Having a “secure” Google phone: The good, the bad, the ugly (but best)

First, a big thanks to ML for the information to all of us in this post. There are a lo of scams targeting conservatives and the security conscious, and some of them can compromise you in a huge way.

First, the one you really must not get. The bad:

The ‘Freedom Phone’ that far-right leaders are hawking is a cheap Chinese Android—and a security nightmare

Security experts are raising concerns over the “Freedom Phone,” a new device touted by prominent conservatives as both secure and censorship-resistant.

Unveiled on Wednesday by Erik Finman, the world’s youngest bitcoin millionaire, the $500 Freedom Phone claims to offer a series of robust privacy features as well as an uncensorable app store.

Finman states the Freedom Phone runs on a custom Android operating system known as “FreedomOS” and provides access to apps such as Parler, the social media service which had previously been banned from app stores in the wake of the Capitol riot.

The phone’s launch also came alongside numerous endorsements from popular right-wing figures such as Jack Posobiec and Candace Owens, who both offered their followers discount codes for the device. It remains unclear whether either individual is receiving financial kickbacks for promoting the Freedom Phone.

Please read the article at source. ONE of the problems with this fraud, is that it has what it calls an unmonitored and uncencored app store. This means you can download a virus, key-logger or root-kit or worse if there is such a thing, while imagining you are getting the latest time saver.

One you could get. The Good:

Amazon link: Silent Circle Black Phone:

Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackphone

Probably best to read the details at those links.

How to make your OWN Android phone secure. Difficult, but probably the best option. The Ugly:

Going Google-less: How to install a custom Android ROM with no Google apps or services

(This is complete instructions on how to de-google your phone and make it about as secure as one can do for a portable radio that has all your most important information on it.)

If you’re an Android user, Google has a scary amount of information on you, and matters get worse if you’re deeply embedded in the company’s app ecosystem — getting locked out of your Google account can have serious consequences then. Thankfully, Android is open source, so it’s possible to evade Google without having to leave the platform altogether — just look at Amazon’s tablets or Huawei’s Google-less phones. But if you’d rather be completely independent from big corporations, going for a free and open-source custom ROM built on top of Android’s core might be the best solution.

 

I personally accept that there’s always going to be some inherent privacy trade-off when you’re using an always-connected mobile device that you carry with you everywhere you go, but I’m curious if there’s a way to remove the ad company from the equation. It’s probably still not feasible to use nothing but open-source apps, but you might be delighted to learn that it’s possible to reduce your dependency on a single data aggregator like Google.

To go fully Google-less on your phone, you’ll need to install a so-called custom ROM, a custom operating system based on the open-source version Google provides. Depending on your device, this is a more or less involved process, and it might not even be possible. You will lose all data stored on your phone in the process, so be sure you have backups. If you make a mistake, you might end up with a permanently bricked, unusable paperweight, so please double- and triple-check what you’re doing, read all instructions before you start, and make sure you understand.While you might not like Google as a company, it still has to adhere to privacy regulations. That’s not true for open-source ROMs potentially created by bad actors going after your data. LineageOS and microG are sufficiently peer-controlled, but there’s no guarantee. Be aware that you could always fall for someone shady when you’re tinkering with your device, and that the risk is greater the more obscure the ROM you choose is.

(Please read the rest at site. Download the instructions perhaps, and then follow each to the letter. It may be a good idea to have someone under 20 with you when you do it, things being what they are. But if you are comfortable with tools like Home Brew or SUDO you should be able to do this without bricking your phone.)

This looks like a shop that sells you a phone where the process above has been done for you. One may be concerned about the motives, as the term, “surveillance capitalism” is a little pointed. But at least the point is at both ends.

From that site:

Escape from surveillance capitalism

Your mobile phone tracks you!

1. Up to 12Mb of your data is collected every day without your consent Learn More.

2. Most of your favourite apps contain trackers harvesting your location and activities.

3. Your documents on remote servers are scanned and analysed.

Choose /e/OS

1. /e/OS is open source, pro-privacy and fully degoogled Learn More.

2. No data scanning or location tracking 24/7.

3. Check built-in trackers in apps before installing.

4. Store or back up your data in your private space.

Parler appears to be pushing the scam Freedom phone. Be advised.

 

 

 

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

6 Replies to “Having a “secure” Google phone: The good, the bad, the ugly (but best)”

  1. With great hassle, I succeeded in installing LineageOS on a Moto X4.

    It’s a pretty good deal: less Google, latest version of Android-like OS (otherwise unavailable on that phone), and the phone cost me around $100.

    So on top of it all, it is cheap.

    Just be ready for a hassle with the install, it’s not straightforward.

  2. 1. “Owens also tweeted a clip from an Instagram live she’d done, talking her followers through the phone and how she came to endorse it.

    She said she was furious that conservative social media app Parler was banned from the app store in the wake of the January 6 riots, in addition to former President Trump being banished from most social platforms.

    The political commentator added that while many among the right bemoan big tech, insisting something needs to be done, “nobody actually does anything.”

    Billing her and her husband, Parler’s new CEO George Farmer….”
    https://www.the-sun.com/news/3288490/candace-owens-backs-freedom-phone-designed-fight-big-tech/

    Follow the power
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    When running on empty.

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