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Print 33 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Jan 17 at 6:52 AM

Blackphone promises security in all communications

SilentCircle and Geeksphone have announced a new smartphone that is in the works designed to give users privacy. The device is called Blackphone and it is built using a version of Android tweaked for privacy called PrivatOS.

PrivatOS is carrier and vendor independent. The OS promises secure phone calls, texts, secure transfers and storage of files. It also promises to support secure video chat as well.


"I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products," said Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP. "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."  


Blackphone has a website set up to allow people interested in the device to sign up for updates as the launch of the device nears. The Blackphone is set to hit pre-order on February 24 at MWC in Spain. It’s unclear how much the phone will cost at this time.

Source: Blackphone





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Microsoft
By Da W on 1/15/2014 10:32:32 AM , Rating: 5
This is what Microsoft should do to stay relevant: embrace privacy and confidentiality like no other in their Windows 9 system.
Screw Skydrive / bing / always online / online tracking / gathering of information.

People will PAY for an OS that protects your privacy. For automaticly encrypted files locked into your hard drive, NSA proof. For a offline mode bouton. For all login and password information stored into your user account that you can keep on a USB stick with no trace of it on your hard drive, much less online. For an internet explorer that blocks every information gathering attempt that Google does.

UI screwed up Windows 8. Free OSes like Android and Chrome and SteamOS treaten Windows future. Yet, the NSA spying our every move opened a Window (pun) of opportunity for anyone willing to do something about it.




RE: Microsoft
By Spuke on 1/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft
By rsmech on 1/15/2014 10:38:17 AM , Rating: 3
Won't work, the masses will take free over privacy. It's already proven itself. You would become a niche product.


RE: Microsoft
By FITCamaro on 1/15/2014 10:49:40 AM , Rating: 1
Except Windows isn't free.


RE: Microsoft
By ZmaxDP on 1/15/2014 2:22:08 PM , Rating: 3
Technically, you are of course correct. However, most of my non-savvy friends buy a computer that comes with windows. They don't care/think that part of that price of the computer paid for the windows license. Most of them never upgrade their OS. They use the computer until it dies, then get a new one. So, for them, from their perspective, it is "free" in the sense that they never intentionally pay for it.

Besides, his point was that skydrive and other web services are "Free" because they're advertising/data-mining sponsored.


RE: Microsoft
By Argon18 on 1/15/2014 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 5
Won't happen. Uber-privacy computing is a niche product. Even with Obama's domestic spying, people are apathetic.

Only hard core geeks are motivated enough to want secure computing environments, and only hard core geeks have the knowledge to even ask for it. Most people don't even know the difference between computer hardware and the operating system. Got a virus? Bummer, put the laptop in the trash can and buy a new one.

Encryption, all login info stored in your user account, all settings and all unique files stored in your own home directory, no tracking, no telemetry, etc. Only geeks know of these things, and anyways Linux has all of this as standard for many years now. Linux stores *all* files settings etc that are unique to a user in his home directory, and AES256 encrypting the entire volume is as simple as checking a box. Anyone who has a clue about security has already switched to Linux. Windows? That's for the peecee gamers.


RE: Microsoft
By Solandri on 1/15/2014 2:30:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Won't happen. Uber-privacy computing is a niche product. Even with Obama's domestic spying, people are apathetic.

Only hard core geeks are motivated enough to want secure computing environments, and only hard core geeks have the knowledge to even ask for it.

That's what hard core geeks say. I'm starting to wonder if it isn't the other way around. Hard core geeks demand privacy because they're used to being cooped up in their house/workplace alone, and in complete control over whom they have contact with.

OTOH regular people are always out in public, meeting and interacting with new people, seeing new places, and being seen by others all the while. Maybe they're fully aware of the privacy implications, but aren't as concerned about it because they have lower privacy expectations due to the public exposure their daily activities give them. Maybe their expectation of privacy is reasonable, and it's the geek's expectation which is the anomaly.


RE: Microsoft
By Monkey's Uncle on 1/16/2014 9:20:53 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
That's what hard core geeks say. I'm starting to wonder if it isn't the other way around. Hard core geeks demand privacy because they're used to being cooped up in their house/workplace alone, and in complete control over whom they have contact with.


Hey, I don't want the NSA looking over and judging what my tastes are in porn.


RE: Microsoft
By Jeffk464 on 1/15/2014 9:54:11 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Only hard core geeks are motivated enough to want secure computing environments


You're right but everyone who does online banking/investing should be very concerned about it.


RE: Microsoft
By jimbojimbo on 1/15/2014 11:34:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
For an internet explorer that blocks every information gathering attempt that Google does
Um, don't use Chrome, Gmail, GVoice, Gmaps, or Google. Done. Thank you.


RE: Microsoft
By JediJeb on 1/15/2014 5:51:38 PM , Rating: 3
But you are also at risk of such even when using non Google products. Unless you are blocking it even using IE or FF you are still getting data grabbed by most websites using google-analytics. Haven't seen many yet that don't use that.


RE: Microsoft
By Argon18 on 1/15/2014 9:14:59 PM , Rating: 3
you are still getting data grabbed by most websites using google-analytics.

Nope, not with the "NoScript" add-on for Firefox. NoScript allows you to selectively decide which sites you will allow Javascript on. And it blocks by default, you must whitelist your approved sites. I have google-analytics blocked.


RE: Microsoft
By lagomorpha on 1/15/2014 11:45:12 AM , Rating: 3
Microsoft is an American company and must follow American laws. By law they can not "NSA proof" their software and remain closed source.


RE: Microsoft
By majorpain on 1/15/2014 12:30:31 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but i am very reluctant to trust in any company/startup/whatever's software/hardware made in usa.


RE: Microsoft
By Samus on 1/15/2014 4:41:28 PM , Rating: 1
LOL, so something made in China feels "more secure" to you?

I'd rather our government know about my finances and day-to-day projects than China.

Basically, if you are an actual terrorist, sure, you are better off communicating with Huawei routers and phones. But if you aren't a terrorist and don't want your life exploited for financial gain (business concepts, inventions/ideas, investments, etc) then the NSA really doesn't give a hoot.

I don't condone with the NSA is doing. But it's pretty obvious all governments, ESPECIALLY CHINA, are doing the same thing. I think it's really a clear choice picking the lesser of two evils, here.


RE: Microsoft
By Argon18 on 1/15/2014 9:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
"all governments, ESPECIALLY CHINA, are doing the same thing"

Of course China is doing it. Heck, the NSA probably got the idea from China. It was a story right here on DT a couple years ago, about "counterfeit" Cisco routers from China, that had embedded surveillance chips in them.


RE: Microsoft
By Jeffk464 on 1/15/2014 9:57:04 PM , Rating: 3
I would feel safer if the software came from Germany.


RE: Microsoft
By majorpain on 1/16/2014 10:01:20 AM , Rating: 2
Did i said anything about China? I just don't trust usa. Thats it.


RE: Microsoft
By ritualm on 1/16/2014 2:54:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Basically, if you are an actual terrorist, sure, you are better off communicating with Huawei routers and phones. But if you aren't a terrorist and don't want your life exploited for financial gain (business concepts, inventions/ideas, investments, etc) then the NSA really doesn't give a hoot.

But because the NSA is "temporarily" storing the data it captures for at least 15 years, it has the ammunition to screw you when it's politically expedient to do so. Even if you're not a terrorist, the NSA is a threat.


RE: Microsoft
By troysavary on 1/17/2014 6:52:17 AM , Rating: 2
You apparently weren't paying attention when the definition potential terrorist was broadened to include anyone with a different ideology than the current administration.


RE: Microsoft
By Stan11003 on 1/15/2014 4:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
You ever wonder why Microsoft doesn't care about piracy? It's because retails are only one part of the pie. Marketing and data farming are lucrative enterprises. They are competing with Google one of the worlds largest marketing/ad companys around who gives out "free" services so they mine all your data.


RE: Microsoft
By Argon18 on 1/15/2014 9:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, Microsoft pushing their IE browser and Bing search engine has less to do with the actual products (after all, they are both free to the end user) and more to do with controlling and monitoring your internet usage.

Set yourself free, use Open Source operating systems. FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Linux, etc. These are the people's operating systems, the only escape from corporate Big Brother.


Smart phone hat?
By PCMerlin on 1/15/2014 10:24:59 AM , Rating: 2
"SilentCircle and Geeksphone have announced a new smartphone hat is in the works"...
A smart phone hat?




RE: Smart phone hat?
By PCMerlin on 1/15/2014 10:28:16 AM , Rating: 3
Let me guess... it's made of tin foil?


RE: Smart phone hat?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/15/2014 10:31:58 AM , Rating: 4
It's made of ground up unicorns.


RE: Smart phone hat?
By ClownPuncher on 1/15/2014 11:43:04 AM , Rating: 1
"I'll eat my hat..." takes on a new meaning. Mmmm.


only halfway
By kattanna on 1/15/2014 12:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
so.. with this phone your connection to the carrier is encrypted.. but what about the person you are talking to?

they are of course not, so they can still listen in

quote:
The Blackphone is set to hit pre-order on February 24 at MWC in Spain


ahh.. so another thing we will not see here in america




RE: only halfway
By lagomorpha on 1/15/2014 12:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
so.. with this phone your connection to the carrier is encrypted.. but what about the person you are talking to?

they are of course not, so they can still listen in


You were hoping for a phone so secure not even the person you are talking to can understand you? Have you tried speaking in gibberish?

The answer to the question you probably meant is - this does not just encrypt the link from you to your phone company, it actually uses end to end encryption which means both people need one of these phones for encryption to work. Red Phone is an Android app that does this, though building the functionality into a phone that isn't thoroughly compromised in other ways is likely more secure.


Smells like a trap
By Lord 666 on 1/15/2014 12:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
After all of this bs, dont trust anyone.

However, waiting for the Federal government to spin the Chris Christie scandals as a reason why Gmail is monitored.




By jimbojimbo on 1/15/2014 1:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
You can have this phone but if the guy you're texting doesn't have it it's going to be out in the wild so it's not helping you. Also, how would it avoid cell tower tracking, part of what NSA does indeed track for everybody?




By kilkennycat on 1/15/2014 3:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
See:-

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outla...

Looks as if the "BlackPhone" would be very popular with the criminal element. Probably ends up with a great race between law-enforcement "white-hats" and Zimmermann...and litigation?




not secure at all
By GulWestfale on 1/15/2014 7:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
as an american company, and with phones operating on US networks, these phones would be subject to the same secret courts of your increasingly paranoid government as current phones/carriers already are. security here is an illusion. in order to get security, you'd have to buy something from a non-english speaking (non-five eyes) country, and then not use it over existing networks. it's impossible.




This isn't new
By iamkyle on 1/16/2014 2:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
Or have you forgotten that BlackBerry already has a secure communications platform that would be FAR superior to anything Android based!




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