is the same problems faced with their laptops: Purism promises more than can ever be delivered.

Purism promises a modern laptop running an FSF-endorsed GNU/Linux distro, again, with a UX aimed at the average user. That's what they sell. This is a step forward from most new laptops with GNU/Linux as the default OS, which supply Ubuntu etc.

I recently looked at the suppliers offering laptops with FSF-endorsed distros as the OEM, because I needed a 64bit laptop. Other than Purism, they are all ancient. OK, yes, that's because they are the handful of devices that Libreboot can support, which Purism's laptops don't. This is fine for 'tech vegans' like us. In the end I bought a used laptop that was on the list of devices Libreboot supports.

But this doesn't fit everyone's needs, and some people are happy to compromise on bootloader at this point to get more powerful hardware that is designed to support a deblobbed kernel. TBH if I could afford it, I would buy one.

> (As if Purism was ever going to be able to get Intel to give up their signing key to the Management Engine. Ha!)

I don't think they promised that. They say that they already disable the ME and neutralize it, and are working on removing or reverse-engineering it.

"The reason the Intel ME is so impenetrable is that you have to combine hardware selection, hardware configuration, hardware fuses, and firmware, which requires to push into the manufacturing and fabrication process. There is no other way to do it consistently over time. This is one of the many reasons Purism started as an organization: to solve really hard problems by manufacturing hardware that can fully respect users freedoms in the future."
https://puri.sm/learn/intel-me/

You folks are always claiming that Purism are dishonest. But as I've shown here, a lot of FUD put out against them is misleading. Any opportunity to put the boot in, fair or not.

This is a group of people are building a consumer hardware business around free code software, developing a FSF-endorsed OS distro, working towards qualifying for RYF, hosting decentralized services using free code, and investing their revenue back into free code development and solving hardware problems that limit software freedom. They're doing all this through crowdfunding and preselling devices, rather than VC investment. AFAICT this is something we ought to be celebrating!
Fair criticism is one thing, but it seems crazy to me to go on the offensive every time their name is mentioned, as if they're the new Microsoft.

tonlee
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> beatups on Purism

This is what I tell people about purism. Purism has
omitted pieces of information, been vague and
mislead people. Purism
purported people it would get the cpu
source software of the librem notebooks either
from intel or reverse engineering it. Everybody on
the field know, intel does not hand over
the source software in question. Reverse
engineering cannot be done due to how the
files are signed.

Thereafter everything purism does has to be
viewed on that background.
https://web.archive.org/web/20171020161818/https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/
About the librem 5 phone, purism continued being
vague.
Any piece of non free software or not open source
software required to run a device on the
phone has to be described and displayed on a
central location.
What did purism do?
In paragraph Are all hardware components running completely free software, with the source code available? purism waddles about some
devices might be a problem and the modem probably will. Vague
and not displayed at a predominant location.
In paragraph Will you be seeking FSF RYF endorsement? they
purport ryf certification is possible, which is
misleading.
https://puri.sm/posts/librem5-solving-the-first-fsf-ryf-hurdle/
also fools people.

How do people react on these pieces of information?
No one has rebuffed my arguments. Some times I am
told to be quiet. A reoccurring argument is,
librem 5 is an improvement. I have no objections
against the phone. A company can make the
phone they want to. The phone might be better
than iphone, android and replicant phones on free
software. Purism cannot act vague, omitting and
misleading when they describe their
products. And people ought to
be told.
https://www.replicant.us/freedom-privacy-security-issues.php
How you inform people. This link should be on every
replicant device website.

> are any of the critics here contributing

One part about getting knowledgeable about
free software is, about notebooks there
are few options and about phones
none.

https://www.pine64.org/pinephone/
I pointed replicant to the
pinephone.
The headline is vague. A working modem
will require non free software. Wifi
likely too. Gps might require
non free software to run.
If pine64.org does not
modify their website, I will tell
people.
Pinephone says, replicant can
get 3 prototype phones. Replicant
says, it seems pinephone is
an option for replicant.
Replicant will decide
if they will make a transfer
to pinephone of replicant.

tonlee
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Joined: 09/08/2014

-

Masaru Suzuqi
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Vague is the keyword of this free software movement world.
Indeed people seem to be quite serious to develop software without proprietary codes.
But if I ask how to achieve the goal of the movement, it is vague. Or silence.
About RFY certified devices's inconvenient vulnerabilities, it is vague. Did vendors put a note that their products have serious vulnerabilities on the top page of their websites?
I don't think if it is free, everything is OK. I think that it is OK even if the device is vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown and perhaps there are other defects too, I doubt the other defects like you don't trust proprietary things. If they don't mention those defects positively, there must be something bad things for users. They don't make mention of even Spectre and Meltdown. No wonder if there are other something.
And like you tonlee also ask sometimes here, about the procedure of librebooting, I would appreciate those free things but I cannot say those documents were kind to users. What is that curious maybe intended complex education...? What for? Why don't they instruct us normal users in the procedure normally?? What value does it have? Would children like such a too complicated education? I don't understand, I don't like computer, is likely. That is science. Where is something who teaches 1+1=3? Children just get confused. 1+1=3 is a philosophical thing. I already know this kind of complaint is useless though. Maybe I am wrong...
I don't know well but anyway seeing support to some device, criticism of the device, both have strange... dreary something.

tonlee
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Joined: 09/08/2014

Please in general do not comment
on any post I write. You have
been told how to behave
on this forum. You
chose not to conform. I do not
want your gabble in
connection with my
posts.

Masaru Suzuqi
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Joined: 06/06/2018

> Please in general do not comment
on any post I write.

OK, but you write that "in general" so I do not understand which situations I am permitted to comment on your posts.

> You have
been told how to behave
on this forum.

? I think I have not been told how to behave on this forum. When? Who??
I think there are other people who should behave or learn called manners than me.
E.g. People who ignore others's questions which were asked courteously.

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/libreshop-x200-sale#comment-139976

> You
chose not to conform.

Before whether confirm or not, from the beginning who was able to criticise my behaviour in a convincing way? Can you show an example? But I don't reply in this thread. Please post in troll lounge. But I know this is also an inconvenient question for you. You cannot answer. So you can blame me for those matters and ignore instead of answering questions sincerely, like Purism. But of course you think you have right to criticise Purism or whatsoever since your absolute justice, good behaviour, manners.

> I do not
want your gabble in
connection with my
posts.

You think your posts are not gabble?? I would like to hear about the differences if I have a chance. But you would ignore the question... again. Because you cannot answer in a convincing way. Anyway don't worry. I will refrain to comment on your post.

dctrud

I am a member!

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> I find these regular group beatups on Purism really sad.

Agreed. The type of work that is being done by Purism and Pine64 in bringing to market devices that are massively better in terms of free software support and privacy than most any other modern platforms is extremely encouraging to me. It's expensive time consuming work, and the results make it easier for a wider range of people to indulge an interest in FOSS and/or increased privacy in computing.

Compromises are going to almost always be necessary to deliver modern computing platforms that are somewhat useful to the more general population. Realistically there is never going to be a broad enough market for something 'completely free' e.g. a phone that cannot connect to a cellular network, since there is no modem with free firmware available. There is no way Purism (or others) can roll their own solution in this space, so the concept of going for greater baseband / cpu separation and running a free OS makes sense to me. I don't find their current marketing dishonest. It is heavily promoting certain things that are not 100% free firmware & software throughout... but they are hugely preferable to the status quo.

Hopefully Purism and Pine64 do succeed and find a large enough market that can eventually help drive more open firmware etc. for modern chip-sets. I don't have any purism hardware (currently), but I do subscribe to librem.one... as I am in favor of their general work and the concept of a social purpose corporation as a way to fund this type of thing. To my mind the state of replicant, though a noble and worthwhile project, is a glaring example of how existing community led structures are unable to support the significant financial and developer-time requirements of delivering this type of project. The FSF recommending replicant devices in its 2018 ethical giving guide was crazy to me. I find it totally irresponsible to recommend a device which is so drastically behind in security fixes that it may represent as much a risk to your personal information as the data collection of proprietary apps.

I'd wish that we could all celebrate significant steps on the road to increased user freedoms and privacy. I'm typing this from a distribution (Trisquel) which is fairly polished and friendly largely because it is derived from the work of an upstream which is not 100% free.... what's to say things like the purism/pine64 products aren't a step toward that kind of situation?

zigote
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> I don't find their current marketing dishonest.

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/librem5-and-why-i-am-no-longer-interested

> what's to say things like the purism/pine64 products aren't a step toward that kind of situation?

The approach.

In the particular case of cell phones you cannot fix a wrong design by patching it. You have to re-design it. Yes, it requires resources (time, money, the right people, pushing for the right laws) but just because there are these requirements doesn't mean the wrong approach is better because it is easier and more possible. Purism can talk infinitely about their utopian dreams but that has only one purpose - to make you dream too and to make you believe that buying a $700 phone from them is helping that dream come true. So their marketing *is* dishonest because it is aimed to make you believe in illusions.

Just read a few white papers about mobile network interception and you will know how silly all this marketing sounds.

And BTW 5G won't fix it:

https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/24/new-4g-5g-security-flaws/

dctrud

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>> I don't find their current marketing dishonest.

>https://trisquel.info/en/forum/librem5-and-why-i-am-no-longer-interested

I've read that and the various other threads, and remain unconvinced. It's a similar very confrontational approach as other posts on this forum, which really rub me the wrong way. I don't agree with many specific points either, e.g. particularly the constant suggestions that companies like Purism should be using Risc-V (which is not ready yet), rather than deliver a compromise with what is available now.

> In the particular case of cell phones you cannot fix a wrong design by patching it. You have to re-design it. Yes, it requires resources (time, money, the right people, pushing for the right laws) but just because there are these requirements doesn't mean the wrong approach is better because it is easier and more possible.

Well.. I'd again argue that if you can make enough money on a 'wrong' approach that it lets you then take further steps (however small) toward the 'right' approach, it's far more productive than just being defeatist and waiting for the 'right' thing to happen straight away. There is just no chance I can see that a non cell-dependent phone (like the privacy respecting WiFi mesh ideas etc.) is going to take off as enough of an mass-market product it can support sustainable active development. There's even less choice it can succeed from scratch... without something less 'right' bringing in resources that help bootstrap it.

I don't think or expect that I'm going to change anyone's mind here, and really only posted as I feel it's important that to show that not everyone in this community shares the same views. Life is an endless string of compromises. I'm keen to support certain compromises that I think are healthy, while others don't think they are worthwhile compromises. We have different interpretations of whether or not statements were misleading. That's just the way it goes :-)

zigote
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===================
> I've read that and the various other threads, and remain unconvinced. It's a similar very confrontational approach as other posts on this forum, which really rub me the wrong way. I don't agree with many specific points either, e.g. particularly the constant suggestions that companies like Purism should be using Risc-V (which is not ready yet), rather than deliver a compromise with what is available now.
===================

There is the fact from the actual source. The rest is up to you. If you disagree with actual observable facts that is your problem, not mine. I am not here to "rub" you or to convince you.

===================
> Well.. I'd again argue that if you can make enough money on a 'wrong' approach that it lets you then take further steps (however small) toward the 'right' approach, it's far more productive than just being defeatist and waiting for the 'right' thing to happen straight away.
===================

That is not argument. It is simply something you state through an "if" without any proof. It is what you desire because you have been told that this is the feasible approach. The fact is: The car was not invented by [making enough money from] using faster horses.

Just because RISC-V may not be "ready yet" doesn't mean we should start tricking people into repaying for a vehicle leading to a dead-end road. And the facts of the cellular network issues have nothing to do with any of that.

===================
> I don't think or expect that I'm going to change anyone's mind here, and really only posted as I feel it's important that to show that not everyone in this community shares the same views. Life is an endless string of compromises. I'm keen to support certain compromises that I think are healthy, while others don't think they are worthwhile compromises. We have different interpretations of whether or not statements were misleading. That's just the way it goes :-)
===================

So you don't expect to change anyone's mind but you are OK with extrapolating your own approach of compromised life by stating that this is the life of everyone and that this is healthy? You are merely repeating the cultural input you have - interpretations and "just the way it goes". But I say again: look at facts, don't interpret. Ask yourself:

- which "healthy" mind makes millions by creating illusions, misleading others to believe they are "worthwile compromises"? Cui bono?

- which "healthy" mind falls for it?

strypey
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> The car was not invented by [making enough money from] using faster horses.

Fact: the technology for 100% electric cars was developed using capital earned and R&D done by selling hybrid electric cars, which were developed with capital earned selling 100% fossil fuel cars.

Fact: the capital to produce a mass market Tesla was earned by a selling an expensive electric sports car to those who could afford it.

This is how business works in a capitalist economy. You sell products you can afford to make, in order to be able to afford to make the products you really want to make. I'm not saying this is how it "should" be. I'd much rather live in an economy made up of networks of cooperatives. But if you actually want to make something happen, rather than just complain, you have to start with something that can work in the world as you find it.

> which "healthy" mind makes millions

... aaaaand here's some FUD. Do you have any evidence that Purism is making millions? Given the cost of producing hardware and the number of developer salaries they are paying, and the fact they are 100% crowdfunded, I consider that extremely unlikely.

> There is the fact from the actual source.

... and then there's the distorted version of that fact claimed in these beatup-on-Purism threads. For example:

> by creating illusions, misleading others

This is just an opinion, an interpretation of the facts. One that I happen to think is grossly distorted by the regular circle-jerks on this subject within a very small echo chamber.

tonlee
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Joined: 09/08/2014

> confrontational approach

If you find a company has lied, mislead and omitted
pieces of information how would you write
about it?

> as other posts

I have watched posts were people have
overreacted on posts from new
forum members and I have written such behavior
is wrong.

Apart from that, the strictness on free
software is what this forum is about.

> take further steps

If you say, because of the cellular network your
location is known and therefore a phone
seller is not allowed to call a phone
privacy enhancing then I do not agree. People
should know that and therefore a phone seller
does not have to tell. Answer these questions. Is it
acceptable to mislead in order to get people
to buy your product? Is it acceptable to omit
relevant pieces of information? Do not dodge
answering. Consumer laws say no. Did purism
mislead and omit regarding its notebooks?

> don't find their current marketing dishonest

How can you find the paragraphs I listed from
https://web.archive.org/web/20171020161818/https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/
are detailed, full, exact and displayed on a predominant
location? Do not dodge answering. Is purism providing documentation how
the non free firmware cannot do things you do not want it to?
After reading the website, do people get the
expectation that respect your freedom certification is an option? Do
not dodge answering. As I said before, purism can make the phone
they want to. It might be better or worse on
privacy and security. But purism cannot abuse
the ambit of free software in this abhorrent way.

https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/
It says fully free system. Are there devices
requiring non free software to run? Where
does it say? Exact, comprehensive and detailed
descriptions? Do not dodge answering. It mentions modem
isolation. How have purism achieved it? Documentation?
Do not dodge answering.

Masaru Suzuqi
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Joined: 06/06/2018

May I comment?

dctrud

I am a member!

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I was going to just drop from the thread, but given the recurrent points asking me to consider the facts, I feel compelled to point out that some arguments here are being presented with misquoting of the source e.g.:

> https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/
> It says fully free system.

The actual wording on that page is:

"The Librem 5 is a phone built on PureOS, a fully free, ethical and open-source operating system"

These are two different things.

> Apart from that, the strictness on free software is what this forum is about.

I personally believe that healthy and complete discussion that allows people to reach their own conclusions requires different viewpoints to be articulated. The topic of this forum is listed as "`A place to discuss free software, free culture, online privacy and related topics". I don't think that limits discussion to solely the support of 100% libre hardware, and I also expect to be challenged on that given the community here, rules/guidelines etc. I'm personally very glad there are people who choose to take a stronger stand on these principles than I do, just as I like to try to understand the reasons why people who don't, don't.

I look forward to continue reading - sometimes learning, sometimes agreeing, sometimes not.

Cheers,

tonlee
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Joined: 09/08/2014

> arguments here are being presented with misquoting of the source

You dodged. I asked you to answer a series of
questions. You did not answer one of them.
That is a typical pattern from people defending purism.

I am not misquoting. The quotes point you to the
section of the text we are talking about. It
makes no difference if the quote is
expanded. Is there non free software on
the phone? Is it described in full, detailed
and exact?

> complete discussion

No one stops you from writing your claims. But
getting cornered, you do not counter my
arguments. Instead you allude to saying we
are confrontational and you resent
that. When I ask how else to handle this
matter, you do not answer.

> requires different viewpoints

Is this your version of alternative
facts? You can say what you
want and you do not have to
relate to arguments?

> support of 100% libre hardware

You are drifting away from the topic. This
is about consumer guidance. Has purism
described their items correctly?

strypey
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Joined: 05/14/2015

> If you find a company has lied, mislead and omitted pieces of information how would you write about it?

I believe this fallacy is called 'begging the question'. It takes the same form as me asking you 'when did you stop beating your wife'. In my sentence, it is assumed that your beating of your wife is an indisputable fact. In your sentence, is assumed that Purism lying is an indisputable fact. But it isn't. It's how you've chosen to interpret what you see as gaps in the information they disclose about their products.

But putting that aside, let me answer the question "how would you write about it?"

What I would do, is stick very firmly to reporting the facts. The technical facts, for which I have independent evidence. I would not speculate darkly about people's motives, as if I can read their mind and know what their real intentions are. On the contrary, I would assume the most charitable interpretation of their motives that fits the facts.

There are a number of reasons for doing this. One is that we don't report bugs by accusing developers of trying to hack our computers, unless we have smoking gun evidence that this was their goal. We assume good faith, we assume that the bug is a mistake and provide information that might help them to fix it. The same principle applies here. A list of technical issues you want fixed is, like a detailed bug report, a contribution to fixing the problem.

Secondly, a fact-based list of issues is easier to read than a conspiratorial rant, both for those you are criticizing, and for the observers you want to educate. Your readers can't confirm or disprove your speculations about motive and intentions, so it just adds a whole lot of cognitive dissonance to the effort of reading and understanding what you've written. It's a less convincing way of presenting the information, as dctrud pointed out, which undermines your education goal.

Finally, and most importantly, assuming good faith and sticking to the technical facts means treating people fairly. It means building a relationship based on both honesty *and* respect, not alienating people by calling them names and accusing them of shadowy conspiracies.

commodore256
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There should be a FSF meme about Purism.

The FSF has been making memes years before image captioning really took off.

Magic Banana

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For the record: I share strypey and dctrud's views. I am among the rare people (even among free software advocates, apparently) who do not own any cell phone. Yet, I understand many people have no other choice. From a freedom perspective, using Replicant may be better than using PureOS. However, for many people, using a ten-year-old (or so) device may not be an option, or using an operating system with known and unpatched vulnerabilities (the latest version of Replicant is based on LineageOS 13.0, which was last built 1.5 year ago), or installing the ROM by themselves may be out of their reach (Technoethical, the only company that was proposing cell phones with Replicant preinstalled, is apparently facing strong difficulties and I would not not recommend it because of that), etc.

Sure, in the future, we may have another technology that will substitute cell phones and that may only run free software. But many people need a cell phone now.

I actually wonder if tonlee, zigote, CalmStorm, ... all use Replicant or, like me, no cell phone at all. If they actually use a cell phone that is, from a freedom point of view, worse than the Replicant 5, then their position makes little sense to me: why refusing an improvement over their current situation? Even if they actually use Replicant or no cell phone, why telling not to buy a Librem 5 to people, who probably have no better choice?

Personally, I had no success in convincing my wife, my parents, my friends, ... to not use a cell phone. Because I especially care about my wife's freedoms, I bought and gave her a phone, about three years ago. I chose one that LineageOS supported well, installed that operating system without the Google Apps, with F-Droid, with applications from that market (OsmAnd, K-9 Mail, etc.) that I configured for her, etc. I could have bought a Replicant cell phone, but I knew she would not not use a cell phone that is technically worse than her previous one. If the Librem 5 was available at that time, I believe I would have chosen it. Now, she needs a new cell phone (the battery of the one I gave her does not last enough). Unfortunately, she does not want my help, because she wants the Google Apps (and those accessible from Google Play). That is sad.

Masaru Suzuqi
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This is just my intuition, though, maybe it is not because that your wife wants the Google Apps. Maybe it is because of other things. E.g. your personality. This is just my guess. Just it seems that people tend to blame their personal defects on unpopularity of free software.

Magic Banana

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She blames me for not being able to install Waze, Uber, etc. That is the reason she gives for not wanting my help for her next phone. I know how to install the Google Apps (including Google Play) on LineageOS. But I consider that doing so would be harming her.

If, after acquiring her next phone, she actually asks me to install free software she currently uses (OsmAnd, K-9 Mail, a Firefox derivative, an ad-blocker, etc.), I will do it. That is another topic where I do not agree with some people on this forum: having free software available on proprietary operating system is good, imo.

ivanB1975
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It doesn't really matter if you don't use google apps. Whatever app (I am speaking about android) that has the right to access the gps or the modem or wifi is zeroing the fact that the os is open source. Even if the app in question is open source could have a bug that allows an attacker to gain access to the data related to the position, communication of your device. There is no solution to the problem.

Magic Banana

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The same can be written about Trisquel. 0-day vulnerabilities in free software are discovered from time to time. They can allow the attacker to gain total control over your computer. Writing that "it doesn't really matter" and that "there is no solution to the problem" is counter productive. Because you are talking about a perfect solution.

In the present case, Google certainly receives less personal information from a user running OsmAnd installed through F-Droid on LineageOS (without the Google Apps) than from a user running Google Maps on the official Android ROM. A perfect solution actually exists: not having a cell phone. That is the solution I use. But again, some people do not have that option. If we care about their freedoms, proposing the least worse solution they can accept (which may be the Librem 5 for a cell phone) is good for them: being abused a little is better than being abused a lot. The difference does really matter.

Notice that I am not saying we should satisfy ourselves with being abused a little. Of course not. The objective of the free software movement is total freedom. But we are not there yet. Especially in the mobile world. Claiming that all solutions are equally bad because no perfect solution exists will not bring us there: it is an invitation to give up because that perfect solution will not arrive at once. It will arrive gradually (if ever). We should celebrate every step in the right direction, rather than criticize those who made these steps because the solution remains imperfect.

Masaru Suzuqi
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@Majic Banana
Apart from the matter, I would like to ask you a question.
I also usually have not my iPhone 5 when I am out because of certain reasons.
Would you describe in detail what kind of social situations would make you decide to have a cell phone?
I mean, if you decide to have a cell phone, it would be the time when some great social change was done.
What conditions would make you decide to have a cell phone? Or the reason why you do not have a cell phone is because of your private issues (I mean family issues)? If so, I would hesitate to pursue this question because others private is quite indifferent to me unlike them but I have seen sometimes you state you do not have a cell phone and I assume the reason why you do so is not because of your private matters. So... yeah...

Magic Banana

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I do not really need a cell phone. I have land lines at home and in my office. But I actually barely use them. I mainly communicate by email. I am on my computer most of the time since I work on it and use it for leisure (watching videos, reading this forum, etc.). Icedove warns me when I receive an email and, often, I am actually happy I can process it after whatever I am doing (contrary to a phone call).

The time when I most feel the lack of a cell phone is when I am late at an appointment (for instance on bus in a traffic jam): I cannot warn whoever I am meeting. Also, I have no sense of orientation and the GPS is certainly practical. I had the chance to never have had a cell phone, hence no addiction to it. Same thing for social networks, unless one considers forums as social networks.

People usually asks me about dealing with emergencies. I am usually at home or in my office: calling me on the land lines usually works. It happens from time to time. For instance because my 20-month-old son is sick and I need to take him earlier at preschool and maybe go to the doctor. But emergencies are actually very rare. At least in my life until now.

chaosmonk

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I am a translator!

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> Also, I have no sense of orientation and the GPS is certainly practical.

GPS navigation is possible using free software and no phone. You just need a GPS receiver that works with free software (I use a BU353-S4 USB GPS receiver) and a device running GNU/Linux. A handheld device is ideal (I generally use my PocketCHIP), but a laptop in a backpack (if walking) or passenger seat (if driving) can work if you don't mind relying on spoken directions instead of looking at the screen.

I recommend Navit (in Trisquel's repo) for navigation. You can download OpenStreetMap data for your region to use with Navit here.[1] You configure Navit by editing ~/.navit/navit.xml.[2] At minimum you'll need to tell it where your maps are saved, but you can also customize the interface and enable voice directions by piping stdout into espeak.

[1] http://maps3.navit-project.org/
[2] https://wiki.navit-project.org/index.php/Configuration

Masaru Suzuqi
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About dealing with emergencies, I always have to have slight (since it is certainly rare) concerns about emergencies. Fire, something in the family, if a serious earthquake happened, of course it would be better to have a cell phone to raise the possibility of surviving.
But since generally it causes the troublesome situation (e.g. somehow the cell phones or the motor scooter tend to be obsessed by flies), I seem to bet emergency on rare. That disgusts me really much. Anyway if the number of free software users increased, e.g. filing a lawsuit against the government and the companies (Softbank stated an interesting thing [1]) becomes easier but until the time, I have to be obsessed by the flies if I wear my iPhone to outside. It seems to be even if, though. I feel real rage for the idiots. I am 100% sure that they had/have not cared that their victims's having the concerns, or they do it because they know we have to have the concerns. But again, to remind you, someone might have died because of your activities.
They already seem to keep surveillance by inertia with perfect lack of the sense of reality.
Because of their foolish activities [2], we have to mask the cameras on our devices with tapes, we hesitate to carry our cell phones, I had to libreboot those devices and it was really a terrible work because of something, we have to discuss which PC is better, Purism is crap, No Prism is better etc etc, and then even if an emergency happened, they do nothing. They do nothing. They would even try to evade the responsibility of their power anyway. What are they doing? What did they do? Who does not get rage? I absolutely let them pay off us for this matter and let the kids know the fact that with great power comes great responsibility. PRISM is not your toy, kid. You bought it by TAX, for THE NATIONAL SECURITY. You bought the helicopter by tax. You bought the airplane by tax. Of course I agree with you that is a weapon for murder though. When I bought this iPhone, Apple must have paid the tax from the profit to the U.S. government. Well, after all, it became usual bla bla... but so yeah... anyway I do not have much interest in your private unlike them.
And I felt something like awe of you guys's something like a vindictive thing for making even such a thing free. But having a bar magnet and a string and a map might be better. And thank you guys for reading my bla bla as usual.

Masaru Suzuqi
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I cannot restrain to tell just this to them. Sorry, this could be off-topic in spite of the matter of online privacy and the context seems to be proper. Please move it to somewhere if it irritates you too much.
As I have told you in the box or in the subject or the body or in the Memo many times since three years ago, if you have business with me, do not hesitate to tell me it "super-directly", "like a man", "if you can". Sure it was about three years ago. Three years. More than three years. You have been the middle-aged man, like the junior high school girl who hides the school building [1]. But thank me, I still lend a willing ear to what your claim is if you give some greetings first and say it to my face. Don't be shy. Say it immediately super-directly or get out immediately. You are not my girl friend. Do you understand? Of course not. Because there is no medicine for your brains. Imagine the feelings of your victims, rage, disgust, bored, bother, boring boring boring boring, there is no one who can love you in the world. I want to avoid associating with people especially like your type for my mental health. There is literally no good thing to associate with your type. Why do I want to come close to you? Shall we live separately from each other? We do not like you. You do not like us. Living separately is good for each others. It is reasonable. Why do you come close to me? (at a distance though) (with mumbling something creepy) Well, we know why well though. Sigh.

Sigh. You are really creepy. No wonder you are not popular with girls. No wonder your wife desires to divorce you. Looking really does not matter. Sigh... Again, What do you want? Say! My sex video?! Ask me! I sell you it if you say so! YOU ARE THE PITS OF THE WORLD!

[1] https://trisquel.info/en/forum/possibility-new-statelike-community-based-internet#comment-143218

strypey
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> Whatever app (I am speaking about android) that has the right to access the gps or the modem or wifi is zeroing the fact that the os is open source ... There is no solution to the problem.

There's hardware switches that prevent those devices being used at all without the user switching them on. That doesn't solve the problem of compromised apps accessing the devices while they are switched on to be used, but it does vastly reduce the attack surface. Which is all you can really do, keep reducing the attack surface as much as you can while still keeping the device useful (or you may as well brick it). As MagicBanana says, there is no perfect solution, but there are less wrong solutions.

tonlee
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Joined: 09/08/2014

> people need a cell phone now

It is baffling how difficult it is to explain people
my point of view on the librem 5. People can
get it wrong even if I explain it twice.

I have no objection about purism or any
other company manufacturing the phone they want
to. It might be better or worse on privacy
and security than other phones.
I do not tell people to refrain from getting
a librem 5. Purism has made free software a center
of importance regarding their phone. Therefore
it is required they in detail, full
and exact describe any
piece of none free software on the phones
purism ships. But purism has deliberately been
vague, omissive and misleading about which
devices on the librem 5 requires
non free software. This is about consumer
laws. I want people to know this before
they decide if they want to get a librem 5
phone. I do not want to buy the phone
because I do not want to reward a
dishonest company. Others might decide
differently. If thinkpenguin told
people our notebooks are moving towards
respect your freedom certification because
intel will give us the source software
or thinkpenguin will reverse
engineer the software, I would tell
people the company is deceptive.

> Replicant may be better than using PureOS

I have said nothing on that.

> ten-year-old (or so) device may not be an option, or using an operating system with known and unpatched vulnerabilities

Irrelevant regarding if purism has described
the librem 5 correctly in advertisements.

> LineageOS 13.0

Replicant has announced a replicant 9 version will be released for
phones which are currently replicant 5 compatible. After that
replicant will investigate if replicant 9 can get ported
to the pinephone.
https://www.pine64.org/pinephone/

> installing the ROM by themselves

In many ways the replicant phones are terrible. They
require non free software. I doubt there are
many new replicant phones for sale. If
I knew how to, I would install non free software
to get gps and wifi to run. Using repwifi is
not practicable. It disconnects. Makes the phone
restart. Requires a battery level above
90%. I tell people about replicant. I do
not tell people to get one.

> all use Replicant

Because I do not tell people to buy a replicant
phone. Or tell people to not have an apple
or android phone. I tell about what it
entails having one. I could have an apple or
android phone if so inclined. Some
time after
iphones got desirable, on a video a former
israeli secret service agent told, how
apple vacuums the iphones for data. After
that piece of information I wanted no
iphone. Before I got to obtain an android phone
I listened to a radio broadcasting show. On
the show it was described how
an application having a virus, remotely
and without asking the phone owner
for permission was deleted by android. Then no
android phone. Later I read an article, I
cannot find it again, about how
phones coming with android have google
services which monitor and transfer data to
google servers. Even more there is an
underlaying android program having the task to
coordinate the google services' data
monitoring and monitor and transfer
data from any other application on the android
phone. Maybe google claims nothing like that
happens anymore. I know I do not trust
them. Because I have read no documentation
saying such practices does not occur
in lineage software, I do not want
a lineage
phone. Someone said, the keyboard in
lineage is a google keyboard.
Known
to transfer data to google servers.
I do not know if it is correct.
https://e.foundation/
If eelo can show they have looked for
and likely found and removed any
piece of monitoring software
then I will consider an eelo
phone. I will dislike it, like I
dislike a gnulinux x86
computer having a non free
software bios. I have replicant
phones.

> not own any cell phone

You have made the right decision. We
should all make that decision.
But for various reasons people do
not. The Snowden papers and a number
of other revelations, has not
stopped people from using the devices
and software, which enables the
surveillance. Informing people
about these matters continues to
be important.

Andreas
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Joined: 06/13/2015

I found this talk quite informative concerning the librem phone project:
https://media.ccc.de/v/Camp2019-10238-a_mobile_phone_that_respects_your_freedom

--
Regards,
Andreas

ivanB1975
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Joined: 08/29/2017

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing the link

strypey
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Joined: 05/14/2015

After my recent spate of comments on this thread, it occurred to me that at least one person who has been vocal (quite rightly) in criticizing the campaign of exaggeration, inuendo, and misrepresentation that Stallman has been subject to, and the fact that so many people have commented without assuming good faith and going back to the source to check facts, is here doing exactly the same thing to Todd Weaver and Purism. Both Stallman and Weaver deserve better treatment that this, as does anyone.

ivanB1975
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Joined: 08/29/2017

I think that we should consider the pro and contra of all this story without being dragged in religious debates. I think that all the time we speak with absolutely certainty of something we really don't know we become automatically believers. We don't know, we believe.
Let's think about the pro and contra.
Pro:
- a company decided to create a Linux smartphone
- the same company contributes to Free Software providing a GNU/Linux distribution
- The smartphone will run their Free GNU/Linux distribution from factory
- The smartphone will have hardware kill switches. This alone is the key. It is extremely important.
Contra:
- we cannot trust anyone when our privacy is on stake
- we cannot delegate someone else to protect our privacy
- a phone is a public tool. It has to be used with this knowledge.

I think that I am very happy something is starting to move in this field. Also Pine64 is creating their Linux phone. Problems are the same more or less.
I will be an adopter of this technology.

Dmitry Alexandrov
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Joined: 03/07/2019

name at domain wrote:
> I think that we should consider the pro and contra of all this story
>
> Pro:
> - a company decided to create a Linux smartphone

I am afraid, you missed the key point. This is not a mere ‘Linux smartphone’ — there are plenty of them. They were the first company ever who decided to design a computer that will pass ‘Respect you freedom’ certification. When it actually will pass it, it will probably be the _greatest milestone_ on road to liberating computer users since the yearly 90-s — when GNU/Linux became usable.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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Dmitry Alexandrov wrote:
> This is not a mere ‘Linux smartphone’ — there are plenty of them. They
> were the first company ever who decided to design a computer that will
> pass ‘Respect you freedom’ certification. [...]

My understanding is that every cell phone[1] runs proprietary software to
operate the parts that allow it to take & make phone calls on a cell network.

Is this true for phones generally?

Is this true of Purism's phone?

[1] It seems to me that a more honest name than cell phone or mobile phone
is 'tracker' because that's what these devices mostly do -- they track
where they are by multiple means: Trackers that also make phone calls and
do other things.

Magic Banana

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As far as I know, this is all true.

chaosmonk

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On 10/19, J.B. Nicholson wrote:
> My understanding is that every cell phone[1] runs proprietary software
> to operate the parts that allow it to take & make phone calls on a
> cell network.
>
> Is this true for phones generally?

Yes.

> Is this true of Purism's phone?

Yes, but unlike typical phones the Purism phone will have a kill switch
to disable the modem. Users will still be tracked while the modem is
enabled, which is not ideal, but not as bad as being tracked all of the
time.

ivanB1975
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Joined: 08/29/2017

I agree perfectly. Better than nothing

Dmitry Alexandrov
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"J.B. Nicholson" <name at domain> wrote:
> Dmitry Alexandrov wrote:
>> This is not a mere ‘Linux smartphone’ — there are plenty of them. They were the first company ever who decided to design a computer that will pass ‘Respect you freedom’ certification. [...]
>
> My understanding is that every cell phone[1] runs proprietary software to operate the parts that allow it to take & make phone calls on a cell network.
>
> Is this true for phones generally?

Yes, as well as any HDD or SSD, for instance.

However, there is a huge difference: in many (most?) states it is simply forbidden to sell a cellular modem with a free firmware.

In USA since the few years ago the same applies to wifi. (And that turned out to be enough to eliminate new freedom-respecting wifi-radios worldwide.)

I am not aware of any law that forbids free firmware for storage devices, though.

ivanB1975
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Related to your previous comment to one of mine with whom I partially agree, I think it is far more important to have hardware kill switches than a true free firmware phone. Everybody here seem to have forgotten the fact that a phone need a sim card to operate. Unless you want also to build an alternative mobile network (this is just not going to happen) you will always have to deal with closed source adapters to the network. I would feel more happy with the hardware kill switch. Have you ever tried to build a Faraday cage for mobile? The thin foil here is not enough... :)

Dmitry Alexandrov
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name at domain wrote:
> Unless you want also to build an alternative mobile network you will always have to deal with [proprietary] adapters to the network.

Thatʼs sounds sad, but given the current tendency — we had freedom-respecting wifi but not anymore, is probably true. :-(

> I would feel more happy with the hardware kill switch. Have you ever tried to build a Faraday cage for mobile?

No. I am not an FSB¹ officer. :-) So I am fine with the usual software kill-switch.

-
¹ Federal Security Service.

J.B. Nicholson-Owens
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Dmitry Alexandrov wrote:
> Yes, as well as any HDD or SSD, for instance.

I'm not aware that hard drives and solid-state drives operate on a network.
As far as I know they connect to a computer they communicate with the
computer via a local bus. They may contain proprietary software, and that's
not good, but that's a red herring and that's also no reason to accept a
non-free tracker.

> However, there is a huge difference: in many (most?) states it is simply
> forbidden to sell a cellular modem with a free firmware.
Where do you get this information?

Please don't copy me on replies. I can pick up replies sent to the list.

tonlee
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Joined: 09/08/2014

> Todd Weaver and Purism.

You have not rebutted my arguments. Neither has
anybody else.

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/librem13-fully-free-time

If it is weaver answering, it is telling.