Modular Support for Webcam and Microphone

Consider removing the integrated webcam and microphone modules from the default laptop configuration, making them additional modules that can be configured separately by users according to their requirements. Removable webcam and microphone modules are useful especially in scenarios where aim is to build an air-gapped system.

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Or Hardware Kill Switches (like Purism does) are also a good idea

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They can be removed easily and should work fine without it installed. But a majority of users want web cams built in basically every laptop has them built in some are easier to remove than others.

The removal of the module would save no more than $29 as thats what the module sells for separately so would probably say closer to $9-19.

I also dont see them offering a different bezel options (With/without web cam) well ever based on the 13” but could be proven wrong.

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Isn’t that already a thing? Afaik the switches cut power to the parts, at least the webcam doesn’t show up on the usb list anymore when off.


Thats my understanding.

Oh, cool, I didn’t know that.

I thought I heard it was a software switch from a reviewer (I forget which one). It’s also totally possible they were mistaken. It does seem odd to me that a physical switch would control software rather than hardware.

it would be interesting to offer more optional native features. it would reduce the carbon footprint and the price of laptops purchased without these options but it would add complexity in the assembly line and therefore the cost of manufacturing

The extra process for optionally adding the webcam or not is likely a lot more expensive than the webcam module itself.

They are optical switches and they may not work if you put the bezel on funky so that idea may com frome something like that.

But anyway it is extremely easy to remove (pull of the magnetic bezel, take out 2 screws, disconnect cable, done or you can just disconnect the cable) the whole thing if you want so it’s not a big issue either way. I am kinda considering deleting it and putting a unifying receiver there instead.

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What’s your source for them being “optical switches”?
On the product page I just found:

Built-in hardware privacy switches give you complete control over access to the camera and microphones. Our embedded controller firmware is fully open source, and we don’t preload any extra software.

EDIT: Interesting fact: there’s no guide for camera and microphone replacement yet.

Some forum discussion here and my eyes.

The optical switches are hardware, nothing interrupting the light → power something interrupting the light → no power.

Pretty sure there is

You can see them on the camera board. They’re more commonly known as photointerrupters. They have a distinctive shape, you can spot them if you are familiar with them.

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Okay, found it. I’m not familiar woith those, that’s why I asked.

I was talking about the Framework Laptop 16. Is the module the same as the one used in the 13?

Framework said that the FW16 uses the same camera module.


For air-gapped system, you are going to be opening it to maybe remove:

  1. Wifi card
  2. Possibly disconnect USB ports
  3. Remove Speakers
  4. Remove Mic
  5. Remove Camera
    One would have to do the same with any off the shelf laptop, so FW laptop is no different, except the FW will be a lot quicker to achieve than an off the shelf laptop, because often, one has to take most of the laptop apart to get to the bits. With a FW the bits are quicker and easier to get to.
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If you don’t trust the hardware disconnects for camera and microphone, you can fully disconnect them without any tools. The screen bezel is held on with magnets, you can just pull it off and then unplug the data cable from the camera board.


Or you could disconnect the main-board side while you are removing the wifi card and unplugging the speakers XD

Speakers are a risk too, these days?!
I am so compromised :dotted_line_face:

It was mentioned a few times so I listed it and it’s pretty much no extra effot once you got the bottom off.

There were some proof of concepts about exfiltrating data from an air-gapped system using sound slightly above hearing range, not sure that was ever used in the wild.

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