Afraid of your girlfriend’s ‘nudes’ being leaked on the internet? Buy this phone! Worried about corporate espionage? Buy this phone! Are you a spy? Buy this phone!
Dubbed the “Android for the paranoid”, the Blackphone claims to be the most secure smartphone in the world, built with complete privacy in-mind. Being sold for $629, this phone doesn’t skimp on the hardware either: a 2GHz quad-core NVidia Tegra 4i; 1GB DDR3 RAM; 4.7” Hi-Def IPS Display, (to mention a few). Fellow nerds rejoice.
The product of SGP Technologies, a joint venture between the cryptographic service Silent Circle and the specialty mobile hardware manufacturer Geeksphone, the Blackphone comes with a two-year subscription to Silent Circle’s secure voice, video calling, and text messaging services. The subscription also allows the addition of three “Friend & Family” accounts, so you can install the service on their existing smartphones. Worry no more about those dubious video-calls or ‘sexting’ – it’s all encrypted. The phone also has a built-in VPN and ‘anonymizing’ search engine so Google and other websites can’t keep track of those weird fetishes you’ve been searching for.
The phone’s main innovation is its Security Center, an interface that allows the user to control hardware functionality and data that each app on the phone has access to. In an exclusive review conducted by ARS Technica, “…you can, if you wish for some reason, turn off the Camera app’s access to the camera hardware and turn off the Browser app’s access to networks.” This feature is valuable for inhibiting commercial apps accessing your personal data. Covering your digital ass(ets) has never been simpler.
You may be wondering “Isn’t this a little over-the-top? Do I really need all this privacy?” In a video interview with The Guardian newspaper, infamous NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden recalled how NSA intelligence officers he worked with would frequently come across intimate and private photos (read: nudes) in civilian emails and text messages, and share them with colleagues to have a laugh. As if that wasn’t enough, even celebrities phones, like that of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, were recently hacked and the victims had their nude photos leaked on the internet.
Ultimately, buying this phone depends on how much you value your privacy, even if you lead a boring life and have nothing to hide. It’s sleek looking and is the perfect blend of form meeting function, and in this writer’s not-so-humble opinion, a better bargain than the latest iPhone; because I’d rather have my privacy than forgo it for a phone that you can use as a credit card.