Ethical phones

Kurtis Hanna kurtis at
Tue Jul 18 22:23:00 UTC 2017

What I'm saying is that, IMHO, buying/using a device that likely would
have ended up in the trash or recycled for parts is more ethical than
buying a newly manufactured phone every 18 months, even if it is made
with mostly recycled or ethically sourced material.

Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

> Hi Kurtis, Technoethical sounds interesting but if the original
> device was not ethical (I don't know about Samsungs record) the
> refurbished device would hardly be ethical either ? I am thinking of
> the device rather than the software / OS
> Sent from my iPad
>> On 18 Jul 2017, at 21:55, Kurtis Hanna <kurtis at> wrote:
>> I wanted to mention that, when it comes to figuring out what phone
>> has the least environmental / social injustice impact, it is
>> sometimes better to buy used and refurbished devices than it is to
>> buy Fairphone type devices.
>> New phones that use recycled and ethically sourced materials are
>> great!
>> Preventing a phone from needing to be recycled because it has a
>> well maintained LineageOS or Replicant ROM is also great and
>> potentially greater!
>> Free software helps our society move away from the planned
>> obsolescence strategy of proprietary software companies.
>> I use a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone that I refurbished, as a member of 
>> It now sports a ROM from
>> that has regular security and other updates to it. I'm looking to
>> switch to a Technoethical Note 2 soon.
>> Cordially, kurtis
>> Max Mehl:
>>> Hi Padraig,
>>> # Decarraig [2017-07-17 20:51 +0200]:
>>>> I have been following various discussions on
>>>> android at and I am wondering if FSFE has any
>>>> policy on ethical issues with mobile phones e.g. Conflict
>>>> mining, cobalt mining etc ?
>>> No, to my knowledge, we don't have a policy on that. But if we
>>> had, it would probably be "The more ethical, the better". We are
>>> experts when it comes to ethical software, but I doubt we have 
>>> enough expertise to evaluate the many granular issues of certain 
>>> minerals and the often dubious circumstances in which they are
>>> produced – not to speak of the labour conditions in which mobile
>>> phones are manufactured. This is a field large and complicated
>>> enough for dozens of NGOs.
>>> However, many of us appreciate initiatives like Fairphone, and we
>>> will continue to help them to improve the freedom of their
>>> software (and users).
>>> Best, Max
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