Phone suggestions


My understanding is both yes and no. Any encrypted service continues to be encrypted but at a higher level. Your ISP can’t view the traffic in real time. The VPN also obscures your location somewhat by tunneling your IP to a server somewhere in the world. If you assume that the VPNs keep logs (even though most claim they don’t), you assume that the ISP scoops your encrypted data in mass, the carrier logs the location of the physical device, then yes, I guess they can retroactively pinpoint your identity and harvest your personal data once the encryption is broken. However, I’m not sure that a 3rd party app can do anything to track you in real time and most likely would ignore the traffic altogether. I’ve heard it said that ISPs typically ignore commercial VPN traffic - not sure its the same for a consumer VPN service. The only thing I’m not sure of is whether any geo-location tagging from the carrier (in this case, say a Verizon hotspot) can be transmitted through the VPN to the 3rd party app accurately.

My understanding is probably flawed somewhat so feel free to correct me.


Maybe the pendulum swings both ways…

Is there a way to manipulate the invasion of privacy? I mean, give them what they want, right?

I’m imagining a lien server running from my home connected to a handful of proxies and/or VPNs that runs software running google searches, FB queries, amazon queries, and watching Netflix episodes on various virtual machines. All day long. Every day.


If you don’t mind using Chrome…


Yeah… but I didn’t want to sound too dramatic :smiley:

This is an interesting thought, though I think we are leaving out a big part of the equation here. Who is to decide and manage this evolution? Will it be equal for everybody or will it just make privacy into a luxury good, for those who can afford it. Which powers are growing on the removal of “privacy barriers”? I think that’s the big issue at hand.
There’s another point: I remember reading an article about how a Swedish group was able to uncover and basically dismantle a far right organization (IIRC) thanks to how loose privacy rules are in Sweden. It’s great if it works out like that, especially if the loose privacy control is the same for everybody, including for example big coproration’s CEOs and politicians. But it is probably a two sided weapon as well and it can also easily backfire.


Hasn’t this been the case for at least the last 150 years? Industrialization brought with it mass control and surveillance aimed specifically at the workers and vulnerable… it’s been this way even longer for more marginalized and oppressed groups in the west. Not to mention other parts of the world where billions already live in a much deeper surveillance state than we can comprehend here in the west.

This is absolutely worth fighting for, and requires a lot of awareness and trade offs. It’s also worth keeping in mind that it’s already a luxury afforded to those who can opt out, who can be aware, and who can survive without acquiescing.

This is well worth watching on the subject:

“Cyber JimCrow: Virtual Public Housing and Poor Doors in Digital Security & Surveillance”


Probably? If it sends or receives signals, it’s probably going somewhere we someone can do something with it. Whether or not they’re doing something with the data is a different issue.


the evolution is probably in the means and methods. From coercive surveillance, to making you want to be surveilled to making you not even care about it anymore. This said, I totally agree, we have the luxury of being able to opt out, and that’s for sure something to keep in mind.


afaik google is in a constant battle to end your ability to do things like this. that noiszy program may work now, but I assure you they’re on it and trying to figure out a way of preventing anyone from fooling their data mine. it’s even in their search engine’s user agreement / tos now. I used to use an ancient version of this idea called ‘search me not’ that they eventually figured out a way to detect, and it’s been a quiet arms race ever since.


really like the light phone, but it’s more the concept than the actual product. you could probably set up a similar call forwarding thing with any ‘dumb’ phone you had if you wanted to. I mainly use it on tour when my partner and I want to get away from the circus and go on a date or something, someone can still get in touch with us if necessary but the lack of a screen and small size makes me never even think about the fact that I have it on me. kind of a compromise between fully unplugging and being reachable.


Thanks so much for posting this video. His work is the kind of inspiration I needed this morning.


there is also Blackphone, android with privacy sensibilities.

FaceID comes as AI is getting better at reading your face :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


a couple inane links below, but thank you all for the scale of this conversation. (from the folks who made protonmail) hosted in switzerland, seems legit

i switched to for all searches and haven’t looked back. no ads, no tracking, it’s like some strange utopia.


Our data is literally being farmed. They might as well shorten their language in ToS and just say that.

EDIT: by extension, WE are literally being farmed. At least, in a more cerebral sense.


Can also recommend I like the results better than duck duck, but wish it had the same smart features.

If you’re a bit tech savy it can be cheaper to setup your own VPN with this script. It comes with excellent iOS VPN On-Demand support, so you’re always on VPN when not on your own wifi. And you can make multiple accounts for the whole family :wink:


Some of the best coverage on these kinds of topics I’ve ever seen:

It’s running on Netflix these days if you happen to use it.


Thanks for the startpage link! I don’t really understand why google allows it to exist (!), but for as long as it does I’m sold… even though I’ve used duckduckgo for quite some time I’ve never been really happy with the search results it generates.

And I’m running through protonvpn right now (thanks @tehn!)… pretty painless to setup, and even with the free plan I’m still getting 1-2 MB per second in upstate New York.


Privacy concerns aside, on a professional level I find smart phones very liberating. I work with people with developmental disabilities. People who often have the basic everyday choice of crossing the road to go to buy a snack restricted because they might “get hurt.” The advent of smart phones and assistive technology type apps has given a lot of these people way more freedom and enabled much greater community presence than they’ve ever had before which, to me, is only a good thing.

Regarding personal phones, I always lag a couple of generations behind the latest. Mainly due to the fact that I use little apart from the basic smart functions and really don’t need/want a €700 phone. I currently use a Nexus 5 which cost €160 and will probably last me a good 5 years (which seems to be the length of time I can keep a phone before it dies or I break it!).


Here’s a crowd-funding campaign for an open-source smartphone:

Even if allergic to crowd-funded gambles, it’s worthwhile to look at the technologies used in the phone, especially


This doesn’t contribute to the OP’s question, and I’m wary of self-congratulatory circle jerks so I’m not trying to start one, but can I just take a moment to express gratitude for an actual discussion thread on the internet where people listen to each other and try to be as helpful as possible?
Way to be, everyone.


I was really interested in this phone, but then I read some news last year that the company was going to tank / their finances were a mess which worried me since IIRC it was partly a subscription based thing for like email and things. Looks like they’ve been updating their blog so they’re still around, but not sure if I’m ready for it. The second edition also came out a few years ago, so I’m also figuring if they stay afloat, there may be a new model incoming.