The guy who invented PGP is making his own Android phone. Does anyone actually need it?

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 16 Jan 2014

Phil Zimmermann is the creator of an encryption protocol called PGP. He invented it so that his files, conversations, and any other thing he did on a computer, would be safe from the government. This sort of tin foil hat wearing is the inspiration behind “Blackphone”, a smartphone that runs a fork of Android called “PrivatOS”. What kind of screen does the phone have? What kind of processor? Does it support 4G LTE? How music is it going to cost? These are questions that are going to be answered next month at Mobile World Congress in Spain.

Now let’s take a step back. What kind of people need this phone? If you’re a journalist working in Syria or Iran, you need to keep yourself safe. If you’re patrolling the Central African Republic, you need this phone and a machete. But for anyone else, this is total overkill. And besides, if you want to hide, you shouldn’t be using a mobile phone in the first place. As convenient as smartphones are, the second you connect to a cell tower, someone immediately knows where you are. And besides, how do you know which encryption protocols the government already knows how to crack?

Why exactly is this phone getting any attention at all? Because of all the stories that have leaked out during the past few months about America spying on everyone, Canada spying on their own people, the Germans spying on their own people, the French …. and damn near every government is doing the same thing.

Want to be safe? Go live in a cabin in the woods.

[Via: The Verge]