Freedom vs Security, What's More Important?

Discussion in 'Tech News' started by pc747, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    There is this tug of war going on with Google and many android manufacturers that has been going on for years and that is between making a secure device or keeping the device free and open. For years the die hard android enthusiasts have fought manufacturers, carriers, and Google to keep android open for custom software and administrative privileges to fully customize their device. Let's face it, the Droid exploded on the backs of the same backyard development that manufacturers are now shutting out.

    When we first started seeing locked bootloaders with the Droid X, manufacturers and carriers were trying to protect their software and prevent (unpaid) tethering. But after a few scares Google has chosen to protect their empire from being burned down by spyware, especially an empire they are trying to build to include enterprises.

    More importantly are the users, some who have evolved over the years to wanting a device that works, and others who are tired of a manufacturer or carrier shoving software on their devices. And the one device we turned to for that freedom is now evolving as a result of looking to enact stronger security. For myself I love having a device to root and play with but a device with my bank info, especially after the recent Experian hack, I want secured more than I want a few less apps, tweaks, and customizable features. But even though that is my choice that is not the choice that others will choose which leaves the question of whether security should be sacrificed for freedom even at the choice of the user or if security should be placed over freedom?

    There will be many debates back and forth, which I can not wait to hear, but I have to bring up something very important in this debate. When manufacturers give users the option to choose freedom but do so by taking full responsibility (agreeing to to voiding of warranty) many choose to complain and/or look for a way around taking on the responsibility. So if people choosing freedom look to avoid the responsibility when they brick their phone, should we continue to fault manufacturers like Google who look choose security over freedom?

    If someone is willing to blame a manufacturer for them bricking their phone why wouldn't they do the same when they foolishly download a free version of a paid app and open their device up to spyware that compromises their information?
     
  2. cynkrzy

    cynkrzy Platinum Member

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    I think the flaw in the premise is that we have to be dictated to. I take responsibility for my actions, fully aware that it could lead to things like "Bricks" and less likely "Hacks".

    No reason they can't build a secure device and software, and provide the capability for those that choose to use that device as they see fit, accepting the risk, though I don't see it as great a risk as some do.

    We've become a society of sheep, allowing government and large corporations to save us from ourselves.
     
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  3. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    I believe it turned from allowing to demanding about half a decade ago. The most prevalent complaints now are about the bearing of the fruits. Folks don't want the nanny state they've been demanding.

    Support Our Troops !!!
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  4. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    True, but let's be frank. We are talking about corporations and they care more about money. If the money was in keeping it wide open that would be the direction they would go. They know just like we know that when it all goes down the finger will be pointed back at them. Even if Joe decided to unlock, root, and install every pirated app he could find off some site from China he could barely read. If his data get corrupted he is going to parade in front of the local new station and youtube with his phone bashing Google and the manufacturer. And that same guy is the one begging for some triangle away app so the manufacturer is unable to tell that he unlocked the bootloader.

    I agree with that it is my device I should be able to remove security locks to do what I want. But that means responsibility. Unfortunately there are some who look to avoid that responsibility and point out "it is one device they are a billion dollar company it is not hurting their bottom line". I believe that is partly why we have manufacturers leaning on the side of security (correction) playing it safe. And as you know MB the few manages to spoil it for the many who seem to know how to behave.
     
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  5. alonzofretwell

    alonzofretwell New Member

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    Freedom is more important. I subscribe to the wisdom of Ben Franklin who said "Those who choose security over freedom deserve neither"(sic.). I add a culture that chooses security over freedom Desires neither freedom or security.. Indeed allowing security to prevail over freedom will bring neither..


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

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    Can you truly be free if you are insecure? In today's world the two can't co-exist without one giving a little to the other and vice-versa.

    I would choose security in the smart phone arena simply because, for myself, there isn't a compelling reason to maintain root now.

    I would rather have peace of mind than always having to worry about what/when/where/how I can use my phone.
     
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  7. kixfan

    kixfan Senior Member

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    I agree. The more I think about it the more I agree that root is far less important to me than it used to be. My main reasons I root my phones now are running custom roms like Alliance and the ability to place apps on the SDcard to save space. As phones change and update the storage methods I think lack of space will be less of an issue. I used to root for free tethering but most carrier plans include it now anyway since they give you a set amount of data. They could care less how you use it. Times they are a changing.
     
  8. 94lt1

    94lt1 Super Moderator
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    I'm in the camp of, they can do both..they can lock these things down like fort Knox and still give the "owner" the ability to get root level control and make changes as we see fit...

    The new frontier is going to be automotive.... Can you own the car..yes..but the manufacturers are saying you can't ever really own the pcm and the code under the hood....
     
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  9. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

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    I used to rom all the time. The added bonuses to customization can't be beat. Now I would just be happy for a dark theme. Samsung won't release their theme manager for my phone though.

    You can move apps to SD right now without root.

    From the Edge of the Galaxy
     
  10. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Great points.

    Also one of the biggest reasons that sparked root/bootloader unlocking in the first place, that I failed to mention in the op, was manufacturers releasing a device and failing to support it 6 months later. With a locked bootloader you were basically stuck but with an unlocked bootloader you had roms.

    I think we are seeing a better overall support for high end smart phones, or are we?

    And what do we consider a reasonable amount of support because manufacturers are looking to cut it off at about 18 month to 2 years. And if you are one who want to use their phone until it stops working vs give 800 every 2 years for a new phone, then you are out of luck unless you buy a nexus.

    A compromise I thought would be to allow users to flash Google's software but someone still have to make sure the software will work for that phone. I mean yes the source material is made available but not many understand how to compile source and the amount of people that would bother to care are already rom makers. So is there any where we can go from there (I also would not be surprised if that is one of the many questions being asked about modular phones)?
     
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  11. kixfan

    kixfan Senior Member

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    I also have been unable to find a non-root equivalent of Titanium Backup. I still have some apps and games that don't store game data in the cloud. If anyone knows of such an app I'd be appreciative of it.
     
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  12. MissionImprobable

    MissionImprobable Silver Member

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    Here's the thing: you void your warranty if you tinker with your TV, but it's yours to do with as you please. You void your warranties if you tinker with your router and modem, but if you buy them rather than renting them from your cable company they're yours to do with as you please. Your PC has admin-level control by default whether you build it yourself or buy it from a manufacturer pee-assembled. As noted above, it's only on phones and with some newer cars that we seem to have such draconian measures being taken by the device and wireless providers.

    All the KNOX, locked bootloaders, and warnings in the world won't save an idiot from allowing side loaded apps to be installed, and it won't stop the malicious from using exploits. That doesn't mean the rest of us should be forced into an environment where the things we own aren't ours to do with as we please.

    What's funny is that a rooted device with aftermarket security apps that enable the user to disallow factory resets is safer from use if stolen than anything that Google and others provide to us out of the box. Continue to add features like the forthcoming pop ups when apps request permissions on devices to make users more aware, but don't tell us what we can and can't do with our own machines. Especially with the advent of better device-level encryption, there's just no need to lock users out of their phones, tablets, etc.
     
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