From Ars Technica
The Tor Project recently announced the release of its prototype for a Tor-enabled smartphone—an Android phone beefed up with privacy and security in mind, and intended as equal parts opsec kung fu and a gauntlet to Google.Read the rest of the article here: http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/11/tor-phone-prototype-google-hostility-android-open-source/
The new phone, designed by Tor developer Mike Perry, is based on Copperhead OS, the hardened Android distribution profiled first by Ars earlier this year.
"The prototype is meant to show a possible direction for Tor on mobile," Perry wrote in a blog post. "We are trying to demonstrate that it is possible to build a phone that respects user choice and freedom, vastly reduces vulnerability surface, and sets a direction for the ecosystem with respect to how to meet the needs of high-security users."
To protect user privacy, the prototype runs OrWall, the Android firewall that routes traffic over Tor, and blocks all other traffic. Users can punch a hole through the firewall for voice traffic, for instance, to enable Signal.
The prototype only works on Google Nexus and Pixel hardware, as these are the only Android device lines, Perry wrote, that "support Verified Boot with user-controlled keys." While strong Linux geekcraft is required to install and maintain the prototype, Perry stressed that the phone is also aimed at provoking discussion about what he described as "Google's increasing hostility towards Android as a fully Open Source platform."
It’s about the software backdoors, stupid!
Apple's iOS is famously more secure than the Android security garbage fire, right?
But Android security will eventually improve, and when that happens, Perry told Ars in an e-mail, "then the next measure will be the ability of the platform to resist backdoors of various kinds."
A closed source platform, such as Apple's mobile operating system, is at much greater risk of being compelled to deploy software backdoors, he added.