Fears over NSA spying have prompted people around the world to think about security differently, whether it be petitioning for companies to better secure their data or changing the information they share online. In particular, security around smartphones has been of great concern, as people increasingly surf the Web, make calls and send messages from their mobile devices.
An international group of privacy enthusiasts has come together to create Blackphone, a smartphone that claims it will help to better protect your information.
Mashable writes that Blackphone is the brainchild of Silent Circle and Geekosphere, with participation from big players in the fight for information privacy and computer security. Phil Zimmermann, creator of data encryption protocol PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), is one of the minds behind the device.
“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,” Zimmerman said, according to Mashable.
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The operating system is a custom build of Android OS called PrivatOS, designed for improved security. Silent Circle’s CEO Mike Janke says the project will be open source, as will the PrivatOS operating system. The phone likely won’t have the most outstanding specs, but the team says that’s because privacy is the top concern.
No specific details have been given about the phone yet (although some of the code has been posted to GitHub). The companies say they’ll be unveiling it properly at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona beginning Feb. 24.
Even with very little information about the device currently available, some media outlets are suggesting that the phone could be “NSA-proof.” That’s a tall order, especially in light of a story from The New York Times claiming that the NSA has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers to create backdoor radio access.
For more information on Blackphone, visit its website at https://www.blackphone.ch.
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