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getting a free software lowrisc cpu phone?

Added by til sam almost 5 years ago

I am non tech. My questions may be off track.

When I talk about making a phone, I do not expect something in a format like available consumer phones.

From what I have read, if the modem is fully isolated in a phone and replicant would have full software control about the rest of the phone's hardware, replicant would be able to make a high security and privacy phone?
I assume if replicant also would gain full control about the phone's modem, security and privacy would be better?

Are there components like gps, wifi ect that support free software, even if they are not phone components, but they could be used in a phone setup?

http://www.lowrisc.org/ are, if I am correct, producing an entirely free software cpu. Performance comparable to a raspberry pi 2.

Would it be possible to make a working phone around the lowrisc cpu and free sofware peripheral hardware components?


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RE: getting a free software lowrisc cpu phone? - Added by Paul Kocialkowski almost 5 years ago

I am non tech. My questions may be off track.

Well, it's always good to talk about interesting initiatives regarding software freedom that might affect mobile devices as well!

From what I have read, if the modem is fully isolated in a phone and replicant would have full software control about the rest of the phone's hardware, replicant would be able to make a high security and privacy phone?

Let's say that it would have the potential of being better than the rest, yes. Still, Replicant hasn't been audited for security or anything, so it may (and does) inherit flaws from CyanogenMod and AOSP. Keep in mind that Replicant is a fully free system: a consequence of that is that you can have more trust in it than any proprietary counterpart, but it doesn't mean that it's sage.

I assume if replicant also would gain full control about the phone's modem, security and privacy would be better?

Having free software running on the modem too could probably fix a number of attack vectors, yes. For now, modem isolation is "as good as it gets".

Are there components like gps, wifi ect that support free software, even if they are not phone components, but they could be used in a phone setup?

If you mean using external dongles, then that could indeed be doable to make up for missing features in Replicant. It doesn't work out of the box for now, but with some work, it could be achieved. Note that those may also run proprietary software, but have it preinstalled (e.g. virtually every GPS dongle), so it's not always such a big improvement for freedom.

Would it be possible to make a working phone around the lowrisc cpu and free sofware peripheral hardware components?

I suppose so, but that requires an incredible amount of work, nothing that could be achieved at Replicant. I believe the long term goal of the lowrisc project is indeed to power full devices, so mobile devices would also be interesting!

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