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28 February 2012, 14:43

FSFE launches "Free Your Android!" campaign

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Free Android logo
Free Android
Source: FSFE
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has launched a campaign to "Free Your Android!" and create a free software Android ecosystem, from the ROMs and drivers in phone and tablet devices to the applications which run on it. "Users deserve to have full control over their mobile devices", said Torsten Grote, campaign initiator and FSFE member, adding "If it runs proprietary software, you're handing control of your digital life to manufacturers and app developers."

The campaign says that with Carrier IQ logging information on phones for carriers without users' knowledge, and the appearance of applications which upload contacts, a user would benefit from running a device which only runs free software. "Even though you may not have the skills to directly exercise all of your freedom, you will benefit from a vibrant community that can do it together", says the campaign's web page.

The campaign looks to free both the operating system and the applications. For the operating system, it suggests Replicant OS as a 100% free Android, though it only runs on a couple of devices, or CyanogenMod which runs on many more devices because it makes use of non-free drivers already on the device.

For applications, the campaign says that even free software downloads from the Google Android Market cannot be trusted and recommends that people do not use it. Instead, it offers the F-Droid project which has created a free software only repository of applications. Calling on proprietary app developers and asking them to make free software is also suggested as a way to help the campaign, with the developers' responses and objections being collected on a wiki.


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