Why we no longer sell phones with GrapheneOS

For nearly three years, we have sold de-googled phones with a variety of operating systems, including GrapheneOS.  However, we can no longer offer phones with GrapheneOS in good conscience, for the reasons outlined below.

While GrapheneOS remains a top choice for security and privacy, we feel the toxic nature of its founder (and specifically his attacks on our business) no longer make GrapheneOS a viable choice.

How it all began

Early in November, GrapheneOS sent us a message on X (fka Twitter) stating they did not approve of our selling older phones such as the Pixel 4a with GrapheneOS, nor did they approve of our offering CalyxOS as a choice.

Having previously seen how a typical conversation with GrapheneOS goes (more on that below), we blocked them.

A month later, they messaged us again using a sock puppet account and posted the above.

Their chief complaint seems to be that we sell older phones that are near (or beyond) regular updates from the manufacturer.  This can be a security concern, however…

Why we sell older phones like the Pixel 4a

  • Not everyone can afford a newer phone.  While the Pixel 6 is a fine device, it is significantly more expensive than an older phone.  Additionally, many people are not heavy phone users.  They simply want a phone that can do the basics in a private way, and have trouble justifying the additional expense of a newer phone.
  • Not everyone wants a phone made by google.  This one we totally get.  While we don’t think there are any secret backdoors in the Pixel phones, we understand that many may not want to support google, even if indirectly by purchasing a used phone.  Hence, we always try to offer models from OnePlus or Motorola.
  • Not everyone wants a 5G phone.  We don’t have any concerns about the health effects of 5G, but it’s clear that many people do.  4G-only phones are becoming increasingly difficult to find, especially in newer models.  Thus our current offering of two non-5G phones.
  • Not everyone wants a large phone.  The Pixel 4a is significantly smaller than most newer phones.  Especially when used without a case, it has a slim profile that some people prefer.  It’s also much lighter than the Pixel 6.
  • Everyone has a right to the level of privacy and security that they desire.  This one is the most important.  While older phones may be somewhat less secure than newer ones, for some the trade-offs may be worth it (see above).  We are happy to provide choices for people.


We did not respond to the tweet from GrapheneOS above, nor have we ever publicly said anything negative about GrapheneOS.  Despite that, on December 10 they posted the following:

These statements, which are clearly defamatory in nature, were completely unprovoked.  We have never criticized the GrapheneOS project, nor have we spread any sort of “misinformation” about it.

We are also not “scamming” our customers, nor users of GrapheneOS.  Unlike some websites that pretend to offer devices uniquely created by them, we are very clear about what we do and what we offer – we take lightly used phones (with the manufacturer and model clearly identified) and install a privacy-focused operating system (again, also clearly identified).  All of the software we install is licensed under the MIT or GPL license, which allows for commercial use.  There is nothing illegal or unethical about what we do.

The behavior of GrapheneOS

Sadly, we are far from the first to be defamed by GrapheneOS.  They have frequently attacked other members of the open-source and privacy community, including many who were previously strong supporters of GrapheneOS.  The same accusations have been consistently thrown around – labeling people “scammers” and accusing them of spreading misinformation.

A good compilation of toxic behavior comes from Techlore, a privacy-themed youtuber:

Similarly, GrapheneOS has attacked Louis Rossmann, who previously made a video calling GrapheneOS the “greatest mobile OS of all time.”  The video below outlines typical behavior, where the founder of GrapheneOS accuses Rossmann of being complicit in attempted murder for leaving a single youtube comment.

During the same weekend that GrapheneOS attacked us, they also attacked Myntex, a Canadian firm offering privacy-focused software and phones. We have never heard of them previously, and have no idea if their products are legit. However, such claims are clearly unwarranted.

GrapheneOS and Daniel Micay

The person behind GrapheneOS’s Twitter account is likely Daniel Micay, the founder of GrapheneOS, (former?) lead developer, and a director of the GrapheneOS foundation.  Micay has previously admitted to having autism, along with other mental health issues.

But didn't he resign... ?

Shortly after Louis Rossmann released the video above, Daniel Micay posted the following on his personal Twitter account:

After reading the above, you may be tempted to think that Micay has left GrapheneOS altogether.

However, you would be mistaken.  That was just more misinformation.

Nearly three month later, we still can’t locate the “more detailed info” on their website.  All previous announcements about Micay stepping down have either been deleted or made private.

So just who is running GrapheneOS?

So with 3 directors and 2 co-lead developers, at least someone else has some control over the project, right?

Oh… so the GrapheneOS Foundation directors are chosen by the members.  And there is only one member… who is Daniel Micay.

In short, he still has complete and total control over the project, and seems to be behind their social media as well.


We still think GrapheneOS is a wonderful project and probably the most secure mobile OS available.  However we can no longer offer phones with GrapheneOS in good faith.

In our opinion, the toxic behavior by GrapheneOS’s founder has ruined any good will earned.  Additionally, unwarranted and unjustified defamation against us directly has destroyed their remaining credibility, in our eyes.

Beyond that, the seemingly contradictory statements about whether their founder is leaving the project further erode trust, we feel.

Due to all of the above, we will no longer sell phones with GrapheneOS installed.