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Appeared on: Wednesday, January 15, 2014
New Smartphone To Put Privacy And Control First

Silent Circle and Geeksphone today announced a new Switzerland-based joint venture and its inaugural product, Blackphone, a smartphone placing privacy and control directly in the hands of its users.

Blackphone, powered by a security-oriented Android build named PrivatOS, is a carrier- and vendor-independent smartphone giving individuals and organizations the ability to make and receive secure phone calls, exchange secure texts, transfer and store files, and video chat without compromising user privacy on the device through a VPN.

The joint venture between smartphone manufacturer Geeksphone and encrypted communications provider Silent Circle wdid not provide any additional details for the smartphone. However, giving Silent Circle's involvement, it's reasonable to assume that some of the company's existing apps and services will be integrated into the new handset. Silent Circle offers subscription-based encrypted voice calling, video chat, text messaging and file transfer services through Android, iOS and desktop apps.

Spanish Geeksphone has manufactured mobile phones that run Android and Firefox OS.

Blackphone is the the result of a cooperation among Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP; Javier Aguera, co-founder of Geeksphone; Jon Callas, co-founder of PGP Inc. and CTO of Silent Circle; Rodrigo Silva-Ramos, co-founder of Geeksphone; and Mike Janke, CEO of Silent Circle and former US Navy SEAL.

"I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products," said Zimmermann. "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 will be available for pre-order beginning February 24, 2014, at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, Spain.




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