So it has come to this. Let's be honest: we've always pretty much known, or at least suspected, that the government had the ability to spy on us if it wanted. And yet many people were more than happy to give away tons of information on social networks without a care.
Now, because of Edward Snowden, we know that they are. And what a difference that makes.
We have become so afraid of the National Security Agency snooping on us, and monitoring our calls and texts, that there is going a whole indiustry of devices that are designed specifically block them out. Wait, what country are we living in again?
We got the first one at the Mobile World Congress on Monday.
Meet Blackphone, a new Android phone from SGP Technologies, the joint venture of Silent Circle and Geeksphone, that comes pre-loaded with additional security features that will, theoretically at least, stop the NSA from being able to spy on its users.
Blackphone comes unlocked and features several pre-installed privacy tools, all of which are fully enabled for at least two years of usage.
These tools include the Silent Circle suite of apps, including Silent Phone, Silent Text, and Silent Contacts. It also comes with anonymous search, private browsing, and VPN from Disconnect, as well as secure cloud file storage from SpiderOak.
In addition, it also ships with the Smart WiFi Manager and a remote-wipe and device recovery too, as well as three separate one-year 'Friends and Family' subscriptions.
"Blackphone offers unprecedented value in a turnkey secure communications platform, and it's easy enough to use that anyone who's used a smartphone before will feel right at home as soon as they turn it on," Toby Weir-Jones, SGP Technologies' Managing Director, said in a statement.
The device, which comes with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a quad-core 2 GHz processor and support for LTE networks, sells for $629, in addition to any shipping fees and any local taxes. It is now available for pre-order, and is scheduled to ship to the first end users in June 2014.
Silent Circle is a global encrypted communications service that provides a peer-to-peer platform for encrypted voice, video, text and file transfer on mobile devices via a secure, proprietary network, software and mobile apps.
Existing users of the service can add an additional two years of use to an existing subscriptions, or they can also initiate new subscriptions at the time of activating their new phone.
As soon as it launched it will be available through selected partner carriers, including KPN Mobile.
"We have created a special SpiderOak Blackphone Edition which offers a 250% increase in secure, zero-knowledge cloud storage capacity over the free account you can sign up for via our website," Ethan Oberman, co-founder and CEO of SpiderOak, said in a statement,
"We can't wait to hear stories from Blackphone users about how they're taking advantage of this integrated storage solution."
You can find out more about Blackphone in this video that was put up on its website:
(Image source: https://store.blackphone.ch)