1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Very disturbing

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MoodyBlues, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    I read this arstechnica article--and had to pick my chin up off the floor. :eek:

    "US Government-funded Android phones come preinstalled with unremovable malware

    Phones were sold to low-income people under the FCC's Lifeline Assistance program."

    Read the article and see if you share my outrage.

    Things we take for granted, like choosing which apps to install and what permissions to give them, are tossed out the window. Apps are installed completely transparently to the user--no action on their part triggers it, nor can they stop it. Malware is intentionally installed--and can't be removed without bricking the device:

    "An Android phone subsidized by the US government for low-income users comes preinstalled with malware that can't be removed without making the device cease to work..."

    I don't understand why this is okay...

    (Mods, yeah, I know where this will end up. *sigh* Sorry.)
     

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  2. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    Ads for what is my question? Free apps usually have ads. I would think a free phone would too.
     
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  3. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    yeah I don't get it why this ok either. I guess it truly is....you get what you pay for.
     
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  4. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    But they're not necessarily free--they're government subsidized.

    If a person pays $10 for a phone, because that's all they can afford, does that mean their souls should be sold to the government?

    Did you read the article? I ask because it's a much more profound, and insidious, issue than simply forcing ads on people who can't afford better.
     
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  5. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    I read of this matter too but pretty much disregarded it. Cruft and bloatware have been on PCs for decades now, the same problem has carried over to smartphones. Yeah, it's a big problem but corporations focus on making profit, it's a fallacy that they exist to 'serve their customers'.
     
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  6. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Not on any of my PCs. Of course, I only use Linux.
    But that's not what this is about. I'm guessing you haven't actually read the article I linked to, or read it in its entirety. It's a hugely different issue than bloatware...
     
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  7. Rob

    Rob Galaxy S20 Ultra
    Administrator

    Care to elaborate on this? I'm guessing you mean the "Android News" forum? Would honestly love to know why it's a *sigh* for you!
     
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  8. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    I've had Slackware as my primary desktop and laptop OS for almost two decades now, never once assumed that was what the general population was running too. The issue being, out of the billions of PCs out here in the real world, most are not running any Linux distro, and just a few years back when Windows was dominating the OS market with 90% + market share, the reality you're ignoring is that bloat and cruft was a big issue and continues even now to a lessor extent. As for reading the articles on this matter, yes I did and still just yawn over it -- pre-installed, system-level malware in Android devices is nasty stuff but hardly a revelation.
     
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  9. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    No, not News: P&CA. :eek:

    I don't go there if I can help it. Actually, I avoid it like the plague. When I was staff, I couldn't post there; now, I choose not to, except for very rare, compelling reasons.

    I come to AF for fun, for camaraderie [especially with certain other longtime members], for information, and to offer advice if I have any. I do not come here to see, or participate in, mudslinging, name-calling, seeing opposing opinions torn to shreds, etc. If I wanted that, I'd go back to being active on Reddit. :rolleyes:

    There's a thread I started in Suggestions that addresses this. I can't recall if you popped in there; if not, and you're interested, please do.

    And I have to say it's really cool seeing you active around here. :)
     
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  10. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Ignoring? How is stating "Not on any of my PCs. Of course, I only use Linux," ignoring it? If anything, it underscores the fact that windows has been garbage all these years, hence the fact that I don't use it!

    At any rate, you're certainly entitled to your opinion on this topic. Personally, I find the behavior described in the article reprehensible.
     
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  11. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    I have a phone from that program.

    When the program was first implemented, I 'knew' that the only reason for the program was to put a spyware gadget into all the hands of the poor.

    After endless prodding from ads- HEY, WANT A FREE PHONE?
    FREE PHONE HERE!
    PHONE?
    FREE PHONE!
    I finally gave in and said out loud, "Alright already! Send me a free phone dammit!"

    So they did.

    I was just going to play games with it and stuff, hahaha.

    It did have its share of ads, and news (adnews? newsads?), and some other stuff like that.

    But to be honest, it really was not that bad.

    I disabled all that crap, including a proprietary app from the provider and even uninstalled another few.

    The phone works great.
    I have no ads at all.

    It has Android Go as an OS, and I really like that.
    For a 1GB device, it almost keeps up with my 2GB device and actually has better sound quality on calls.

    I can't say that I am anymore paranoid about its actions as I am about my device that has a non-Go OS that has Facebook and other apps like that permanently installed.

    The Go OS is very light, not having many of the traditional 'spyware' apps that we have to live with on a full, stock OS.

    So, as far as the 'malware' being uninstallable or whatever, at least with my device I am not convinced.

    Of course, there are many, many, (many!) devices that are used for this program, soooooo...
     
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  12. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    After a careful reading of the article and all the affiliated articles linked inside it, I find that my device is NOT one of the affected.

    Also noticed is the fact that the phone in the article is sold for $35.

    This means that it is an upgrade to the phone that is provided for free by the carrier.
    So this device is an elective unit paid for by the consumer, and so only the service itself is being subsidized by the government.
     
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  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

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  14. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    Many folks consider the MIUI OS to BE malware from China, hahaha!
     
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  15. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    FWIW I think UMX Mobile in Hong Kong is no longer in business. It can be difficult to sustain a business with cheapo.
     
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  16. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    I did read the article @MoodyBlues I didn't see the insidiousness. You do know there where free phones before Obama phones, right? It's the carriers not the government. Off topic is the perfect place for your post. So many carriers offer free phones around the world.
     
  17. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    I had never even heard of it.
    And the idea that it was $35 sent up red flags, as to replace the free phone is $25.

    I would think that an upgrade would cost more than $10, or else what is the point of the upgrade?

    What is a $35 phone going to do so much better than a $25 phone so that I don't just get a $50 phone?
     
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  18. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    I thought that way back when. I'm feeling much better now.
     
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  19. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    The insidiousness is that apps and other things can be downloaded without your consent.

    The same reason (among others) I won't use Brave browser.

    Also, this is not a free phone provided by the carrier. It is $35, paid by the consumer. So the service is subsidized, not the phone.
    Add to this the fact that the phone is bricked if you disable this covert action, and you pretty much have the definition of insidious.
     
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  20. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    ...he said, as he took his meds and an ad appeared onto his lockscreen...

    lol
     
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  21. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    I'm self-medicating ;) and haven't seen a lock screen ad in years. That was a wallpaper thing.
    I'm not an artists.
     
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  22. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    There were other things that I remember as well.
    Isn't that OS rather strict with shutting off user apps?
    I seem to remember people having to pin apps that they wanted to keep running.
     
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  23. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    No idea @puppykickr I just stopped using those wallpapers and either used a screenshot or a photo for wallpaper. I only go live wallpapers near holidays.
     
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  24. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    My take away from this is certainly not "outrage", it's more like that, Assurance Wireless needs to be more choosy about who supplies their phones. And only use reputable suppliers, and not whatever fly-by-night operations.
     
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  25. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Enthusiast

    I like dark themes, and wallpapers tend to use a bit of energy, often depending upon the size and the briteness of the media.

    I figured out that I can have something cool on the lockscreen, as it only is on for seconds at a time, and an all black pic for a wallpaper that is only around 7b.

    This saves a ton of battery.
     
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