Last month we reported on a new trend that was sweeping through the mobile space for encrypted, secure smartphones that could effectively thwart the spying efforts of the NSA or GCHQ.
We profiled several different companies who had decided to throw their hats into the privacy ring, including SGP Technologies and their newest encrypted device: the Blackphone.
When it finally hits the virtual shelves in June, the phone will ship with an 8MP camera, 2ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and 2GB of RAM. It will feature a 720×1280 4.1 inch display, and runs a stripped down, heavily modified version of the Android operating system built from the ground up with privacy, security, and encryption at the forefront of their design.
The phone represents the first product to come out of the collaboration between SilentCircle and Spanish phonemaker Geeksphone, and will launch internationally at the steep sticker price of $649 for the unlocked region-free version that is compatible with any standard GSM network.
Of course, the caveat to this is to truly “NSA-proof” your phone, you can’t communicate with anyone else that doesn’t also have their own Blackphone to respond with. Sending or receiving texts from the Blackphone to a standard smartphone opens the conversation up to the other side of the equation which is already being closely monitored and captured by employees and supercomputers working at the National Security Agency 24/7.
Blackphone’s chief product officer Toby Weir-Jones has suggested the potential workaround to this problem is to convince everyone you talk with on a daily basis to install the SilentCircle app suite on their own phones, and only call or text you through the provided secure channels.
“Blackphone certainly can place regular GSM calls, or send regular SMS messages,” Weir-Jones explained. “It does so like any other phone, without any of the privacy benefits, but it certainly can do it. So if you’re ordering a pizza, or talking to Grandma, you have the ability to make that choice. It will also interoperate securely with any other phone running the Silent Circle apps on either Android or iOS, which means there are already vast numbers of handsets out in the world able to participate safely in the ecosystem. No other secure phone on the market today can make that claim,” he concluded.”