Hardwired software or functionality imposed by companies or authorities
#11
(06-02-2021, 07:54 AM)Zebulon Walton Wrote:
biketool Wrote:The idea, going back to the failed Neo900 project includes hardware switches on the modem and radios as well as a hacker-interface allowing a future receive-only POCSAG pager receiver module which allows you to be passively 'online' especially if you can redirect incoming calls to your regional commercial(or amateur radio, or low power local) paging service where you receive a 'text message' via POCSAG service that you can call back immediately or whenever you feel safe to power up your telephony modem or VOIP modem.
Back to the thread above, we need a good low power receiver IC to build a reference dev kit so the software devs can integrate stealthy operation into the OS.

I've been doing something like this for nearly 30 years, though not quite the way you describe. My provider has a feature where when someone leaves a voice message an external device (receive-only pager) is notified. This is a legacy feature from the days when range was limited, there were lots of areas without service, and airtime and roaming charges were expensive. (In those days many times one would return the call via land line or pay phone rather than firing up the cell phone.)

This feature still works. So what I do is leave my phone off with the battery removed most of the time and just leave the pager on. When I receive notification that someone has left a message I can choose the time and place for checking it and responding.

Pagers have lots of privacy issues of their own. POCSAG (and FLEX) seem to be used mainly to transmit clear text that just anyone can receive with a $25 RTL-SDR and multimon-ng. There are a lot of pager networks here that I've seen for myself which are used by hospitals, and they're constantly transmitting sensitive and personally-identified medical information in clear text. It's really not good.

With that being said, a Pinephone with built-in pager functionality could easily be close at hand. All it would take is an RTL-SDR module, which the Pinetab already has as an option, and then the demodulation could be handled in software. It might not be energy-efficient, but there could be ways around that too, or maybe a more appropriate specialized pager-receiver module. The antenna sizes required are perfectly practical, at any rate - generally UHF, in the same neighborhood as cellular.
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#12
diodelass Wrote:Pagers have lots of privacy issues of their own. POCSAG (and FLEX) seem to be used mainly to transmit clear text that just anyone can receive with a $25 RTL-SDR and multimon-ng. There are a lot of pager networks here that I've seen for myself which are used by hospitals, and they're constantly transmitting sensitive and personally-identified medical information in clear text. It's really not good.

With the notification system used by my phone company the only thing transmitted is a short numeric code, not even a phone number, just a handful of digits that I recognize as meaning someone left a message. No otherwise identifiable information.
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#13
(06-06-2021, 10:46 AM)diodelass Wrote: Pagers have lots of privacy issues of their own. POCSAG (and FLEX) seem to be used mainly to transmit clear text that just anyone can receive with a $25 RTL-SDR and multimon-ng. There are a lot of pager networks here that I've seen for myself which are used by hospitals, and they're constantly transmitting sensitive and personally-identified medical information in clear text. It's really not good.

With that being said, a Pinephone with built-in pager functionality could easily be close at hand. All it would take is an RTL-SDR module, which the Pinetab already has as an option, and then the demodulation could be handled in software. It might not be energy-efficient, but there could be ways around that too, or maybe a more appropriate specialized pager-receiver module. The antenna sizes required are perfectly practical, at any rate - generally UHF, in the same neighborhood as cellular.

While Multimon and RTL-SDR is a fun way to monitor these transmissions from home, a vehicle, really anywhere you have ample power; the Realtek TV dongle with the debug mode driver to make a SDR reciever that solution is a massive power hog pulling something like 300mA(at 5v USB boost) or more.  if you look in the hardware forum to the POCSAG and freedom thread I am working on a hardware add-on for the pogo pins to give us POCSAG receiver capacaity.  A pocket sized alphanumeric pager in the 90s ran on a single AA cell for 3-5 weeks.  I have been looking for a reference receiver IC to put between the antenna and the decoder IC before converting the serial out to I2C compliant for the Pinephone.

antenna-->(missing link)receiver IC(fm broadcast (87-108mhz), VHF(~150mhz), UHF (~450 or 900mhz)-->decoder IC serial out-->I2C serial signal convert-->I2C multiplexer(for multiple add-on devices connected to pogo)--pogo pins on pinephone

I have two ready to go bench top testing solutions(a HackRF SDR with a Mayhem controller and a low power transmitter and sound card) and a programmable pager to verify my transmissions.  The ultra low power receiver IC is what is holding back work a dev prototype, I have not even had time or ability to open up the programmable pager to see what it is using.  I will release the design as open hardware and hopefully Pine64 will like it and can send it to production and sell it on the store.

(06-01-2021, 06:30 PM)ryo Wrote:
(06-01-2021, 09:34 AM)Dog House Dave Wrote:
(05-31-2021, 04:01 PM)ryo Wrote:
(05-31-2021, 10:16 AM)Skraaj Wrote:
(05-30-2021, 09:21 AM)MirceaKitsune Wrote: Another big example closer to home is an alert system that was discussed a few years ago if I'm not mistaken; Something that allowed authorities to track where your phone is located, and if you're in an area where a calamity is happening they'd have the ability to force a message on your device and you couldn't disable the thing. As an optional service I'm definitely not against it, quite the contrary... but forced and hardcoded into my device, no way I don't want any of that stuff.
AFAIK this is done by pushing a text to all devices connected to a tower from which someone wants to send the alert. And triangulation of an individual is possible by checking nearest tower connections. It's not super accurate but enough. If someone knows your IMEI - you can be tracked.
The only true way of remaining private is by leaving your phone at home, and just bring a paper-based book with you to read on your train commutes instead.

That's what I do ...my smartphone is used as a land-line.  I rarely take it with me unless I'm driving and even then I switch it off until I want to use it - no call is THAT important, that I must be in contact 24 hours a day so that I can answer and deal with it as soon as it rings.  

Maybe it's an age thing - I am in my 50's - but I simply don't see what is great about being connected to the world 24-7, and I certainty don't like the idea of transmitting my location to those that think it important enough, that they go to great lengths to ensure it's as hard as possible not to.
Well, I'm still in my 20's, I used to be that guy that's connected 24/7, but most of it is because it's a habit in this country among pretty much everyone.
If you're on the train, you either take out your smartphone, or you sleep.
And occasionally someone reading a book or playing a game console like a 3DS, Nintendo Switch, or PS Vita.

And it doesn't help with ads like these:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlzx_oOKopo

I've been meditating in trains recently, makes me way less stressed out once I step off the train.

I am planning ways to make the pinephone nearly as private and anonymous as the paperback book mentioned upthread.  Beyond the hopes for POCSAG(yes these messages are sent in the clear but that is nearly as un-private as the reception of a phone call or sms, there are encryption options though the receiver ID is always open) incoming-only regional pager service.  Simply having your navigation map tiles for the region saved for offline use you can avoid coming online to use data, the Kiwix app or browser plugin lets you access much reference data by having a local Wikipedia cache on a SD card or USB drive, while it is more work to use an offline dictionary like Stardict and local dictionary files can be almost as useful as online translation like Google or Microsoft translation services, I am interested what scaling would look like and what we could do with a critical mass of users using LoRa radio add-ons for messaging combine that with local bluetooth and wifi mesh and some sort of person-to-person sneakernet-->fidonet message routing to bypass state controlled telephony and data companies.

For now and probably always we will be a tiny minority who cannot expect to have nearby pinephone users with hyper-capable and hyper-configurable handheld devices to rely on but there are things like Briar messaging protocol which include a user-to-user hard encrypted message forwarding  protocol which for now is primarily for android devices, maybe a pinephone IM system needs to include a Briar Android install APK and instructions to help android users sideload install for use in a regional emergency with communication blackout.

I am encouraging everyone reading this thread to be creative in how we can put as much off-line functionality into the Pinephone experience, how can we plan for service blackouts caused by nature or oppression and plan ways to route around that blockage.

These tools are needed by oppressed minorities, refugees of war trying to cross borders unnoticed, people living in corrupt dictatorships trying to contact family members, people even in liberal democracies who still are under the surveillance as individuals or the of the whole population of domestic or foreign police or intelligence agencies by legally or illegally exploiting commercial voice/data carriers, and journalists investigating large companies who can afford expensive private investigators or like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google who literally pass tens of percent of all data worldwide through their own data centers.
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#14
(06-07-2021, 05:07 AM)biketool Wrote: I am planning ways to make the pinephone nearly as private and anonymous as the paperback book mentioned upthread.  Beyond the hopes for POCSAG(yes these messages are sent in the clear but that is nearly as un-private as the reception of a phone call or sms, there are encryption options though the receiver ID is always open) incoming-only regional pager service.  Simply having your navigation map tiles for the region saved for offline use you can avoid coming online to use data, the Kiwix app or browser plugin lets you access much reference data by having a local Wikipedia cache on a SD card or USB drive, while it is more work to use an offline dictionary like Stardict and local dictionary files can be almost as useful as online translation like Google or Microsoft translation services, I am interested what scaling would look like and what we could do with a critical mass of users using LoRa radio add-ons for messaging combine that with local bluetooth and wifi mesh and some sort of person-to-person sneakernet-->fidonet message routing to bypass state controlled telephony and data companies.

For now and probably always we will be a tiny minority who cannot expect to have nearby pinephone users with hyper-capable and hyper-configurable handheld devices to rely on but there are things like Briar messaging protocol which include a user-to-user hard encrypted message forwarding  protocol which for now is primarily for android devices, maybe a pinephone IM system needs to include a Briar Android install APK and instructions to help android users sideload install for use in a regional emergency with communication blackout.

I am encouraging everyone reading this thread to be creative in how we can put as much off-line functionality into the Pinephone experience, how can we plan for service blackouts caused by nature or oppression and plan ways to route around that blockage.
Sounds like nice ideas, although from what I understood about Briar so far is that it only works offline if you're near another Briar user.
So quite useless if most of your friends live spread out over the entire country, plus a few overseas (both as nearby as Korea, and as far away as Germany).

The other problem is battery life, while I know the new Linux kernel by Sunxi has fixed it by a whole lot, it doesn't seem to be available for Mobian yet.
And now that summer is really kicking in, my Pinephone gets so hot after just a while being outside, you can probably use it as a portable BBQ.

(06-07-2021, 05:07 AM)biketool Wrote: These tools are needed by oppressed minorities,
Not really sure what you mean by "oppressed minorities"?

(06-07-2021, 05:07 AM)biketool Wrote: refugees of war trying to cross borders unnoticed,
There are some wars on UN's schedule, so definitely something to keep an eye on.
Although unless it's a war at the scale of America + EU vs Russia + China + Iran, it shouldn't be a concern to most countries.

(06-07-2021, 05:07 AM)biketool Wrote: people living in corrupt dictatorships trying to contact family members,
Every country is technically a corrupt dictatorship, just some governments make it more obvious than others
China and Singapore for example aren't even hiding it, and now that Canada and USA are grabbing more and more power at warp speed, they too are starting to make it more obvious.
The EU is still using their "freedom, democracy, and privacy" blanket to hide the fact.

(06-07-2021, 05:07 AM)biketool Wrote: people even in liberal democracies who still are under the surveillance as individuals or the of the whole population of domestic or foreign police or intelligence agencies by legally or illegally exploiting commercial voice/data carriers, and journalists investigating large companies who can afford expensive private investigators or like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google who literally pass tens of percent of all data worldwide through their own data centers.
Yes, which is why moving away from the tech oligarchs is necessary in order to achieve real freedom.
Staying with them means you consent to them, meaning you're their data slave.

PinePhone and Librem 5 (once the latter finally starts actually shipping rather than delaying its shipping date endlessly) are steps towards the right direction, but that alone won't solve all the problems (like, using a PinePhone to check Fakebook, make Tweets, watch YouTube videos, read emails on Gmail, buy on Amazon etc).
Every big tech product/service has an open source, self hosted (in case of services) alternative, and now that big tech is destroying itself while open source is becoming more superior by the day/week/month (depending on development pase), it's definitely a good time to look into them if you haven't yet.
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#15
(06-07-2021, 04:34 PM)ryo Wrote: Sounds like nice ideas, although from what I understood about Briar so far is that it only works offline if you're near another Briar user.
So quite useless if most of your friends live spread out over the entire country, plus a few overseas (both as nearby as Korea, and as far away as Germany).

The other problem is battery life, while I know the new Linux kernel by Sunxi has fixed it by a whole lot, it doesn't seem to be available for Mobian yet.
And now that summer is really kicking in, my Pinephone gets so hot after just a while being outside, you can probably use it as a portable BBQ.

(06-07-2021, 05:07 AM)biketool Wrote: These tools are needed by oppressed minorities,
Not really sure what you mean by "oppressed minorities"?
(snip)
As for oppressed minorities I literally mean any group which is having their human rights violated by another group who has the power of state violence and financial coercion or at least the power to regionally oppress like rebel militias, organized crime, etc.  Defining who is oppressed on a tech project like this will tend to fragment the community so I would prefer not to pursue the topic except acknowledging oppressed people exist and I hope they might use tools we develop to improve their situation.

As for Briar there is the wifi/bluetooth mesh mode which can pass messages between users not connected to the internet, I am not sure how well this scales vs say Brigdefly(not FOSS un-audited) which is reported to have been used in HK.  The other and for most users the main Briar mode is using TOX protocol over the internet (or TOR); I believe that the mesh mode can bridge to TOX if even one user per mesh network has internet access.  There are alpha builds for Briar which will run on a computer but I don't think the code is ready to compile for ARM yet. Briar also has a by-invitation open forum communications mode similar to usenet where groups can collaborate and plan with the archive kept encrypted on the individual user's devices rather than a website.

You are correct about the nature of oligarchy and concentration of power in corporate and natural persons rather than the whole of the population.  FOSS is one of the quiet ways we can freely spread the tools of real democracy in a world where money, power of connections, and the coercive power of state and non-state violence are all erasing the gains over the last two centuries to a liberal world order which holds individual liberty as important.  I hope for us all to have and help develop the required communication and organization tools to give everyone an equalized advantage against the powerful for organizing non-violent dissent for the whole population's welfare rather than only those few able to have laws written for their own benefit and to eliminate competition for that power.  I am of the opinion that concentration of power in the hands of a few destabilizes the world and creates the conditions for revolutions which only change the people oppressing and also leads to wars both to take limited resources for the benefit of the few in power as well distracting the population from working for their own good.
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#16
(06-11-2021, 03:29 AM)biketool Wrote: As for oppressed minorities I literally mean any group which is having their human rights violated by another group who has the power of state violence and financial coercion or at least the power to regionally oppress like rebel militias, organized crime, etc.  Defining who is oppressed on a tech project like this will tend to fragment the community so I would prefer not to pursue the topic except acknowledging oppressed people exist and I hope they might use tools we develop to improve their situation.
So like the Uygurs, Mongols, and Tibetans in China?
Nowadays, some countries consider "oppressed minorities" those who can afford the latest, highest end iPhone every single year, wear fancy clothes, go to Starbucks with their MacBook Pro very often, but just happen to have a certain skin color and scream "I'M OPPRESSED!!", which is why I asked.
I'm glad you're not one of those people, and actually consider "oppressed minorities" the ones who actually are so.
母語は日本語ですが、英語も喋れます(ry
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#17
(06-12-2021, 02:30 AM)ryo Wrote:
(06-11-2021, 03:29 AM)biketool Wrote: As for oppressed minorities I literally mean any group which is having their human rights violated by another group who has the power of state violence and financial coercion or at least the power to regionally oppress like rebel militias, organized crime, etc.  Defining who is oppressed on a tech project like this will tend to fragment the community so I would prefer not to pursue the topic except acknowledging oppressed people exist and I hope they might use tools we develop to improve their situation.
So like the Uygurs, Mongols, and Tibetans in China?
Nowadays, some countries consider "oppressed minorities" those who can afford the latest, highest end iPhone every single year, wear fancy clothes, go to Starbucks with their MacBook Pro very often, but just happen to have a certain skin color and scream "I'M OPPRESSED!!", which is why I asked.
I'm glad you're not one of those people, and actually consider "oppressed minorities" the ones who actually are so.
To be fair there is also a small wealthy city state enclave currently being absorbed by a large authoritarian nation state where many residents can concurrently experience the ability to purchase the finest consumer goods and drink fancy coffee while still risking extrajudicial execution or secret imprisonment and reeducation for protesting this absorption and drastic violations of treaty rights.  I do feel that deciding or even discussing who is worthy of our technology is a loosing game, we work with free open source software so anyone from Beijing to Helsinki to Perth can download, fork, and compile it for free; and deciding who we like or dislike on a forum like this is at a minimum a distraction from our amazing and rather unique efforts.   I am more concerned about potential public relations scandals and driving away good developers by engaging in non-productive off-topic political thought on public forums.
I applaud anyone who uses privacy tools for making a good overall choice, I do not concern myself if any user from a particular group are actually being oppressed or not, it is always a in our interests to enlarge the the user pool to add decoys to the target swarm of free open source privacy tools as this makes tracking and de-anonymizing of every individual privacy tool user more difficult both for corporate and sovereign investigators.
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