Does the Pinephone rely on components built with slave labor?
#1
To be clear: I'm in no way thinking of not getting a Pinephone based on the answer to this question, nor have anything against the creators of this beautiful device if the answer happens to be yes (especially if it's out of necessity). I generally encourage others to do the same and be constructive on the matter, for angry social justice only ruins every good cause it starts out being against without doing anything to achieve the goal of stopping the original issue in the end.

So with increasing discussion on the matter, I wanted to at least know the truth for my curiosity: Does the Pinephone rely on parts produced in China, particularly in regions or by manufacturers suspected of using slave labor? And if so, is there no way to replace some of those supply chains, without having to sacrifice the amazing price the Pinephone is offered to us at?



In recent months it's been uncovered that a lot of smartphone parts, including those used by companies in the West, were created using slave labor in China... because that's somehow still a thing in the 21th century because CCP. Apple in particular has come under fire after it was uncovered they knowingly use parts made by enslaved Uighurs in Xinjiang... namely for the fact that they've been actively trying to hide it, whereas hardened Apple fanboys also refuse to hear of it or anything that could make the company less holy in their eyes. Like I said I won't blame the PP team whatever the case here, but believe this should be known if it affects us too so we may think of ways to discourage it, for instance by supporting suppliers that have the same prices but don't rely on medieval practices to keep them low.
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#2
Before I start - I would also like to express that everything I mention in the following is not a comment on Pine or their work so far. As much as they try, they are unable to tackle all concerns at all times - they are human like us all.

(05-30-2021, 08:45 AM)MirceaKitsune Wrote: Does the Pinephone rely on parts produced in China, particularly in regions or by manufacturers suspected of using slave labor?

I'm not sure, but it's a good question. Similarly with other devices too.

I'm sure 90% of hardware hackers would happily pay 10% more if it in some way helped prevent such a situation as slave labor or other awful practices. Slapping a label on the product that says "the components for this device were sourced ethically" is a major selling point.

During this slow supply-chain period I think it makes sense to inspect the supply more deeply anyway.

(05-30-2021, 08:45 AM)MirceaKitsune Wrote: And if so, is there no way to replace some of those supply chains, without having to sacrifice the amazing price the Pinephone is offered to us at?

There are also some considerations:

1. It may not be possible to source these parts from elsewhere, either due to unavailability (global chip shortage) or the fact they are only made in these places. If anything, during this time is the absolute worst to being picky about which suppliers you would like to use.

2. I suspect there would be compromise on price for an alternative supplier. You can't get your overheads any cheaper than free labor. (That's not to say that it should stop anybody from trying.)

3. If the market realizes that people are avoiding 'slave labor parts', they'll simply transport them to another province and pretend they were made there under different paperwork, especially if they can fetch a higher market price as a result.

4. Despite telling a manufacturer to use a specific part in a specific device, you cannot guarantee this is actually done unless you pay somebody to overlook the entire process. You get employees pocketing parts, parts being mangled in the build process, parts not arriving on time and being substituted to keep the production line going, etc.

On top of the slave labor concern, you have the one of backdoors being added in the silicon itself. We already see things like Intel ME allowing low-level access to the CPU, and as processors get even more complex, in theory it could become even easier to sneak something in. What's the bet that something similar now exists for ARM? I imagine the chances are high.

For now the options seem limited, but I would still appreciate some discussion about this from Pine and potentially a future roadmap where devices can be more ethical.
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#3
Most of the world consists of slaves.
Except they're usually called "full time employees", and they don't have chains mounted to their feet.
So yeah, while there have been many efforts to ban slavery by both the British and the Americans (and I'm sure more have taken effort in it too), it remains very hard to rule slave labor out altogether.
And even if they do, all it takes is to change the word, and make references to what it used to be less obvious (like replace chains by cubicals, or shorten from 12 hours to 8 hours a day, and call the remaining hours "overtime").

As for the CCP sneaking in backdoors, while it's true and creepy, unless you've ever been to China long term or actually are Chinese, it's less worrisome compared to American 3 letter agencies sneaking in backdoors.
Because at least the CCP limits its efforts to those who are Chinese, have been in China long term, or are on the hit list of the CCP somehow.
American 3 letter agencies on the other hand can do real harm to you indiscriminately, even if you've never been to America before.
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#4
(05-30-2021, 11:50 PM)ryo Wrote: Most of the world consists of slaves.
Except they're usually called "full time employees", and they don't have chains mounted to their feet.
So yeah, while there have been many efforts to ban slavery by both the British and the Americans (and I'm sure more have taken effort in it too), it remains very hard to rule slave labor out altogether.
And even if they do, all it takes is to change the word, and make references to what it used to be less obvious (like replace chains by cubicals, or shorten from 12 hours to 8 hours a day, and call the remaining hours "overtime").

That part is true no doubt. In this case I was thinking people who are officially forced to work as slaves in the literal sense: Prisoners of conscience who are required to build components under arrest with a gun pointed to their heads... typically arrested for their religion or beliefs too, not even some actual practical crime. Being forced to work because you can't find another job is a softer version in a way, sadly we're at the point where we have to separate by "worst of the worst" as a criteria.
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#5
(05-30-2021, 11:50 PM)ryo Wrote: cut

... to American 3 letter agencies sneaking in backdoors.

cut
or russian 3 letter agencies. kgb also still exists, in belarus.
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#6
It's not really about "slave labour", it's about people from a different culture. I don't know how you really avoid that these days. There are only so many fully domestic products you can buy.
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#7
I recommend this device: https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5-usa/. It should fulfill all your requirements and I think it comes pretty cheap.
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#8
(05-31-2021, 01:14 PM)bosi564 Wrote: I recommend this device: https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5-usa/. It should fulfill all your requirements and I think it comes pretty cheap.

That looks affordable yeah. Just need to call my father and ask if he can sell the house, but that's a minor detail and it still counts Smile

I love Librem right next to Pine though. Only difference is... yeah, their prices are insane. Rich people can dream of one of those, whereas Pine64 brings Linux devices to the rest of us as well. All in all I think the two make a good team.
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#9
(05-31-2021, 01:14 PM)bosi564 Wrote: I recommend this device: https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5-usa/. It should fulfill all your requirements and I think it comes pretty cheap.

even if someone could have that money plus taxes. there is this "Place your order now, get in a few months!", we have to wait for 3 plus months.

ironically, pinephone is better in one aspect. frequency bands are slightly better.

https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5/

Quote:Backorder shipping resumes October 2021. Place your order now, get it Q4 2021 – Q1 2022.


with 800 u.s. dollars, maybe i except quicker delivery.

still, i hope there would be more choices, because in the longer run, it makes gnu/linux devices more viable.
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