Security Experts:

First Units of Ultra-Private Blackphone Start Shipping

SGP Technologies SA, the Switzerland-based joint venture of Silent Circle and Geeksphone, announced on Monday that Blackphone handsets are now available and that units are on the way to the first group of customers who have placed pre-orders.

SGP Technologies formally launched Blackphone earlier this year

Blackphone was built from the ground up to maximize user privacy, and comes with a security-enhanced operating system, PrivatOS, which is built on Android KitKat and provides users protection and control over security issues without the usual compromises, the company explained. 

Blackphone offers the features and services and services including:

Blackphone Secure Smartphone SpecsPrivate communications: Blackphone features private encrypted voice and video calls and text messaging with attachments via Silent Circle’s, Silent Phone and Silent Text apps

Wi-Fi security: The included Kismet Smarter Wi-Fi Manager prevents Wi-Fi hotspots from capturing Blackphone users’ wireless connection history and other information that could be used to track users’ locations or patterns of activity and information about sensitive office or home networks.

Security Center: Gives owners control over application permissions, allowing immediate changes without rebooting or reinstalling.

Remote wipe and protect: A remote wipe tool gives Blackphone owners further peace of mind in having the ability to control their phone’s data from anywhere in the world.

Anonymous Web browsing and VPN: Disconnect Search is the default search provider for Blackphone, offering private browsing protection from invasive Web monitoring by hiding users’ IP address, browser cookies and personal information. Blackphone also features Disconnect’s Secure Wireless app, which is a smart VPN designed to prevent eavesdropping over Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Private cloud storage: Blackphone owners can access files in SpiderOak’s private encrypted cloud service right from their mobile device, knowing only they have the means to decrypt and access their private files.

Blackphone’s initial inventory is sold out, but the Blackphone Web store will reopen on July 14 to begin accepting new orders, the company said.

The phone is currently priced at US$629.00.

In February, Boeing announced that it was also launching a self-destructing smartphone to help spies, diplomats and others keep secrets secure. According to Boeing, there are no serviceable parts on its "Black phone" and any attempted servicing or replacing of parts would destroy the product.

While the devices are similar in name, Boeing’s device should not be confused with the new encrypted Blackphone, developed by Silent and Geeksphone.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.