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Going Completely FOSS
#1
I just picked up a laptop from ebay that runs Libreboot BIOS with Trisquel as the OS. It's a Lenovo ThinkPad from 2008'ish. These are some of the last systems you can get that can have the Intel Management Engine completely disabled. Getting a decade + old laptop is the only way you can truly know exactly what code your computer is running. This is the world we live in now. 

My next phone will be the Purism 5 so that I can, once and for all, remove myself from the matrix...sort of. Does anyone else remember privacy?
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#2
People have changed over the past 20 years. Remember the huge scandal that ensued when it was revealed that Real Player was being sent out with a Trojan that phoned home to Seattle? (If I remember correctly, the scandal derailed the State Senate career of the woman who owned the company.) Compare that to now, when people willingly use Google, Chrome, Facebook, and any Apple or Microsoft product, knowing that they collect and sell everything you say and do.
It will, sooner or later, come back and bite them in the ass. When your car insurance rates go sky high because you posted pictures of yourself drunk at a Christmas party, and Facebook sold the information to the insurance company. You think those grocery store frequent customer cards are just for customer goodwill? The amount of beer and whiskey you buy is valuable information to a car or a medical insurance company. It's all for sale.

Out in less probable land---but hey, remember Germany and Italy and Russia; it wasn't probable there until it happened---if there is an economic collapse and the military decides to take over to maintain order (only temporarily of course) government could quickly become like the TSA is now. You get on their list and you can't get off.

In the face of the evidence, most people still trust their governments. People don't value their privacy and their liberty until it's gone.

Richard
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#3
(04-15-2019, 08:48 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: My next phone will be the Purism 5 so that I can, once and for all, remove myself from the matrix

Well, isn't the Librem 5 expected to use the Matrix network as its main method of communication?

Smile

(04-15-2019, 08:48 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: Does anyone else remember privacy?

Yes I do: I run Parabola on a Librem 13v3 with full disk encryption, which is basically as good as one can get
with modern-ish hardware. I am also not on social media and I do not share anything online that I would not be
comfortable telling a stranger face to face. And I try to avoid having any important data on my phone, which
I am sadly forced to have as most people I communicate with prefer WhatApp and similar bullshit over GPG
encrypted email (but I turn it off when I don't need it). I don't use music or movie streaming servives;
Instead I buy CDs and DVDs, which also has the benefit (at least for music) that the artists get more then a
few cents for their work. I buy real books instead of eBooks, which also look nicer when stored on a shelf.



Browser extensions I recommend:
  • uBlock origin
  • Decentraleyes
  • NoScript
  • HTTPS everywhere
  • PrivacyBadger
  • PrivacyPossum

Besides keeping me from beeing tracked, these extensions also make loading websites faster, because they stop
all the tracking stuff and irrelevant advertisements from being loaded.


(04-15-2019, 08:48 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: Getting a decade + old laptop is the only way you can truly know exactly what code your computer is running. This is the world we live in now.

It is actually quite simple to explain: As computers keep on getting easier to use for the general person,
the computer related knowledge of the average computer user sinks so companies can do more evil things,
simply because the majority of affected people does not understand what is happening.

The only way things can get better, at least in my opinion, is when it gets so bad that nobody can ignore
it anymore. Worse than cambridge analytica and similar incidents. And when this time comes, I will happily
reply with "I knew it, but you did not listen".
My website - My git repos

"Things are only impossible until they’re not." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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#4
I'm glad to see you're both on the same page.

Richard, I agree with you, however, I don't think people have changed so much as our technology has surpassed our wisdom. Ted Kaczynski wrote about this decades ago. It goes without saying that Kaczynski is a murderer and a very disturbed person. I'm in no way condoning his actions, but he was correct in his assessment that most people will gladly sacrifice convenience for freedom.

Leon, I like the Librem laptops and you're correct that they are the best you can get with modern hardware. However (as you're aware) they still have the IME. I saw an interview with the founder of Purism where he mentioned that they were able to get their systems working without the IME. Unfortunately, Intel built in a 30 second time limit that the chip can run without IME. The government has forced Intel to sell them chips w/o the IME so there is clearly a workaround. Hopefully we can crack this soon.

LOL good point about the Librem 5 using "The Matrix" network. All cell carriers, ISPs, etc. are part of the surveillance apparatus. I'm running a custom ROM of CopperheadOS on one of my phones right now which keeps the Googlies away, but the carrier can still track me or intercept unencrypted communication. You should see if you can get your friends to move from WhatsApp to Signal. F*&kBook purchased WhatsApp awhile ago so I no longer trust it.

I know this all sounds like I'm being overly dramatic and paranoid. I'm just a normal person who values their privacy. Someone who thinks that online privacy/anonymity is a good thing as it encourages free speech. We are not products. We are not commodities to be bought and sold. Privacy is a right.

On a side note, I'm really enjoying the Librebooted lappy. I ordered an SSD and some more RAM for her. She runs fine now but the SSD and additional RAM will be a huge improvement. Even with the upgrades it still only going to run ~$300 so that's a nice bonus.
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#5
(04-16-2019, 11:21 AM)Cthulhu Wrote: The government has forced Intel to sell them chips w/o the IME so there is clearly a workaround. Hopefully we can crack this soon.

Actually, if I recall correctly, Intel is just forced to ship their chips with a way to disable,
not remove, the IME. I believe I have read that this is done by powering one of the pins during boot
and I also think this is one of the meassures Purism takes in lobotomising the IME on their laptops.


(04-16-2019, 11:21 AM)Cthulhu Wrote: You should see if you can get your friends to move from WhatsApp to Signal.

Sadly that is unlikely. I usually tell them that I don't have my phone on all day, so everything
important should be send via email (which my computer checks for automatically every 10 minutes),
but appearently sending an email is too much work for them.


(04-16-2019, 11:21 AM)Cthulhu Wrote: I know this all sounds like I'm being overly dramatic and paranoid.

It sounds quite reasonable to me.
My website - My git repos

"Things are only impossible until they’re not." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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#6
(04-15-2019, 11:15 PM)leon.p Wrote:
(04-15-2019, 08:48 PM)Cthulhu Wrote: My next phone will be the Purism 5 so that I can, once and for all, remove myself from the matrix

Well, isn't the Librem 5 expected to use the Matrix network as its main method of communication?

Smile
HA! Good one! Took me long enough but I got it Wink
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#7
Im not sure about Purism 5
Look for the trisquel links, a lot info about them in there
https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comment..._librem_5/
Good Luck
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#8
(07-30-2019, 04:38 PM)Danrobi Wrote: Im not sure about Purism 5
Look for the trisquel links, a lot info about them in there
https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comment..._librem_5/
Good Luck

Whatever the Librem 5 will end up being, as long as you are able to install a proper linux distribution on it, it will be more private, more secure and more usable than any android or apple phone.
My website - My git repos

"Things are only impossible until they’re not." - Captain Jean-Luc Picard
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#9
Librem 5 is due out this quarter. Their YouTube channel has been releasing "runs on Librem" videos. Pretty interesting. I really want this phone to be successful. I'd buy an upgrade with every release just to support the company.
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