The phone would be ship with a local version of an international treaty like
If it is for sale and connects to your nations phone towers: call voice, location, tower dump, images, mic turn on would all be a nice list of law enforcement options.
Its in the hardware and software layers that no average user can see but would be dual use to make the call on your telco network. You input a number or letter it is 'sent' as part of the networking or kept in memory as part of its normal user functionality. So yes new clean telco layer "code" could find its way down onto your phone as they just track your phone per tower.
re what could we do about? Meet face to face without a phone? Buy a type writer? One time pad on paper? The phone as offered in many countries is a tracking beacon, camera, live microphone for voice prints, web bug and key logger