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[liberationtech] Fwd: Firefox OS with built in support for OpenPGP encryption

Erik de Castro Lopo mle+libs at
Fri Sep 13 01:39:35 PDT 2013

Bernard Tyers wrote:

> Firstly: I agree with you in principle but these tools need to be
> available to all. 
> Technology is not used in a sterile, hygienic environment, it is used on
> the streets, by people who can't write, who use it for their purposes,
> not necessarily the purpose it was invented for.

I do agree, but its important to note that smartphones offer a
significantly higher risk than say laptops.
> >Smartphones are horrendously complex, rely heavily on untrusted
> >binary blobs, have mutiple CPUs some without direct owner/user
> >control (eg the CPU doing the baseband processing) [1]. 
> I agree with your points about running untrusted binaries and lack of
> user control. 
> Firefox OS (OS level at least) is open source, right?
> Cyanogenmod is open source, right?

Yes, but Firefox OS and Cryanogenmod only control the user facing part
of the smartphone. Loading eg Cryanogenmod onto a android phone leaves
the software running the radio part of the phone untouched (otherwise
the phone would never have passed the regulator auhorities). The second
link I posted reported a vulnerability in that software. Secondly
these phones connect to the cell phone network and you and I have no
tools to examine what happens on that network.

Compare this with a laptop. If you buy a new laptop and are sufficiently
paranoid you can use widely available software tools to monitor all
network connections from that laptop to the wider internet.

> My threat is from the local governmental goons and their smarter
> colleagues in the government controlled telco, who will surveil my
> calls, SMS, and e-mail.
> If I can use any tool to protect myself from them, isn't it worth seeing
> that tool exist?

As long as you are aware of the limitations.
Erik de Castro Lopo

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