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Circumvent NSA Surveillance with Blackphone, an Android Device Coming to MWC

In an age of widespread government surveillance, a device that promises some semblance of the privacy we all once had sounds really appealing. Enter Blackphone, a security-oriented smartphone running a customized version of Android that its makers believe is secure enough to circumvent NSA monitoring.

A joint venture between cryptographer Phil Zimmermann’s Silent Circle company and device manufacturer Geeksphone, Blackphone is powered by PrivatOS, a fork of Android with a wide range of security enhancements designed to mask your digital footprint. The companies claim the carrier- and vendor- independent smartphone will be capable of making phone calls, texting, transferring files, and video chatting without compromising user privacy. Exactly how is another matter, but the company plans to provide additional details at Mobile World Congress in February. 

No word on availability or network compatibility yet, but we’re certain to hear more as we approach MWC. Stay tuned!

Via: Blackphone
  • chjapa

    Interesting but a safer way, to me anyway, would be to buy an unlocked phone with cash, then register it under a fake name and address. Totally untraceable. This works with Virgin pay as you go plans. Just ask the cartel. Lol.


    The funny thing is, that they have yet to release information about HOW they keep your data private LMFAO!

  • trwb

    Its hard to believe anything can bypass ns. They are a 60 year old agency that was around long before the internet was created. They probably have tech that no one even knows about.

  • The dystopian fantasies of yesteryear are now a reality. We’ve allowed the coming of an age where the civil liberties our forefathers fought so hard for are being eroded by the day. Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are mere ghostly images of their original intent. We’ve woken up to an Orwellian Society of Fear where anyone is at the mercy of being labeled a terrorist for standing up for rights we took for granted just over a decade ago. Read about how we’re waging war against ourselves at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten-years.html

  • droidrazredge

    I wonder, if it is in fact true or not, that the NSA or any cellular network won’t be able to track a user of this phone, if that means you’ll be put on the no-fly zone in the US and put on suspicious watch since they will wonder why you have a phone like this.

  • Intellectua1

    So I’m assuming location based services won’t work on this phone..

  • Prime7

    So if you buy a Blackphone, you’re already suspicious.

  • Raj Bhatt

    Until they get a list of Blackphone purchasers. Then you get an all expense paid permanent vacation to Guantanamo!

  • Guy Pierce

    NSA: “Activate Blackphone protocol”

  • brkshr

    I would only trust this if they open-sourced the OS. I doubt they will.

  • Bryan Burch

    What if Blackphone is really the NSA?

    • John Legere

      Shh, dont insult their intelligence

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      Mother of all plot twists

    • Dbrown

      Blackphone is BS, it’s simple as that…

      3 guys trying to sell a phone with yet another story.
      “Made in Spain” doesn’t make it better

      • Cakefiend

        No, but Phil ZImmerman might.


      Just like TOR.

  • Adrynalyne

    While I guess it could circumvent monitoring of said phone…it doesn’t stop any monitoring once it LEAVES the phone and before it is RECEIVED by the phone.

    • Adrynalyne

      Thanks for downvoting me, StuckonVerizonForever. Considering it was instantaneous, I know you didn’t read much less comprehend what I said.

      • John Legere

        What are you talking about ? You’re delusional if you think it’s me.

  • Walter Partlo

    I wonder how many colors it will come in?

    • Adrynalyne

      Surveillance Van White and Blacked Out Sedan.

      • ken147

        And Predator Drone Grey.

        • Adrynalyne


    • djdsf

      Really? Is color really a thing that matters? At this point just the fact alone that it protects info should be enough and I will get it even if it comes in pink.

      • Adam Crawford

        I think it’s a joke, because the name of the phone is Blackphone.

        • Walter Partlo

          Ding, Ding DING! We have a winner.

          • Adam Crawford

            I like how you are trying to make me out to be the a-hole when I was trying to let djdsf know without being a total jerk about it.

            I knew it was a joke upon first reading, maybe I should have clarified.

          • Walter Partlo

            How was I making you out to be an a-hole? I was agreeing with you and upvoted the comment?

      • Adrynalyne

        You gonna buy one for everyone you talk to? Otherwise it will not protect your info.

        Even then…the carrier handles your info before you get it and after you send it.

    • Walter Partlo

      The other acceptable answer was: any color that you want, as long as its black.

      • T4rd

        Ahh, so we can call it the Henry Ford phone!

        • Walter Partlo

          That’s right.

  • zurginator

    The problem being if you’re on a network, those carriers already have access to anything transmitted over said network. The only way this would work is if the phones on both end are a Blackphone, and all data between them is encrypted.

    • Cowboydroid

      Obviously, the data sent from the blackphone is encrypted. The problem isn’t that the carrier has access to anything transmitted over the network…that’s always been the case. The problem is the NSA having unfettered access to the network and then decrypting all the information transmitted (spending yours and my money all the while…). So we’d have to trust the level of encryption on the blackphone to go beyond what the NSA is capable of decrypting.

      • Adrynalyne

        How would that work if there wasn’t another blackphone receiving the data? That is what makes me think it is not encrypted.

      • 1bad69z28

        This is nothing new, it’s about what level of encryption and most government agencies have mobile phones that are already at this level and beyond. As far as being a NSA beater. I highly doubt that!!! In the military when when we would work with JTF6 on the Texas border for drug interdiction missions. high level Cartel drug lords had this technology on their cell phones about 10 years ago. And, they thought the encryption then was unbreakable because it was similar to a frequency Hop theory. It was broken in a matter of weeks not by the NSA, but the military.

        Also the ability to capture cell bandwidth after the call is over is something that NASA has turned over to NSA and the Military. A conversation (Even Encrypted) still is active and bounces out of the earth to Space. Thus allowing capture of said bandwidth no matter where it is. Your cell phones are operating on bandwidth the same as back in the 50’s and 60’s. Not new Technology at all, Old style tube televisions use to run on these bandwidths sold by who??? The Government (that’s Right Folks) 🙂 We use to capture cell phone encrypted signals all the time. ti’s just the level of encryption. I suspect this level is corporate level at best. nothing that a good stable country couldn’t break like Russia, China, Japan India, Israel etc…

        You will have corporate security companies trying to break this encryption as soon as its out.

        • Jarred Sutherland

          The NSA has had to backdoor their way into encryption methods used rather than breaking them by brute force. Provided the method used doesn’t employ the methods the NSA pushed RSA and probably a couple others to adopt, they still don’t have the keys to the kingdom.

          • 1bad69z28

            I would agree to a certain degree depending who and where the encryption is coming from. I can tell you personally and foremost that when it comes to isolating a bandwidth from a cell phone call and snatching a call thats encrypted and then studying it depending on the threat level it will be broken. Israel is very good at it as well. I doubt that this software is harder to crack than a military Drone encrypting strike packages. No one has the keys to the Kingdome thats a fair statement. But. like most things man made it can be broken.

  • Adam Crawford

    I know what my next phone is.

    • Shane Redman

      HTC Rezound?

    • StockGS3er

      HTC One X ?

      • Philip J. Fry

        HTC One X+

    • Intellectua1

      Galaxy S5

    • beav

      The Droid Incredible?

    • KingofPing

      Nexus 5 2014 Google Play Edition (with optional Sense/TouchWiz/Blur overlay)?

  • John Legere

    Are people that paranoid?

    • [email protected]

      it’s not about paranoia, are you that dumb?

      • palomosan

        Again He’s John Legere, what you think.

  • Paul Christopher

    This probably won’t go too far. If what the devs say is true that it can circumvent monitoring, it could become widely adopted by those who would use it to do bad things

    • Adam Crawford

      I’d use it, and I don’t do what I consider “bad things”

      Giving up a freedom, is giving up a freedom. Try to think of it this way, if giving up our privacy becomes the norm, and people stop caring, we will slowly and gradually give up other things and as they become the norm it will eventually lead to a much darker society.

      Your personality is built on the private things you do and say to an extent. I agree whole heartedly with what Edward Snowden has done, but also think of it this way. He is one person, who had access to tons of information, and was able to leak it and look at it. There are things I say and do that I do not want a random person monitoring. Also the ability to track what am I doing who I’m with when I go where I do is all easily traceable by even just the meta data of my messages.

      I’d prefer privacy.

      • Adrynalyne

        This won’t give you privacy when you cannot control what happens once the data has left the device. Chances are the other person isn’t using the same phone, and on top of that, i doubt the carrier is telling the NSA no to access.

    • John Legere

      Guess it will help those ghetto drug dealers

    • Philip J. Fry

      The goverment in your business is bad things.

    • Cakefiend

      Sure, pretty much any object in the world can be used to do bad things. Trying to stop the bad things by banning the objects is a hopeless battle. I can’t bring a knife onto a plane, but I can bring a well-sharpened pencil… until someone gets stabbed with a pencil, at which point they’ll be banned too, and the evildoers will move on to the next pointy object.