[Replicant] [PATCH 5/9] freedom-privacy-security-issues: Free hardware do exist today.

Paul Kocialkowski paulk at replicant.us
Wed Apr 20 09:24:49 UTC 2016

Le dimanche 27 mars 2016 à 15:43 +0200, Denis 'GNUtoo' Carikli a écrit :
> On Thu, 03 Mar 2016 16:47:56 +0100
> Paul Kocialkowski <paulk at replicant.us> wrote:
> > Free hardware means a fully free hardware design (both at pcb and
> > chip levels). I don't know of any mobile devices that fits the
> > chip-level hardware freedom requirement, so I think it's fair to say
> > that free hardware doesn't exist in the scope of mobile devices.
> > 
> > Perhaps the current version should contain this analysis, emphasis
> > that it's about mobile devices. Also it should contrast with the rest
> > about hardware freedom not being a practical possibility for most
> > people.
> I tried to be generic, not to have to do extensive research on the
> topic.
> I'm sure that some devices that targeted the community have schematics
> and gerbers.

This is however not sufficient for qualifying these devices as "free hardware",
since the chips are not free hardware.

> As for mobile phones, I'm not aware of all community friendly devices
> that existed. Some are way less known.
> The GTA02 and the GTA04 have schematics. I've not checked the rights
> and licenses that we are given with such schematics.
> As for chip-level, we couldn't run 100% free software on
> laptops/desktops until very recently. Many GNU/Linux distributions also
> ships non-free software.
> Software/Hardware freedom being highly incomplete doesn't mean that it
> doesn't exist.

Maybe "exist" is not the right term then. Saying that it exists implies that
some devices respect users' hardware freedom, which is not the case. But saying
that it doesn't sounds like it's 0%. So we should find a way to give a more
detailed view, without getting too technical.

I think having a distinction between PCB and chips for hardware freedom is the
best way to do it, those concepts are not to hard to explain.

If you feel like doing it, let me know, otherwise I'll draft something at some

Those slides might help, since they raise the issue: https://ftp-osl.osuosl.org/

> However, if you know more about this topic with regard to mobile
> phones and tablets, it might be interesting to add the current state of
> affairs. This way it may help promoting the issue.

Indeed, just like we include examples for free firmwares, it would be relevant.
Such examples are given in the slides linked above.

Paul Kocialkowski, Replicant developer

Replicant is a fully free Android distribution running on several
devices, a free software mobile operating system putting the emphasis on
freedom and privacy/security.

Website: https://www.replicant.us/
Blog: https://blog.replicant.us/
Wiki/tracker/forums: https://redmine.replicant.us/
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