FreedomPop unveiling new Galaxy S2 based Privacy Phone, also accepting Bitcoin as payment

March 5, 2014
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FreedomPop Privacy Phone

Mobile security has certainly garnered a lot of attention since the NSA debacle all those months ago, and we’ve already seen that a few companies are seizing the initiative and introducing smartphones with enhanced privacy capabilities.

FreedomPop is latest company to rally to the cause, the company is working on a Privacy Phone, which is essentially a modified Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone that will offer 128-bit encryption for both voice communication and text messages. Web and other application data traffic will be also encrypted, and sent through a virtual private network to ensure maximum security.

“In light of recent violations in consumer’s privacy across social networks and mobile devices, privacy is becoming increasingly important to many Americans and we all have a right to communicate anonymously,” FreedomPop COO Steven Sesar

The Galaxy S2’s hardware may be a little dated, but it will come with a tweaked version of Android Jelly Bean and is also capable of receiving further updates, although the operating system itself isn’t receiving the same degree of customisation and protect offered by the likes of Silent Circle. It also comes with some of FreedomPop’s own software features, including the ability to remotely wipe a lost phone. Using older Galaxy S2 hardware should also help to keep the cost of the handset to a minimum, whilst still offering sufficient power for a decent smartphone experience. FreedomPop will sell the Privacy Phone for $189, including three months of unlimited voice, texting and 500MB of monthly data. After the first three months are up, the plan will cost just $10 per month.

“Large carriers don’t have the flexibility, desire or creativity to invest in privacy.”

As well as all of the above, FreedomPop also supports the fiat currency sceptic’s favourite alternative payment option – Bitcoin. Although we’ll have to see how willing people are to continue to trade in the crypto-currency, given the recent demise of the Mt Gox exchange.

FreedomPop’s handset joins the likes of Silent Circle’s privacy focused Blackphone and the secret agent inspired Boeing Black self-destructing smartphone. There’s clearly a growing trend in privacy orientated mobile products, and with the pricing becoming more and more competitive, it will be interesting to see if larger developers start paying more attention to privacy in the future.

Comments

  • Luqmaan Mathee

    Will consumers be able to flash the firmware from this phone onto S2s?

  • Guest123

    Sounds like they are using a VPN and really nothing more. Generally to get person to person encryption both parties need to be using the same app or protocol — you can’t just send an encrypted sms or call to someone that doesn’t have a way to decrypt it, thus they will have to decrypt during transit or vpn it.

    Therefore, I can load up a VPN and use any WiFi based voip/sms app and get the same results.

    Though, I do like the effort. However, if this really is VPN based, and they are within the US, the US gov will have access to absolutely everything you send through them, encrypted or not.

    Curious to see the actual solutions they are employing.

  • Android Developer

    It doesn’t look much like SGS2 .
    SGS2 has 3 navigation buttons. maybe it’s a different SGS2 than I know of?

    • http://geekinkuwait.blogspot.com/ Abhishek Kumar

      The US Galaxy S2 has 4 Navigation buttons.

      • Android Developer

        oh i see.
        weird that they’ve done it this way.

        why do countries have different version anyway?

        • http://geekinkuwait.blogspot.com/ Abhishek Kumar

          I think Samsung Released the 4 button version in US because the 3 Button setup will look like the iPhone and they will get sued for having a button below the Screen and rounded corners :P
          Different countries have different versions because demand varies. For example, In my country LTE is not widespread or everyone doesn’t need it but in US everyone wants LTE.

          • Android Developer

            but isn’t it more confusing that there are many variants of the same model?

            you can’t even have the same rom for all of them…

            for example, the note 2 lte version (N7105) barely has roms compared to the more official one (N7100 )

  • A Dude

    Cool a data plan for terrorist’s fantastic idea.. Not