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A Smartphone That Tries To Slip You Off The Grid
NPR ^ | 28 Feb 2014 | Aarti Shahani

Posted on 02/28/2014 12:11:39 PM PST by Theoria

Mike Janke used to be a Navy SEAL sniper. These days he's taking on the government and corporate America. He's the founder of Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone with privacy as its main selling point.

It's not NSA-proof — in that everything is hackable if you try hard enough. But Janke says it's taking on the entire mobile economy that lets law enforcement and companies in way too easily.

Take apps that look free but mine your data to earn big dollars. Facebook tries to get your contacts, Google Maps tries to get your geolocation, Pandora gets your music preferences. Blackphone has a default setting: no — unless you proactively choose yes.

Blackphone also rebels against smartphone norms. Say you want to spend Sunday afternoon lost in a coffee shop or a clothing store. You might think you're off the grid, but your phone, using Wi-Fi, is talking to beacons "finding out where you've been, making offerings to you," Janke says. "What Blackphone does, it'll automatically stop that beacon activity, shut off any Wi-Fi pinging to protect you from those type of stalking things."

In addition to hiding identity, Blackphone stores user data in a secure vault in Switzerland — kind of like those no-questions-asked Swiss bank accounts. It sounds like the digital equivalent of wearing sunglasses and a trench coat everywhere. So I ask the obvious follow-up question: Is it mostly for criminals?

"No. Certainly because of the summer of [NSA whistleblower Edward] Snowden, it's about 20 to 25 percent of the world is really the people that are concerned about security, really concerned about their privacy," Janke says.

Boeing is also creating a super-secure smartphone, but it's aimed at defense customers.

(Excerpt) Read more at npr.org ...


TOPICS: Computers/Internet; Society
KEYWORDS: blackphone; grid; nsa; phone; pricacy; smartphone

1 posted on 02/28/2014 12:11:40 PM PST by Theoria
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To: Theoria

It’s certainly true that if you want to use mobile devices and expect a higher level of security, you’re going to have to seek out solutions like this on your own, and pay for it.

Standard solutions are based on openness and access to data - a concept that is at the heart of most of the successful internet business models.


2 posted on 02/28/2014 12:19:13 PM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Theoria
Blackphone also rebels against smartphone norms. Say you want to spend Sunday afternoon lost in a coffee shop or a clothing store. You might think you're off the grid, but your phone, using Wi-Fi, is talking to beacons "finding out where you've been, making offerings to you," Janke says. "What Blackphone does, it'll automatically stop that beacon activity, shut off any Wi-Fi pinging to protect you from those type of stalking things."

In addition to hiding identity, Blackphone stores user data in a secure vault in Switzerland — kind of like those no-questions-asked Swiss bank accounts. It sounds like the digital equivalent of wearing sunglasses and a trench coat everywhere. So I ask the obvious follow-up question: Is it mostly for criminals?

"No. Certainly because of the summer of [NSA whistleblower Edward] Snowden, it's about 20 to 25 percent of the world is really the people that are concerned about security, really concerned about their privacy," Janke says.

I was never here.

3 posted on 02/28/2014 12:19:32 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Theoria

https://www.secusmart.com/en/secusuite-for-blackberryr-10/


4 posted on 02/28/2014 12:47:00 PM PST by Kennard
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It's February 28th

Do You Know Where Your Donation Is?


Click The Pic To Donate

Please Donate Now

5 posted on 02/28/2014 12:48:41 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Theoria

Now all we have to do is trust Blackphone, Inc. - founded by a Navy SEAL, who no longer works for the government, and certainly would not be part of an Op to let particularly paranoid people self-select their own surveillance through, for example, a company that claims to be able to hide their phone activity from surveillance.

You really want privacy? Start your own privacy company. Otherwise you got a trust problem in your crypto network...


6 posted on 02/28/2014 1:07:20 PM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Theoria

Is this the Boeing Blackphone or a competitor?


7 posted on 02/28/2014 1:27:56 PM PST by John Valentine (Deep in the Heart of Texas)
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To: John Valentine
A competitor.
8 posted on 02/28/2014 1:31:31 PM PST by Theoria (End Socialism : No more GOP and Dem candidates)
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To: Alex Murphy

The new watchword!!

9 posted on 02/28/2014 3:12:55 PM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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