Aug 13, 2020 | Updated: 12:25 PM EDT

Encrypted NSA-Proof Blackphone To Launch During MWC 2014, Will It Succeed?

Feb 17, 2014 05:22 PM EST


Event invites are going out for Blackphone, the encrypted NSA-proof phone being launched at MWC 2014 by two privacy companies. The Blackphone event at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona  is taking place on Monday, February 24 at 6pm. There we can expect to learn the design, specs and features of the phone and get our first look at its capabilities. Blackphone is expected to have specs that are on par with flagships currently on the market so it will be interesting to see what the price is. The phone will be high-performance and GSM enabled according to Blackphone.

Silent Circle and Geeksphone are the two companies getting ready to  launch Blackphone at MWC 2014. The phone has been built and designed in response to the ongoing dragnet surveillance programs and data mining run by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. Among the key features of Blackphone are private calls, texting, video, file transfer and storage. VPN enabled private searches and browsing, SOTA updates directly from Blackphone rather than being delivered by carriers and selectable privacy controls and phone policies. Blackphone will also be unlocked.

It’s worth pointing out that Blackphone isn’t a magic bullet. It’s well and good for you to send an encrypted text or phone call, but the person on the receiving end also needs to have an encrypted device. As Tech Crunch points out, “It’s worth noting that making an encrypted phone call — or sending an encrypted email — requires the use of two encrypted devices/clients: both your own phone/email client and the phone/email client of the person you’re talking to. So the Blackphone’s security credentials will inevitably depend on how you use the device — who you place calls to and which device they use; who you email and which email client they use; and so on.” In our view this limits the utility of Blackphone into being more of a political statement and a gimmick than a serious consumer devices. How many of your friends are going to give up their Samsung Galaxy S4, Nexus 5 or HTC One to get Blackphone because you feel paranoid? We would imagine not many. Hopefully the Blackphone event at MWC 2014 will address this issue.

Blackphone is the world's first smartphone to put privacy and control ahead of everything else. Ahead of carriers. Ahead of advertising. Blackphone is re-shaping the landscape of personal communications.

Pre-ordering begins at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain. February 24, 2014

Real Time Analytics