Pyra Mobile Edition & Location Privacy


Librelism

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Thanks Lukey! I've read that entire thread and the wiki entry, and if I'm understanding correctly after going through all this, the whole answer is:
  • The mobile modem CAN be powered off. The way to do this would be with a software command that sends a signal to the modem's gpio, since a physical kill switch for the modem was not hooked up to the Pyra's board
  • While the modem is powered on, it needs to look for towers in order to check for a signal, but if it's powered off as mentioned above, there should be none of this happening.

As long as all this is true, then this is definitely the answer I was looking for. This just leaves a couple more questions I'm wondering about:
  • Will the modem always power on by default when the Pyra is powered on? Or, if I shut it off via the GPIO, will it remember this and keep it off until I explicitly turn it back on?
  • If the Pyra is completely shut down, is the modem also completely powered off?
 

pmprog

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If it had no power it can't do anything. And if you're really that paranoid, literally remove the pyra's battery when you're not using it, them you have absolutely no doubt that nothing is doing anything
 

Librelism

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I mean, I can do that, but that's already what I'm doing with my cell phone now, and I can safely say removing/reinserting the battery for years on end has gotten really annoying lol.

Am looking forward to a device that I know I can use while off the grid when i want it to be, and go online when i need it. If Pyra was unable to for some reason, then I know Librem 5 will have a kill switch. That being said, the Pyra would be much cooler.
 
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Grench

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I mean, I can do that, but that's already what I'm doing with my cell phone now, and I can safely say removing/reinserting the battery for years on end has gotten really annoying lol.

Am looking forward to a device that I know I can take off the grid when i want it to be, and go online when i need it. If Pyra was unable to for some reason, then I know Librem 5 will have a kill switch. That being said, the Pyra would be much cooler.

Note: This idea is as unsafe as you are willing to make it.
You could always build your own switch on the battery lead. Create a strip of foil, plastic, foil. Connect the two foil pieces to wires. Connect the wires through the case. Put a switch on it or cross the wires when you want it on.
 
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elvissteinjr

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The mobile modem CAN be powered off. The way to do this would be with a software command that sends a signal to the modem's gpio, since a physical kill switch for the modem was not hooked up to the Pyra's board
There's also an external (software controlled) power switch on the mainboard, which is not part of the modem. If you don't trust that hardware, you'll have a lot of other problems.
 

Librelism

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You could always build your own switch on the battery lead. Create a strip of foil, plastic, foil. Connect the two foil pieces to wires. Connect the wires through the case. Put a switch on it or cross the wires when you want it on.

I've imagined doing this before for my current phone, but I'm not willing to risk an electrical short (or worse, a fire lol). I'll deal with my stupid "always on" cell phone for the time being as I look forward to my Pyra!

There's also an external (software controlled) power switch on the mainboard, which is not part of the modem. If you don't trust that hardware, you'll have a lot of other problems.

I definitely trust a feature on the main board which promises to kill the power to the modem if that's what the documentation states it will do. It's really just the modem itself that is kind of a black box, so I was torn between using the one within the Pyra itself, or getting a separate device as a 4G hotspot. As long as the modem can be completely shut off when I'm done using it, then I'm happy :cool:
 

rSl

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I was torn between using the one within the Pyra itself, or getting a separate device as a 4G hotspot.

i'm sensitive to privacy issues too (back in the pre-snowden-days 'they' called it 'paranoid') ;) and as i will not use my pyra a lot while outdoors, i'll
go the 4g-hotspot route for eventual mobile-data needs.
there is the software controllable baseband-power-killswitch on the pyra-mainboard which is safe to shut the mobile-modem off completely, that is a good thing, but
as the baseband chip is soldered onto the board you allways have the same unique imei-number on the network.
when using an external 4g-hotspot one can switch it out to have a completely new imei cheaply.
and of course it will save pyra's battery as it has it's on li-po for powering the baseband and wifi.
but when you use your pyra a lot outdoors then it will be probably a lot easier in usage with just one device doing 4g too.
 

Librelism

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as the baseband chip is soldered onto the board you allways have the same unique imei-number on the network

Uh oh! Tin foil hat is back on! Maybe I won't retract my support request asking to switch to the Standard Edition then LOL. Being able to swap out a unique ID like that does sound like a nice privacy measure :mad:
 
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levi

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You can always get a new IMEI by buying a new peripheral board from ED, undoing the four/five screws under your Pyra, removing the battery and base, unclipping the CPU board, removing the LCD cable, swapping round the peripheral boards, then plugging everything in in reverse. After doing it a few times I'm sure you'll be able to do it blindfolded.
 
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rSl

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yeah, feeling private when doing electronic communication is just a lack of knowledge. ;)
 

Grench

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I've imagined doing this before for my current phone, but I'm not willing to risk an electrical short (or worse, a fire lol). I'll deal with my stupid "always on" cell phone for the time being as I look forward to my Pyra!
Which is why I put in, "Note: This idea is as unsafe as you are willing to make it."
 
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Librelism

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You can always get a new IMEI by buying a new peripheral board from ED

More options for privacy can't hurt! I'm near wifi most of the time for work, home, etc, so I'm leaning towards trying out the standard edition for a while, use a hotspot or USB modem to address the "on-the-go" scenarios, and if carrying a separate hotspot/dongle for that becomes too annoying, maybe I could get a Mobile Edition board down the line and swap it in.

yeah, feeling private when doing electronic communication is just a lack of knowledge


Amen! I've been trying to achieve maximum online privacy since like 2012, and it's been a constant uphill battle ever since. Every little thing modern computers and services do are constantly working against those with that goal...
 

rSl

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You can always get a new IMEI by buying a new peripheral board from ED, undoing the four/five screws under your Pyra, removing the battery and base, unclipping the CPU board, removing the LCD cable, swapping round the peripheral boards, then plugging everything in in reverse. After doing it a few times I'm sure you'll be able to do it blindfolded.

and if you have the funds then just buy an extra pyra for easy outdoor-comm and use the wlan-only pyra at home for enhanced privacy.
this will also boost pyra sales and ed gets more money for needed coffee. :)
[doublepost=1533594716,1533593955][/doublepost]
I've been trying to achieve maximum online privacy since like 2012, and it's been a constant uphill battle ever since. Every little thing modern computers and services do are constantly working against those with that goal...

fully ack.
ai-brains want to get fed. it would be nice if they just ask before stealing our data all the time.
 

Grench

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I for one welcome our new AI overlords. It will be like spellwreckers for our lives!
 
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