[poll: vote now!1!!] 3G paranoia: Discussing solutions

Do you trust the 3G module? That is, if it claims it is off, do you believe it?

  • Yes (>99%)

    Votes: 56 43.4%
  • Probably (67%-99%)

    Votes: 40 31.0%
  • Don't know (33%-66%)

    Votes: 7 5.4%
  • Probably not (1%-32%)

    Votes: 13 10.1%
  • No (<1%)

    Votes: 13 10.1%

  • Total voters
    129

ZetaNeta

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Again wanna remind every paranoid out there, that if you paranoia is "so serious" that you cant even trust a OS, you always can short the 3G module.
Again, want to remind you that it's an optional feature that you're paying for.
Feel like ED gonna release a "No 3G" version? I dont feel it.
I still don't quite get what you want to do. Short pins to destroy a $100 module you had to pay extra for?

And if you short the power lines you'll just empty (and possibly damage/destroy) the battery.
To some, paranoia costed a leg and a rib, and you say $100 :p
If the charging circuit is smarter than the one in Epson HX-20, nothing should happen.
 
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WizardStan

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Feel like ED gonna release a "No 3G" version? I dont feel it.
I can't imagine a single reason why he wouldn't. It's not like he can just populate every single one with the exact same module, it needs to be changed up by region, one of those changes can simply be "not".It's pretty simple to not populate something, the manufacturing company can literally just remove the part from the pick and place and BAM, no 3G.

Not to mention he's already said several times that it's optional, in no uncertain terms.

If the charging circuit is smarter than the one in Epson HX-20, nothing should happen.
Again, no, if you short the power lines then it will blow up the battery.
 

ZetaNeta

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Feel like ED gonna release a "No 3G" version? I dont feel it.
I can't imagine a single reason why he wouldn't. It's not like he can just populate every single one with the exact same module, it needs to be changed up by region, one of those changes can simply be "not".
It's pretty simple to not populate something, the manufacturing company can literally just remove the part from the pick and place and BAM, no 3G.


Not to mention he's already said several times that it's optional, in no uncertain terms.

If the charging circuit is smarter than the one in Epson HX-20, nothing should happen.
Again, no, if you short the power lines then it will blow up the battery.
I don't believe there will be more than 1 edition going on same time. Thats the reason he thought of changable CPU module.


And no... there are "almost" universal chips out there which work "almost everywhere".


I see that 3G chips cant be just expensive enough to think whether to put it or not. (I may be wrong)


For some reason, normal stuff like devboards and laptops dont argue with me on that point. Nothing wrong with their battery i see.


So, i have some reasons to say that a "normal" charging circuit wont let the battery blow if you short the power of a single component.
 

WizardStan

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And no... there are "almost" universal chips out there which work "almost everywhere".
No, the one that he's chosen is the PHS8 from Gemalto. This has been stated several times through this thread. It comes in two flavours: PHS8-E for European and PHS8-US for North American standards. There's also a -P which is the "universal" you're talking about but it costs almost twice as much. This isn't different "versions" the way that different CPUs would require completely different designs, the chips are all 100% compatible, all that is required to populate a different one is to change the reel, the program for placing it is exactly identical. Not populating it is equally as simple, you just remove it from the machine and it doesn't get placed.The reason they're doing the SoC on module is because SoCs are not (usually) pin compatible: using a different processor requires redesigning the board almost entirely from scratch, and it is much easier to redesign a 2" board than a 6" one. There is no such requirement for the cell modules, they can simply be placed and removed and swapped in the pick and place machine. Gemalto actually makes older GPRS only versions and a newer line of LTE chips and they are all, every single one, forwards and backwards compatible, a different reel of parts can be placed in and the machine will have no idea whether it is populating a GPRS, UMTS, or LTE module because as far as it is concerned they are all identical.

I see that 3G chips cant be just expensive enough to think whether to put it or not. (I may be wrong)
You are wrong. As I've said several times, it is very simple to not have a part included. There is no reason for him not to stock at least a few. The parts can be bought in smaller quantities, 10s even, so it's not like he needs to buy 1000 of them at a time and try to force people to take them.
So, i have some reasons to say that a "normal" charging circuit wont let the battery blow if you short the power of a single component.
You're probably talking about things you have no idea about again, using the wrong words most likely. A "short" is where you connect the positive terminal to the negative terminal. If you do this it will blow up the battery; at best it will blow a well placed fuse, at worst it will blow the battery. It is highly unlikely that they will place a fuse on the line because they have no reason to expect it to be shorted. This has nothing to do with the charge circuit.
 

_jr_

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For me the LED idea would be great
But is it necessary for it to be hardwired to the power line so that it will always and forever turn on when in use (assuming you trust Michael and Nikolaus) with no way to compromise it (short of physically cutting it)? Or do you trust the OS enough that if you tell it to turn on an LED when the module powers up?
I don't care that much, but it would make me slightly happier to have some sort of 'hard' guarantee like the hardware switch or the hardwired led are providing. Just like I prefer some kind of trusted path on login screens, but can live without if neccessary (e.g. this board not supporting HTTPS).
 
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Askarus

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I don't see the benefit of an LED.

Let's say my 3G module was hacked and someone does bad things with it.

Most of the time my Pyra will be in my pocket or somewhere else I don't see it.

Why should I want an LED then?
 

_jr_

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I don't care about the case when the Pyra is hacked. It is more a hard guarantee (meaning guaranteed by the hardware, if implemented correctly) of privacy: if the LED is off, the phone company doesn't know where you are at that precise moment. This is more than the soft guarantee by the OS status display. How much more value this provides to you personally is totally subjective. It isn't that important to me, but enough to feel good while paying (a couple of $) more money.
 

pmprog

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Again wanna remind every paranoid out there, that if you paranoia is "so serious" that you cant even trust a OS, you always can short the 3G module.
Again, want to remind you that it's an optional feature that you're paying for.
Feel like ED gonna release a "No 3G" version? I dont feel it.
He indicated here "optional":

2. UMTS and a hardware switch

Some of you here at the boards had a bit of a concern with the (optional) UMTS module
If you're paranoid, get the one without, and buy a USB modem you can attach whenever you do want access
 

_wb_

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I don't care about the case when the Pyra is hacked. It is more a hard guarantee (meaning guaranteed by the hardware, if implemented correctly) of privacy: if the LED is off, the phone company doesn't know where you are at that precise moment. This is more than the soft guarantee by the OS status display. How much more value this provides to you personally is totally subjective. It isn't that important to me, but enough to feel good while paying (a couple of $) more money.
You need a similar LED for wifi (and maybe even BT) then, because those can also be used to track you. And of course you should never enable any of them, because the second you enable one of them, who knows what kind of spy data they start sending to the NSA.

But even with such LEDs, how can you be sure that the LED doesn't blink while you're not looking? If you're assuming that the module and/or the OS is compromised enough to lie about the 3G power status, then it's not a big stretch to imagine that it uses some kind of method to do its dirty spying business while you're not looking.

And if the module is evil enough to lie about being on or off, then maybe it's also evil enough to have a tiny battery in it that can store just enough power to send some tracking data every once in a while without needing external power (which would turn on the LED).
 

Granitehead

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How about a GPIO controlled antenna disconnect? If the module self-powers for some nefarious purpose, 'the man' would need to be standing next to you with an antenna pointed at your pocket to pick up the signal.

No reboot needed - as far as the module knows it's 'situation normal' - it simply can't find anything to talk to.
That's something to be looked at.I'm not sure whether an electronic switch to do that would be expensive, but it would probably need to carry less current, wouldn't it?

Personally, I trust the module. But if there is a $3 way to satisfy the very paranoid ones too, then I would go for it.
Anyone who can comment on that? @gta04? If it's cheaper than the power line the antenna should do too - GPS shouldn't work without it and 3G/GSM communication neither.The best would probably be an electronic and a mechanical switch in series, if it's just a mechanical switch it's not likely to be widely used.
 

Granitehead

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I don't care about the case when the Pyra is hacked. It is more a hard guarantee (meaning guaranteed by the hardware, if implemented correctly) of privacy: if the LED is off, the phone company doesn't know where you are at that precise moment. This is more than the soft guarantee by the OS status display. How much more value this provides to you personally is totally subjective. It isn't that important to me, but enough to feel good while paying (a couple of $) more money.
 You need a similar LED for wifi (and maybe even BT) then, because those can also be used to track you. And of course you should never enable any of them, because the second you enable one of them, who knows what kind of spy data they start sending to the NSA.

But even with such LEDs, how can you be sure that the LED doesn't blink while you're not looking? If you're assuming that the module and/or the OS is compromised enough to lie about the 3G power status, then it's not a big stretch to imagine that it uses some kind of method to do its dirty spying business while you're not looking.

And if the module is evil enough to lie about being on or off, then maybe it's also evil enough to have a tiny battery in it that can store just enough power to send some tracking data every once in a while without needing external power (which would turn on the LED).
I agree, for it to really make sense we would need to be able to switch off all forms of wireless comunications.I don't think an internal battery is plausible, would be easy to find and wouldn't store enough energy.

A hardwired LED is useless, because you might miss it going on for a short while.

Edit: Oops, merge please.
 
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spud42

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To be fair, the paranoia is understandable.
what? why? what are they doing that tracing them is necessary?

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

out of 7.2 billion people of this world they think that some government somewhere is desperate to track them?

if "they" wanted to track a person there is enough information available without GPS/wifi . every time you use a eftpos etc.... oops i just increased the paranoia.
 

comradekingu

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spud42:

It only concerns the internet population, of which constitutes industrialized modern nations. I dont know that any of them dont abuse to their ability, desperate tracking of citizens. I do know that it happens, on an industrial scale and its automated. Everyone (else) getting their hands on data, sensitive or not, are developing methods of automating looking into that data.

The reason why data collection occurs is known, and the result of it is known. Understandably, this can only get worse, and passing it off as irrelevant creates the problem. It is counterproductive.

Discussion:

Unless you are looking directly at it, a led doesnt do anything. The attacker can just transmit data when the screen is off, which is when the device is in your pocket.

The word http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia does not apply to the security concerns, as they are very real, and also a known. A led is a paranoid measure of security because it does not entail true security unless you commit suspicion and doubt in places they dont belong.

A switch deals with the issue, a led creates issues.   A switch is a point of failure and a cause for concern in fabrication, thus, the middleground here suits everyone, quite well. Solder in your own, or opt out.
 
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spud42

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Unless you are looking directly at it, a led doesnt do anything. The attacker can just transmit data when the screen is off, which is when the device is in your pocket.

The word http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia does not apply to the security concerns, as they are very real, and also a known. A led is a paranoid measure of security because it does not entail true security unless you commit suspicion and doubt in places they dont belong.

A switch deals with the issue, a led creates issues.   A switch is a point of failure and a cause for concern in fabrication, thus, the middleground here suits everyone, quite well. Solder in your own, or opt out.
so what are you doing that you think you will be attacked? what is so special about you that someone would go to the lengths needed to hack a very niche device just to track you? if you are not breaking any laws why be afraid of some unspecified person tracing your every movement?

as has been stated again and again. dont buy the damn module in your PYRA.
 
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Caine

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so what are you doing that you think you will be attacked? what is so special about you that someone would go to the lengths needed to hack a very niche device just to track you? if you are not breaking any laws why be afraid of some unspecified person tracing your every movement?

as has been stated again and again. dont buy the damn module in your PYRA.
Since you apparently having nothing to hide, please post your credit card number below.
 

jktm140887

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so what are you doing that you think you will be attacked? what is so special about you that someone would go to the lengths needed to hack a very niche device just to track you? if you are not breaking any laws why be afraid of some unspecified person tracing your every movement?


as has been stated again and again. dont buy the damn module in your PYRA.
Since you apparently having nothing to hide, please post your credit card number below.
C:\creditcardnumberlol.txt
 

comradekingu

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Spud42. There is a right way of doing security, and a wrong way. As has been discussed, not doing much of anything is not the answer, so you are left with a reward for involvement type question.

Claiming you shouldnt hide anything if you dont have anything to hide is both misinformed and a fallacy in regard to preserving security and as an extention of that, anonymity.

The question is always if, and the answer to it is what we are trying to solve.

Edit: you can not boil it down to involvement, nor a singular person. The right scope is everyone, and thats not being paranoid, its the level of security you have.
 
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frefol

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I have heard that using prepaid cell phones makes you a bigger target to tracking since the bad people use prepaid phones, so if that were true, wouldn't it also be plausible to think that people who turn on a cell radio for short periods would get looked at more closely?
 

comradekingu

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Prepaid phones is about the least anonymous you can be for that reason. Try sending something encrypted over it and watch what happens ;)

3g modems are fairly common in computers, and they turn on as the user pleases, so you arent alone in the matter.

If you look at it from the standpoint of having less to hide, you are making it easier for those that do by emulating their ways. Your browser user agent is probably very unique, but i suppose it helps to have diversity if someone wants to get under the radar without activly doing much to alert anyone to it.
 
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