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FSF fandroids fight to 'free' Android from Google's forepaws

The Register - The Free Software Foundation in Europe is taking a swipe at Android with a campaign to help punters wrestle their phones and data from Google's paws.

The foundation has flagged up seven pieces of software or services it reckons you'll want to use with your Android handset and possibly help develop. These will stop you being “spied on” and give you more freedom, the FSFE says.

While the average punter thinks of "free" as "no cost", the FSFE has a broader concept. It considers "free" software to be programs for which you can get hold of the source code and thus rebuild to your heart's content, safe in the knowledge that you're aware of what your gear is doing. Although Android is billed as open source, not all its source code is available leaving its internal operation a mystery, which gets the FSFE's back up.

According to the group, software and the drivers for most Android devices aren’t freely available, and phones and apps “frequently work against the interests of the users, spy on them and sometimes cannot even be removed”.