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Blackphone creates NSA-proof smartphone for post-Snowden era

Ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's spy games, the world has been clamouring for a more secure way to communicate.

Blackphone—a joint venture between Silent Circle and Geeksphone—may be the answer.

The first device to place privacy and control directly in the consumer's hands, Blackphone runs free of carriers and vendors. Its creators say the Android-based PrivatOS provides users a safe place to make and receive phone calls, exchange texts, transfer and store files, and video chat, without fear of the government eavesdropping.

According to Geeksphone CEO Javier Agüera, the PrivatOS system comes with access to the same familiar Android applications, but with an added level of privacy.

"Blackphone is a journey built upon privacy, control, and security, wrapped in a high-end smartphone built by a very innovative all-star team of cryptographers, security, and mobile innovators," Silent Circle CEO Mike Janke said in the Blackphone video.

From the minds behind data encryption program PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone, and global encrypted communications service Silent Circle, Blackphone is the culmination of years' worth of ideas, prototypes, and updated technology.

"I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products," data encryption program PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) creator Phil Zimmermann said in a statement. "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."

Geeksphone isn't the only company that Blackphone has joined forces with in recent months. In November 2013, Silent Circle and Lavabit formed the "Dark Mail Alliance" to create new encrypted mail technology.

Blackphone is expected to make its début next month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; it will be available for pre-order beginning 24 February.

What do you think? Do you think the Blackphone will be used as a tool for our protection or abused by those wishing to sneak under the government's noses?