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[Discuss] Phone maker settles charges it let partner collect customers' text messages

"Greg Rundlett (freephile)" <greg at> writes:

> On Tue, May 1, 2018 at 9:57 AM, Bill Horne <bill at> wrote:
> [snip]
> Phone maker settles charges it let partner collect customers' text
>> messages
>> BLU phones sent a massive amount of data to firmware and data-mining
>> provider.
>> settles-charges-it-let-partner-collect-customers-text-messages/
> Generals, and organizations like "Consumer Reports" should join the FSF and
> EFF be issuing statements about the need for consumers to seek out
> completely free software alternatives that respect privacy
> because ?Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.? ? Louis Brandeis

What alternatives do you like best or find most promising for phones?
These are the efforts I've been following off and on:

1. LineageOS (successor to CyanogenMod)
   - doesn't support my model yet. An Android clone. Perhaps the most
   reasonable first point of entry for an alternative phone OS?
2. Replicant - similar to above but more conscientious about everything
   being free software. Kind of the Trisquel of Phone OSes.

Options 1. and 2. are inferior options in my opinion. I'd prefer not to
have Android at all, neither it's one language development model nor its
massive monolith build approach.

3. Debian:
4. PostMarketOS:

Something like 3. or 4. seems like the holy grail to me.  You'd have a
proper GNU/Linux distro on the thing and be able to run the usual Unix
software without dealing with Bionic's incompleteness or other
stangeness about the middleware/userland parts of Android. But I'm
guessing Debian on any old phone is a long way off and may never reach
some models.

There are companies working on some nice things, but in principle I'm
against buying dedicated free software hardware while I have working
hardware already. It's nice that there are people working on such things
and people willing to put their money down supporting that work, but one
important part of what I want from a truly free phone OS would be that
it allow mopping up all the old e-junk and putting it to good use (or at
least support or be close to supporting what I have already), as
GNU/Linux and the BSDs do so well with PCs and some other odd old junk.

For now I'm making do on my Android phone with termux (a debian based
chroot that doesn't require rooting) and gradually learning about it and
Android's limitations by trying to install all the dependencies of the
Perl module WWW::YouTube::Download using cpan (stuck for now on
Net::SSLeay). It's fun and interesting but also makes me wish I had the
real thing on there.

Mike Small
smallm at

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