updated 07:31 am EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Android-based Blackphone promises secure calls, messaging
The creator of a secure e-mail service is teaming up with a Firefox OS smartphone producer in order to create a privacy-oriented mobile phone. The Blackphone from Silent Circle and Geeksphone will be an Android-based device that is said to offer users secure phone calls, text messages, file transfers and storage, and video chat, all without compromising on user privacy.
Using PrivatOS, a fork of Android made to be more secure than the stock version, the Blackphone intends to tap into the secure telecommunications market, one that has become more important after the NSA surveillance revelations over the last year. In August last year, Silent Circle closed its Silent Mail service over fears of a US government legal reprisal, following the closure of the similar Lavabit secure e-mail service, though it still operates its secure calls, video, and messaging products.
"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," advised Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP.
More details about the Blackphone will be released in late February at Mobile World Congress, at the same time as initial device pre-orders.