(Intentionally) blocking the Phone's signal

I’m in the process of scaling down my electronics footprint. Would like to have a phone that remains usable as a PDA with the phone component inactivated (hardware toggle) or removed, but can be used as a phone and talking to the cellular network only when I want it to.


  1. The fairphone doesn’t have such a toogle by chance?
  2. Would a feature like that b roadmap worthy?
  3. Is the phone component/antenna removable from the fairphone and does it retain its bootability/other functionality?



No and the FP2 won’t either as far as I know.

I think it is which is why I added it to the modules wishlist. Although it might not be feasable as a module. But creating a wishlist for the FP3 is a bit premature I think.

There is flight mode, which disables all network function, or you deactivate your SIM card, and only activate it, when you need it (or you just remove the SIM).

I don’t see, why a hardware toggle for something like this would be practical.

I don’t think flight mode or even removing the SIM are guarantees that you can’t still be spied on.

1 Like

But @balin did not mention being concernec about him being spied on. Like @Stefan mentions: Flightmode is exactly what @balin describes (especially since he put “hardware toggle” in parentheses). For Fairphone 1 (and other dual-SIM phones I know) you can also deactivate each of the SIM-slots separately in software.

If you want to hide your phone from any spy, you can put it in a Faraday’s pouch. Have a look at http://killyourphone.com/. I’ve sewed such a pouch using this shielding fabric and it works remarkably well.


But be aware only using it in “flyghtmode” makes sense, because otherwise (every) phone will try to increase sending power to regain contact to the sending antenna of the provider and that would contradict the aim of beeing shielded.
Plus: It will increase the battery consumption (I think drasitacally). Thus it only makes sense while beeing in flightmode and TRY to make it as unseeable as possible from the surrounding.


That’s correct but in my experience the shielding (if the bag is properly closed) is strong enough even with increased sending power. That only leaves the battery issue which is certainly a problem.

And temperature increasing I suppose… :smile:

paulakreuzer divined my intentions correctly: be able to use a phone as a PDA without any wireless tracking possible - phone module switched off and wireless entirely under my control - equivalent to what www.puri.sm is (trying to?) doing with hardware kill switches for networking and camera on their Librem machines …

1 Like