A cell phone start-up is looking to cash in on the current government surveillance hysteria sweeping much of the western world.
On Wednesday, encrypted communications company Silent Circle and Spanish cell phone start-up Geeksphone announced their debut product: Blackphone, an “NSA-proof” smartphone. The phone company tells users their product will be the first on the market to prevent government agencies and hackers from viewing personal information on their phones.
“I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products," said Phil Zimmermann, co-founder of Silent Circle. "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."
The phone is scheduled to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 24th. Consumers will be able to pre-order the phone once it is unveiled.
While the specifics of how the Blackphone will guard your information remain unclear, the general idea is this: the phone is designed to use encrypted data, secure file-sharing, and private internet browsing.
Despite the company’s claim that Blackphone will be “the world’s first smartphone placing privacy and control directly in the hands of its users,” this much is clear: Blackphone is not the first encrypted phone to hit the market. German company GSMK Cryptophone, for example, has been manufacturing encrypted communications products for years.
Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see if Blackphone catches on. The company makes it painfully obvious in their promotional video for the phone that they hope to lure in customers frightened by the recent NSA leaks brought forth by Edward Snowden. The video, dark music and all, shows pictures of a number of newspaper front pages in the past year featuring headlines regarding government surveillance. The whole video has a fear-mongering vibe to it.
See it for yourself here: