Gadgets

Blackphone, a new encrypted smartphone built from scratch, is now market ready

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Your new encrypted smartphone is now ready to order.

Pre-order actually. The new Blackphone, a smartphone that touts itself as impervious to NSA cryptographers, is almost market ready. Not officially on the shelves of Verizon or T-Mobile yet, the phone is a collaboration between Swiss-based SilentCircle and Geeksphone, which now call themselves SGP Technologies.

Blackphone interface

Above: Blackphone interface

Image Credit: Blackphone

At the heart of smartphone is its new Android-centric operating system, called PrivatOS. The Blackphone comes with built-in industrial grade encryption that protects IMs, voice, video, and chat, according to the designers. The Blackphone costs nearly $700, and you can now pre-order it online.

The Blackphone is partly the brainchild of security guru Phil Zimmerman, perhaps best known as the inventor of encryption tool PGP, which garnered raves when it was released in 2010. The Blackphone is sexy and slim, with a 4.7-inch display, quad-core 2GHz system-on-a-chip processor, and 1GB of LPDDR RAM.

More specs here.

In terms of connectivity, Blackphone has a single Micro-SIM slot, Bluetooth, a Micro USB, and a 3.5 millimeter audio jack. And, yes, it comes with a camera.

Blackphone comes unlocked, and its encryption technology comes loaded on the phone. The Blackphone is indeed black and looks like a smaller version of Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones. It compatible with any GSM carrier.

Additional features include secure file and transfer storage and secure and private browsing. Blackphone’s Security Center lets users customize data flows.

Blackphone was initially unveiled at the Mobile World Congress and almost undoubtedly elicited interest from the National Security Agency.

I’m waiting to get my hands on one. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

More information:

Blackphone is the first integrated smartphone from the best privacy minds in the industry. Silent Circle and Geeksphone have partnered to combine best-of-breed hardware with all the skills and experience necessary to offer PrivatOS, a... read more »

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4 comments
Brian Ash
Brian Ash

This is to impose a stupid tax on the people who believe that anything (especially an android phone) is "impervious" to NSA cryptographers. Using 20 year old techniques to avoid an entity that is 10 years ahead of what we, joe public, are even aware of being possible, is just a gimmick. The only people who can make such a device are the NSA. Then who is going to use it, cause the NSA built it? This is just a ploy to capitalize on peoples fears. Most of which are probably tweekers and can't afford to pay retail for a phone. It may be good for keeping regular hackers at bay to some degree, but short of that, its just going to get you a slow phone with inferior hardware.

Gergo Kalcsics
Gergo Kalcsics

Android based operation system: good luck with that being NSA-proof.