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  1. Unless you are a true techno-weenie, a smart phone is always a big compromise. As people found out at the Chinese Olympics, you are never in complete control of one if it is used in any sort of public network. If you are going to go to all that trouble, I would suggest packet radio instead. Chances are you are mostly going to use it for local comms anyways. But if you needed long haul, you can run the packet modem on HF with the right rig instead.

    No method of comms is truly 100% secure. But why make it easier for tptb. Sending encrypted packet will make it more difficult than it is worth for NSA to waste resources dealing with, cuz most of us aren’t the sort of big fish they are looking to snoop. If you are feeling particularly zesty, use encrypted packet in combo with spread spectrum and really mess them up.

  2. benjammin – I’m focusing on a post-TEOTWAWKI scenario, and I definitely recommend keeping your device(s) off of the Internet or any network you don’t completely control.

  3. There is a device that was advertised on this blog some time ago. I forgot the name, but was basically a line-of-sight radio system. It had an antennae and the reviews seemed to be good. Granted, it had limited range, but at a price of $50 for 2, it would possibly be better than nothing.

  4. My concerns with the Ulephone phones mentioned center around their being Chinese-made. With all the recent attention to the way that the CCP is so deeply entrenched in their manufacturing industries I would be shocked if there was NOT some kind of embedded spying capability in any electronic device made in China. The price and build quality seem good, especially compared to the stratospheric prices for Apple or Samsung offerings but I am not sure the risk of having my personal information and location compromised is acceptable.

  5. I think everyone is missing the point of the “cell phone”. I think J.M. is using the phone as a mobile command center for his various wifi enabled devices. You could probably tear out the cellular antenna and it would still fulfill 90% of it’s intended role. I could be wrong but this is the way I interpret this part of the article.

  6. Can definitely see the practicality of having a decent case.I use an OtterBox

    Haven’t really thought about the practicality of a smartphone after a grid down situation. Maybe downloading some local maps ,compass app ? dope card ?

    Have a small power bank in the bug out bag that will charge the phone twice. Always thought after a week the phone would be useless. Like somebody else mention two way radios or a ham set up seems to have more practicality although there’s the issue with repeaters . . . . .

    Always willing to be educated. Will continue reading 😉

  7. As Just Some Guy indicated, I’m talking about using a cell phone in a grid-down scenario where the Internet most likely doesn’t exist anymore, so any spyware that may exist on your mobile device couldn’t ‘call home’ even if it wanted to. When using my devices under current conditions I never install a SIM card and I only connect to networks that I directly control. The only time I connect them to the Internet is when I want to update the installed apps or download updated external data like maps.

    1. Yeah, fine, but until then it is potentially sharing everything? GPS locations, photos of cache sites, grocery lists. What about apps like EchoLink, isn’t it possible to be sharing repeater locations and frequencies with CCP, or anyone else that could hijack a phone?
      In a grid-down situation the internet will still exist, even if you can’t access it. I think devices like Stingray are only the visible tip of the iceberg as far as data collection, my suspicion is that what we the public know is generations behind government ability.
      One thing that I demand is a removable battery for the ultimate control over when and where I can be tracked.
      Like the old poster in Fox Mulder’s office (X-Files) says, Trust No One.
      There are enough cheap laptop options that you could have one that is never connected to the internet with most of these capabilities stashed away in your Faraday box. USB drives are insanely cheap for what you have in such a tiny package – I keep one for important documents, one for photos, another is just music files…I keep supply lists, maps, various scenario plans, recipes for anything I can make, homestead instructions for my survivors – practically everything I can think of that might be important has a digital copy saved on a USB drive in my Faraday box.

  8. BinWY – that’s why I recommend never putting a SIM card in your prep device(s), and only connect to WiFi networks that you completely control (like the field network I described). After you’ve done the initial setup of the device, installed all of the apps and downloaded your offline content there’s really no reason to connect to the Internet again, unless you want to update your apps. If you do want to update them and are concerned about info on your device getting out, you can install the apps on a different clean device with no sensitive data on it, update the apps when necessary, extract the APK files for the updates and transfer them to your prep device, then run the APK. You can use a microSD card to transfer new/updated files on the device, and store it in a Faraday bag/box when not in use.

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