Blackphone Promises to Give Smartphone Users Their Privacy

PHOTO: Blackphone highlights privacy as its biggest feature.

With more and more reports and leaked documents showing the reach of the NSA's controversial data mining program, there are plenty of people questioning how much activity they broadcast on their phones. The Blackphone is looking to allay those smartphone concerns by putting privacy at the forefront of its debut product.

The Blackphone will run on PrivatOS, an Android-based operating system tailored to security. In addition, the phone itself comes unlocked, meaning that customers won't be tied down to a specific carrier to use their phone.

The phone itself is a collaboration between the phone manufacturing company Geeksphone and the mobile security firm Silent Circle. Among the phone's developers is Phil Zimmermann, who created the PGP encryption program that is still used to keep emails secure.

"I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products," Zimmermann said in a statement. "Blackphone provides users with everything they need to ensure privacy and control of their communications."

A spokesperson for Silent Circle declined to provide more details about the phone. However, it will be available for pre-order on Feb. 24, coinciding with the start of the Mobile World Congress in Spain.

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