Blackphone Promises to Be a Smartphone to Beat the Intelligence Spies

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Privacy is at the forefront of everybody's mind, now more than ever. So Blackphone, which will run a "security-oriented" version of Android and claims to be able to foil the NSA and other intelligence agencies, couldn't be better timed.

The brainchild of renowned cryptographer Phil Zimmermann—and in fact a commercial venture between his company Silent Circle and Geeksphone, a Spanish startup working with Firefox OS—the phone will run a forked version of Android called PrivatOS. That will, apparently, provide the ability to securely: place and receive phone calls, send text messages, hold video chats, and transfer and store files.

All told, the idea is to offer users "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." How exactly it will do that remains under wraps for now, but you can expect to find out more during the Mobile World Congress in February—because Blackphone will, apparently, be available for pre-order on the 24th of that month, which is the first day of the show. Stay tuned. [Blackphone, PR Newswire]