Privacy is one of the most talked-about topics these, as we expose more and more of our personal data through online accounts and smart mobile devices that we carry around with us always. Back in the beginning we saw Geeksphone and a reputed security expert team up for the Blackphone, which we also saw at the Mobile World Congress from Barcelona, this year. FreedomPop, the US budget carrier that not too many have heard about, has now announced the “Snowden Phone“, a customized version of the Galaxy S2 with a focus on privacy.
This new privacy phone costs $189, without any contract whatsoever. However, if you want to use their service, you get three months of unlimited voice and text and 500 MBs of data, but after that, you will have to pay $10 each month. If you want to make sure that even your purchase remains anonymous, then you can even pay with Bitcoins. According to FreedomPop, this is the only smartphone and mobile service that allows for encrypted communication, but maybe BlackPhone thinks otherwise. FreedomPop cofounder and CEO Stephen Stokols says that their device, unlike the Blackphone, is aimed at the average consumer. He also added the following:
Blackphone does not come with service, so you would need a carrier for voice and text, which won’t encrypt communications. It just secures your phone itself and the data
The Blackphone will cost you $629, but it comes with much better specs than FreedomPop’s new privacy-oriented device, along with specialized apps and more security features. FreedomPop users of the “Snowden Phone” will communicate via voice calls and text messages in a secure environment using 128-bit encryption for the protect of your connection. You will also be able to anonymously browse the internet without having to worry about online marketers tracking your web activity, as data is funneled through a pre-installed VPN. Steven Sesar, COO at FreedomPop, also cared to share his input:
In light of recent violations in consumer’s privacy across social networks and mobile devices, privacy is becoming increasingly important to many Americans and we all have a right to communicate anonymously. Large carriers don’t have the flexibility, desire or creativity to invest in privacy. We don’t agree with this approach and felt it was up to us to create a truly private mobile phone service at an affordable price.
Besides protecting your calls from being monitored, it will also keep you safe from viruses and other malicious software that could infect your system. Also, FreedomPop’s phone will feature a kill switch that you will be able to use in order to remotely wipe the phone’s contents. But let’s take all this privacy brouhaha with a grain of salt for a second here. Unless you’re running a criminal enterprise or you’re leaking government secrets, why would you want to buy a phone like this. After all, if you’re the regular citizen, without any anarchist ideas or God knows what other intentions, why would you be interested in buying such a device? Maybe smart companies are just making a profit over exaggerated concerns.