Skip to main content

In three weeks, Blackphone hopes to satisfy privacy concerns

After having been available for preorder since the beginning of the year, the privacy-centric Blackphone will be shipping in three weeks for $629. The device is pitched as an Android smartphone that's designed around security and privacy, both areas of growing concerns with the rise of malicious software, hacks, and government surveillance.

The phone's shipping announcement was made in San Francisco, California at the MIT Technology Review Digital Summit. Blackphone is designed from a partnership between Geeksphone and security firm Silent Circle.

The device will provide end-to-end encryption for Blackphone customers who interact with each other. For messaging from a Blackphone device to a non-Blackphone, there will be a one-way encryption that occurs from the Blackphone side to Silent Circle servers.

Additionally, Blackphone can mask what information and block apps from obtaining private information. In one example, if an app requires access to the phone's address book, Blackphone can intercept that request and tell the app that the address book is empty.

Source: LightReading

Have you listened to this week's Android Central Podcast?

Android Central

Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.

95 Comments
  • How can I convert my nexus 5 to a blackphone?? Posted via Android Central App
  • Spray paint, or sell it and buy a black phone?
  • lolol pure gold.
  • lol +1000 Posted via Android Central App
  • Root it and throw an obnoxious icon pack on there. Boom. Posted via Android Central App
  • Silent Circle offers an expensive subscription suite that allows you to have the encryption you want like a Blackphone. However, the subscription is expensive to the point where it is cheaper to buy a Blackphone because it has a 24 month subscription built into the purchase and you ultimately save a few hundred dollars or so. Posted via Android Central App
  • Chances are that Silent circle is useless if the Federal Gov. really wanted a copy of your data, unless they house their servers in bfe.
  • Yeah, unfortunately, as long as National Security Letters are a thing, anything other than end-to-end encryption is accessible to the federal government, with an uncomfortably low level of oversight.
  • My current phone is already black...lol. From my Note 2 to you
  • Nothing is going to stop the government from knowing everything they want to know about you. Whoa. That is really unsettling.............
  • does the Blackphone come in white? I prefer white phones.
  • Phoneist!!
  • Yup sure does. The new and old phones do all this I recommend the new phones are so much more better so much more versatile and so very underrated. John Hancock
  • Gigantic, Gigantic, Gigantic, Big Big Love
  • It wasn't done for gov't reasons. It was done because of the decrepitly insecure OS which is Android. This phone will make Android as secure as iOS and NO more than that. At 630 dollars I would look somewhere else for a secure phone and for ALOT less
  • IOS secure that's so cute. Posted via Android Central App
  • IOS and black phone will be equal. There are more secure phones than those two.
  • So if iOS is so secure why will the government not consider using one but is either going windows or android? Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah, but. No, but. Yeah, but.... What annoys me the most is the amount of Apple trolls on an Android site. This pathetic astroturfing from Apple just shows how desperate they are these days. Apple's "smart" phones will surely meet the same fate as BB in a few years.
  • Just Google... "Most secure phone" geesh
  • Let me guess.. you're about to turn into a commercial and say that Blackberry is the only OEM that makes secure phones, right?
  • Don't feed the trolls...
  • Sure, you keep telling yourself that, lol.
  • Ironically enough, the kind of person who sees a pro-Apple comment on an Android site and immediately assumes that the person is secretly on Apple's payroll is the kind of tinfoil hat-wearing nutjob who'd probably be interested in a Blackphone in the first place.
  • Haha yep
  • Black phone is a facade and will be equally insecure as an iOS phone. You already know what phone is being used be the gov't now don't you?
  • Yeah, Samsung just got cleared and Google is expected to announce security features this year at the developers conference. Posted via Android Central App
  • We use old Motorola flip phones. I'm not kidding. (BlackBerry for smartphones though.)
  • http://www.zdnet.com/iphones-ipads-cleared-for-u-s-military-use-dod-fort...
  • iPhones are really secure, that's why we get all the stolen naked pics of celebrities.
  • Yeah give me you iPhone and ten minutes. I will be more than happy to show you how secure it isn't. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yup the world has a phone like this, its called a...... Wait for it..... BlackBerry Posted via Android Central App
  • And, with that being said, why is Blackberry not more successful? I'll wait.
  • It doesn't matter how successful the phone is. The fact remains at this point they are the most secure and yes I am using an Android tablet to write this. I wonder will the BlackTablet be 1000 dollars?
  • I don't really care if you're using an Android tablet to write that or not. Hell, I don't own any Android devices, at the moment. But, the fact remains, just because Blackberry is the most secure device, doesn't mean that Android and iOS devicea are not capable of filling the void once filled by Blackberry's devices. And, still, this conversation is way played out. Blackberry has fallen from grace (despite the fact that BB10 is actually good), and Blackberry users can't help but to bring up security to bash every other platform out there. Don't you guys get tired of rehashing the same damn debate?
  • A visit over to CrackBerry will tell you that no, that's all they have left to cling to. Posted from my TARDIS!
  • Yeah, lol.
  • You back on the windows phone merc? Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah, for now. I'm still waiting to see how the Note 4 pans out. I'll either swap my 1520 for the Note 4 or my iPad Mini for the Verizon Tab S.
  • No Android devices? TRAITOR! But really, what are you using these days? I've been kicking around the idea of getting a WP device to screw around with as a backup.
  • I've been using the 1520 for the past few months. It's really solid. The experience and battery life is great. The App Store could be better, but it's steadily getting there. One of the major pluses for me is that Microsoft Office is included.
  • I am strongly thinking of switching to WP, Android is sooooo disappointing
  • Ah, that's a cool-looking device, but it's just too big for me to use. The Nexus 5 that I'm using now is straining at the edge of being too big for me, really. The 1020 would definitely be more up my alley, I think. I really wish it came in more colors, though.
  • I was reminded recently that Blackberry built their business on the basis that they were the only company that could offer push email. In those days, I don't think there was any other phone that could offer push, and most couldn't even handle email at all. Now that every phone has push email, Blackberry have had to re-invent themselves and they seem to have chosen security as the platform to build the business on. We will see how successful it is, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Blackberry moving into the Android market if phones like BlackPhone start to hoover up the competition...
  • Blackberry will have a tough time but this BlackPhone is not going t cut it, it is a facade
  • I think your on the wrong site? Posted via Android Central App
  • Nope. Giving facts about an overpriced not going to do what you hope it will phone. This was written on an Android tablet
  • Why do you Apple trolls always spew the same excuse to avoid confrontation after you start trolling? "I swears I's gots ones of thems Androids!"
  • IOS and this 630 dollar droid phone are equally or will be equally insecure. Go ahead and bing, I mean Google "most secure phone" and find out for yourself. Written on my Android tablet
  • Why is it that the US government refuse to approve iDevices for their most critical departments while Android phones are approved? I don't even know why I bothered replying. It's pointless to discuss with an RDF infected troll like you.
  • You're a closeted Blackberry user aren't you? LOL. Lighten up
  • lol
  • http://www.zdnet.com/iphones-ipads-cleared-for-u-s-military-use-dod-fort...
  • Anybody can post anywhere.
  • I'm pretty sure iPhones are not the most secure devices out there. The government allows KNOX enabled phones and Blackberrys. Posted via Android Central App
  • You got it right yes it's blackberry. And it will take a long while before android black phone or not will truly catch up. They will profess they did like Knox did but it will be facade
  • Yeah, Blackberry is super secure... Just ask the Indian government. Posted via Android Central App
  • Well almost ANYTHING is more secure than Android, we all know it. I wonder will the BlackTablet cost 1000 dollars?
  • *yawn*
    The best security is the person holding the device. The OS plays a pretty small role in the matter. Posted via Android Central App
  • As long as people using Android don't look at permissions and around 1% actually do or care to. The WHOLE OS really does play a big role in the issue. The insecure system will remain. They really do have enough money and power to change it don't they? How much do they really need anymore? I guess Google is on the path to want to control all of us in every way. It is sad
  • What's sad is your gnashing of teeth over 'security' for users who don't really need it. Posted via Android Central App
  • It's the BBM debate all over again, lol.
  • This.
  • Wow I am so glad that I was intoxicated last night and missed this conversation. Jerry would have put me in a timeout... Posted via Android Central App
  • Oooooh were scared in blog land. Lighten up
  • Lol.
  • I'm glad I wasn't intoxicated when I started posting. I surely would have started a needless argument lol
  • This phone is a joke sorry. John Hancock
  • But check out those sweet icons bro! Those have to add at least five security points, that's how security works right? Posted via Android Central App
  • Perfectly stated. My original point is the waste of money for a phone that is less secure than a 50 dollar old blackberry. It 200 dollar blackberry 10. I don't own a blackberry but 630 dollars no way! I hear the BlackTablet will be 1000 dollars with 1GB of ram, LOL
  • You certainly sound like a BB fanboi. Posted via Android Central App
  • Nope android phone and tablet. I am just disappointed in Google/Android for quite a few reasons really. This phone is band aid and Google DOES have enough money,etc to change things BUT they wont.
  • Every time you lock something down for security, you remove options. There are many reasons that Blackberry is dead, this is one of them. You can say anything you like about what devices you prefer, but you're bleating "Blaaaackberry" an awful lot. Posted via Android Central App
  • I prefer a secure android but not going to happen. I use blackberry in my criticism as a lightning rod to say, if weak old blackberry can do it why not android?u
  • Because if you go the blackberry 'secure' route you remove options from users. There are many options for Android users to make their phones more secure, from using two step authentication to using secure email apps with better encryption and more. Most users don't care though, and even fewer actually need it.
    You can gnash your teeth over security all you want, the reality is it's just not necessary for most users. Probably including yourself. Posted via Android Central App
  • That is a new one. The masses don't need secure phones just certain people? There enough insecure android phones out there that it affects the whole android ecosystem period.
  • Why the hangup on $630. Have you priced an iPhone 5s, Galaxy S5, or HTC One. Sounds about the same to me.
  • The price point is similar, but what you're paying for here is the security of the OS. If I remember correctly, we're talking a Tegra 4 processor, 720p screen, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage here. Not really low-end, but at $630, you're paying at least a couple hundred in premium for security over other devices with similar specs. People who say it's overpriced are basically saying that the security (or illusion thereof) that the phone provides isn't worth the extra money.
  • Yup. It's a phone for tinfoil hats. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm *just* paranoid enough to think that all of this is a neat idea, but the fact is that even if I were to buy a Blackphone, no one else I know would ever consider getting one. If you're not talking Blackphone-to-Blackphone, then you're relying on SilentCircle, which could be the most secure system in the world when it comes to being hacked, but your data's still one subpoena away from being accessed by the government.
  • I'll give it a week after its release before an exploit is found... I may be being generous...
  • Yeah, it will be good to see how quickly they push updates. And I wonder what happens if you break the phone. You have to wait 2 weeks to get it repaired? It's not like you can walk into a shop and pick up a new one + restore your environment OTA
  • That UI skin will go great with the purchaser's fedora. Posted via Android Central App
  • Lol Posted via Android Central App
  • Lol nothing being posted on crack berry Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5
  • Sounds like what you can do with TextSecure and RedPhone. If you're rooted you could use XPrivacy to block apps from getting sensitive data. Doesn't seem like it's worth over $600. Posted via Android Central App
  • Can't wait for things like this to become standard in every phone.
  • so how comes i rarely look at permissions in detail. and have had android since nexus one, and never even had the remote inkling of some type of malware or virus or threat. downloaded crappy apps and good ones. i mean the security thing to me still doesnt seem so much of a huge threat to me if ive been using android for that many years only and nothing . maybe on the side of if someone takes ur phone or hacks into it somehow. but the os and sneaky malware ive seen gets handled quick and deosnt seem to affect much. fixed fairly quick. likr those few apps in the app store. idk.
  • maybe its just something on the verge of exploding in a negative way, but i still dont see it yet. by now google nows everything anyway,lol. idk.
  • Sigh. People think the government really cares about them that much to constantly monitor then specificaly 24/7 Sent from Rooted Galaxy S4
  • I think everyone here needs to stay calm and also consider a security issue that's much closer to home. Yes, the Government and its Agencies snoop around, monitor and pry; Yes, some OSs are weaker than other for security, but how many of us read any of the app Terms and Conditions before we press ACCEPT? Does anyone know what permissions to spy, report and pry into our phones we have already given away? I was recently pointed in the direction of a YouTube documentary exactly about this - called appropriately, Terms and Conditions. It is concerning what permissions we give apps and their writers when we click ACCEPT. I haven't finished watching it yet, but it's an eye-opener, even if you think you know what you're doing. Therefore, before we all bash each other about which phone is more secure, I would suggest everyone considers what has already been given away, freely....
  • What you should really be asking us any does anyone have anything on their phone that needs to be encrypted? Posted via Android Central App with my Nexus 5
  • So how do I hack it? Will root privilege will be my only way?
  • Yeah for the agent in me. Whoopie doo. Like my life is exciting enough for this phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • Ewww, that sounds terrible. More a phone that the CIA would use, no thank you Posted via Android Central App