Over the last few years the news and subsequent scandal regarding our private phone conversations and how they weren’t as private as we thought, has defined the way we view our security. To assist us in this ever changing battle, a new smart phone company is planning to launch a security conscious, privacy orientated device for all of the super security conscious people out there.
The company is called Blackphone, and it’s a joint venture between privacy specialists Silent Circle and the team which brought us the first Firefox OS hardware; Geeksphone.
The device is currently known as the Blackphone and it will run a specialised version of Android OS called PrivatOS. With this device and PrivatOS, you’ll be able to make and receive secure calls, send and receive secure messages and hold video chats without fear of anyone observing what you’re doing. You can even transfer files to and from the device. Another potential feature that is being discussed is an anonymous VPN for private browsing.
The handset is GSM and will be sold unlocked, but unlike Geeksphone’s existing hardware currently available, the high-end device will be, “Among the top performers from any manufacturer.” We should all expect all the usual Android tools, including Google Play, to be installed along with a modified selection of tools to ensure our online and network activity remains private.
The Blackphone team has an extraordinary history when it comes to privacy. Phil Zimmerman and Jon Callas, the founder and co-founder of PGP are onboard, along with Mike Janke from Silent Circle. Silent Circle’s existing app should give us a good idea of how the Blackphone will work. Secure calls are made with VoIP using a username and a 10-digit pin code so only the two parties have access to the stream.
Messages are encrypted on the phone using a once-only key, which can be applied to data transfers up to 100MB in size as well. A Snapchat-style auto delete option is also included, which will see any message, video, picture, or voice recording self destruct after a preset time period. Also, there will be the option to recall accidentally sent messages.
The Blackphone will make its official debut at the start of Mobile World Congress, held on 24 February. This is when pre-orders for the device are also likely to start. Actual Specifications have yet to surface, so stay tuned.