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NSA-proof smartphone? New Blackphone Android promises privacy

Computer HardwareNational Security AgencyT-Mobile

Privacy-minded users may want to keep an eye on Blackphone, a device that promises to deliver privacy like no smartphone before it.

Blackphone is a device that claims it will be able to keep users' phone calls, text messages, video chats and Web browsing private using a modified version of Android called PrivatOS.

"There has never been a time in the world where privacy has become such a commodity, and none of the other devices in the world have been built around giving privacy back to the user," said Mike Janke, Silent Circle chief executive, in a video introducing Blackphone.

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The device was announced Wednesday, but it won't go on sale until Feb. 24. The gadget will be able to work with GSM networks, which include T-Mobile and AT&T in the U.S.

The phone is being launched by Silent Circle and Geeksphone. Silent Circle is a company that specializes in encrypted communication while Geeksphone is a phone maker based in Spain.

There's no word yet on how much the phone will cost, what kind of components it will be equipped with or how exactly it will keep out prying eyes. But in this post-Edward-Snowden-NSA-leak world, clearly there is a market for device that can secure users' privacy. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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