Geeksphone and Silent Circle promise their new smartphone will lock out spies. But the details, including how it works, aren't clear.
With NSA-fueled angst running amok, two mobile-focused companies, Geeksphone and Silent Circle, have joined forces to create the Blackphone, a smartphone designed to put users in control of their privacy. The Blackphone will be available unlocked and off-contract to users who want to maintain a firmer grip on their personal data.
Details about the Blackphone are sparse. Geeksphone designs consumer-grade smart devices that are perhaps best known for supporting Firefox OS. The Madrid company's Firefox-based smartphones are available online. Silent Circle was formed in Washington, DC, by a former US Navy Seal and provides encrypted communications services.
The Blackphone runs a modified version of Google's Android platform called PrivatOS and is carrier and vendor independent. Backers of the device say it will give consumers and businesses control over their privacy. For example, the Blackphone can make and receive secure phone calls, exchange secure texts, transfer and store files, and video chat without compromising user privacy. Neither Geeksphone nor Silent Circle provided information on how the Blackphone accomplishes these feats.
This article was originally published on Information Week.
— Eric Zeman is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.