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[liberationtech] Physical Hacks to Protect Privacy/Freedom

Nathan of Guardian nathan at
Mon Jul 1 08:30:24 PDT 2013

On 07/01/2013 11:21 AM, Lorenzo Franceschi Bicchierai wrote:
> Any other cool examples you can think of? I'd like to get as many examples
> as possible, so I thought I'd ask here since you guys must know many more.

One idea that I am working on in a *very* rough form, is making
smartphones that are a little but more dumb. Return the phone to be a
portable computer with a wireless radio, and not also a camera and

For example, it is quite possible to remove the cameras and built-in
microphone from a Galaxy Nexus phone (and other "fixable" smartphones)
with a guitar pick and a single screw driver:

and still have the device function.

This would require you to use a plugin headset to make calls, but
otherwise, you no longer have to fear that a malicious app is taking
pictures of you or listening to your conversations in the room.

Like I said, this idea is early, and perhaps a futile exercise, but I
think it is empowering to explore how easy it is for a person to modify
the hardware of a smartphone in a privacy-enhancing way.

Good luck with your research!


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