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 Blackphone Expected June 2014
25th Febraury 2014

Recent revelations about the routine warrantless interception of private communications have helped to focus people's minds on how their activities can be truly private. An alphabet soup of agencies seem to have access to everything we do, and often for purposes that do not seem entirely clear.

It does appear that these intercepts go way beyond what is needed to keep us safe from terrorists and organised crime, and it has certainly been the case that intelligence agencies can gather commercially sensitive information from foreign businesses, or perhaps spy on people engaged in perfectly legal activities that might challenge the status quo, or many other acts of snooping that seem to happen without sufficient oversight.

So, if you're one of those people who is fed up with this state of affairs, then you might well be the sort of customer that would be interested in a Blackphone. Running a heavily modified version of Android called PrivatOS, the Blackphone looks like a traditional midrange black slabby smartphone on the outside, the software on the inside of the Blackphone is very different and is designed to be as stealthy as possible.

The Blackphone includes secure messaging and voice communications from Silent Circle, an anonymous cloud service provided by SpiderOak, a secure wireless feature, firewall, anonymous web surfing, and an anonymous remote wipe feature that you  Blackphone can use without giving personal details.

Blackphone say that these privacy services bundled with the phone have a value of $840 and last for up to two years, but the phone itself costs $629 plus tax and delivery when it becomes available in June. Sounds like a bargain? Well, yes.. but presumably once your subscription has run out then you will have to pay to renew these services which could start to get expensive.

The hardware itself is unremarkable with a quad-core CPU rated at 2GHz or above with 2GB of RAM, a 4.7" HD IPS display, an 8 megapixel primary camera, 16GB of onboard storage, LTE support and all the usual features you would expect to see in a smartphone of this type.

So, if you are tired of being treated like a terrorist, then perhaps a visit to blackphone.ch might be a good starting point. But if you actually are a terrorist, then perhaps you should stick to the iPhone or something.

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Blackphone at a glance

Available:

Q2 2014

Network:

GSM + UMTS + LTE

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA + LTE

+ WiFi

Screen:

4.7" resolution not specified

Camera:

8 megapixels (main)

Size:

Medium smartphone

Size / weight not specified

Bluetooth:

Yes (4.0)

Internal memory:

16GB

Memory card:

Not specified

CPU:

2GHz+ quad-core

RAM:

2GB

Java:

No

GPS:

Yes

OS:

PrivatOS

Battery life:

Not specified

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