We want to regain control over our personal data. eelo will be an option for people who don't wish to giveaway all their life to big corporations. It will also offer increased privacy against governments.
But eelo is *not* intended to release "ultra-secured" systems that could be used for illegal activities, to escape laws. It's probably acceptable to have some personal data intercepted under a legal procedure. It's definitely not acceptable to have everyone's personal data massively intercepted or accessed "just in case of".
First of all, we have a clear focus: increased privacy.
Second, it's not only about the mobile OS, it's also about associated web services. Who would care about a new mobile OS if he used Google services everywhere?
Last but not the least, in my opinion the common point of failure for all these projects is: LACK OF APPLICATIONS. But as eelo is forked from Android sources, it will be able to run any mainstream app. (read https://www.indidea.org/gael/blog/leaving-apple-google-eelo-odyssey-part1-mobile-os/ if you want to know more about this important point)
eelo is a non-profit project, in the public interest, and will be open source.
We're still early stage though, and we want to release quality stuff. So we will release source code on GitHub as soon as we are ready to unveil first eelo products.
That's a known "grey zone". This question has been in eelo early posts at: https://hackernoon.com/leaving-apple-and-google-my-eelo-odyssey-part1-the-mobile-os-f378ee247315
In short: on many vendor hardwares, some low-level proprietary drivers are driving several components like the camera, the GPS, various sensors… Hardware vendors do not provide source code for these drivers which are are difficult to rewrite unless doing some heavy and resource-consuming reverse-engineering. Some of those “black box” drivers could possibly leak users’ private data.
Future options for eelo to address this issue will be to:
- do some heavy reverse engineering on those hardware components to rewrite open source drivers
- partner with FairPhone or similar 100% open hardware projects
- audit low-level drivers to detect unappropriate behaviours
- design a 100% open source eelo phone
As explained earlier, eelo assets are going to be put into a non-profit organization such as an association and, hopefully later, into a foundation. This will ensure their sustainability while providing the opportunity to receive some public and private donations. As this is not ready yet, Gaël Duval's own legal entity is used (Cleus SASU) for this crowdfunding campaign.
We will focus first on devices already well supported by LineageOS which is the open source project we're using as a core for the smartphone OS.
But we're taking in consideration user's request for this or that device. Please check https://eelo.io, we're going to put an online survey about device requests.
Paid applications support is a little tricky for apps that are purchased from Google Play Store or apps that are using Google Play Services for in-app purchase. But the ultimate plan is to start a new repository of application with a new SDK for developers so they can easily push their apps to the eelo application repository. As a last resort, users could install Google Play Store...
For apps such as Spotify it should be OK because you can subscribe a paid plan on their website.
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