As the reality of the extent and invasiveness of the security services’ dragnet surveillance programs hits home, the pro-privacy movement has been cranking up its own ideas to counter spy-tech with pro-privacy tech. The Lavabit founder’s recent Kickstarter for a secure end-to-end open source encrypted email project called Dark Mail is one example.
Today, here’s another: meet Blackphone, a smartphone that’s been designed to enable secure, encrypted communications, private browsing and secure file-sharing.
The project is a joint venture between Silent Circle — which shuttered its own encrypted email service last summer in order to preemptively avoid having to comply with government requests to provide data — and Spanish smartphone startup Geeksphone, which has previously made more standard Android handsets, and more recently has been building phone hardware for Mozilla’s open web standards HTML5-based Firefox OS.
The pair said today they have established a new Switzerland-based joint venture to collaborate on technology projects, with Blackphone set to be the inaugural product. They describe the phone as “the world’s first smartphone placing privacy and control directly in the hands of its users”.