Two small tech companies have joined forces to create the first privacy-focused, surveillance-proof smartphone available on the consumer market.
The Blackphone, by developers Silent Circle and Geekphone, runs on PrivateOS, a “security-oriented” version of Android software that uses a virtual private network to make your phone activity anonymous. It allows users to untraceably and privately make calls, send texts, send and receive files, and video chat.
Silent Circle founder Phil Zimmerman has focused the company on encrypting communications and spearheaded the project along with Geeksphone, which launched the first European Android device in 2009 and the first Firefox OS smartphone in 2013.
“I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products,” Zimmermann said in a Wednesday press release. “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.”
Many of the phone’s specific details have yet to be revealed, but it is expected that a number of Silent Circle’s encryption technologies will be embedded as apps on the device.
The first handset is scheduled to be unveiled and available for pre-order on Feb. 24 in Barcelona, Spain at the Mobile World Congress, an annual meeting of mobile communication industry giants known for new product announcements and debuts.