As privacy concerns continue to circle in everyone’s minds, and the NSA and related scandals dominate headlines, the new Blackphone smartphone is hitting the market. The Blackphone, brainchild of Silent Circle and Geeksphone, will put privacy first.
The phone, which will be revealed in Barcelona during the Mobile World Conference on February 24, 2014, is a backlash against the recent revelations about the extent of government surveillance. While the US is at the heart of that scandal, many other countries have been revealed to have their own programs, or to have aided and benefited from the US’s monitoring of citizens and people abroad.
It is an attempt to create a mobile device without the technological back doors secretly enacted by agencies like the NSA, and in defiance of the spying agency bullying companies for access to user data. All information on the phone would be encrypted and secure, as would be internet browsing, text and data/file sharing of all kinds. It also works with any GSM carrier, taking away any possibility of a monopoly on the service.
For those who have been nervous about privacy even before Snowden’s info leak, the Blackphone is a dream. The website states:
The tools installed on Blackphone give you everything you need to take ownership of your mobile presence and digital footprints, and ensure nobody else can watch you without your knowledge. You can make and receive secure phone calls; exchange secure texts; exchange and store secure files; have secure video chat; browse privately; and anonymize your activity through a VPN.
Not only would this phone have serious implications for privacy, but for the mobile sector in general. Mobile carriers will have no say on things like price, contract or features. It could be a game changer for independent technology. In a time where corporations are an unstoppable force, it is a stunning breakthrough.
One of the primary creators behind the Blackphone released a statement, discussing the project.
I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products, Phil Zimmermann said.
Blackphone provides users with everything they need to ensure privacy and control of their communications, along with all the other high-end smartphone features they have come to expect.
There isn’t much info about price, availability or release date, just yet. But more should be coming once it hits the conference next month.