Bonum Certa Men Certa

This Device Inside Your Pocket is Not a Featureful Friend But a Health Risk and Danger to Human Rights

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Nov 22, 2023

Phone

I have a confession to make. I don't have a "smart" phone; the closest thing I have is a landline, and that too barely exists anymore because BT decided to replace landlines with fibre-optics and some "smart" handsets that won't work when the Internet is down or there's a power outage (not enough power comes through other means, like with headphones or USB devices... or simple old dial-up phones connected to copper).

Yesterday during routine errands I went through about 10 shops and 3 banks. The banks are sadly pushing "Web sites" and "apps". Any time you ask them for anything they keep asking questions like, "have you tried the app?"

If you make a phonecall, you will speak to a robot for many minutes before being assigned an actual human to speak to and the robot keeps trying to send you to some Web address/es in order for you to hang up and not - GASP - 'engage' an actual employee of theirs!

2.5 years ago I ranted about our government and local authorities resorting to the same and during 2020-21 I even went to stores that outright rejected cash payments and promoted some "app" (I turned away and my wife too was disgusted by their lousy excuses for this). Why turn down a bunch of coins for a plastic bottle of water? This isn't like booking a flight.

There are many reasons not to have a "smart" phone; it does not make life more complicated as the mere 'ownership' of a "smart" phone has all sort of downsides and dangers. Edward Snowden spoke about some of these 4 years ago (here's my very long response to it) and we wrote about it 2 months ago, Dr. Andy Farnell wrote about it two years ago (and again 2 months ago).

Calling them "smart" phones is problematic because they are barely phones anymore, they're just a portable device that brings with it a slew of human rights impediments, assuring social control (control over society rather than control by society). Even if it's "Android" or AOSP it's still detrimental to people's freedom and general dignity. It's not about being a "sore winner" but about being bluntly realistic.

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