1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Anyone ever try the Blackphone?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by CrimsonToker, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. CrimsonToker

    CrimsonToker Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    It's supposed to be the most secure phone available, and certainly has the price tag to match. The website has the phones technical specs but I'm not nerdy enough to understand how good they are. I hear it comes with a modified version of android that's more customizable
     



    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


      Download

       
  2. CrimsonToker

    CrimsonToker Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I just read a full review of the phone and how it works to secure your data. Pretty interesting.
     
  3. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    So from what I gather, outgoing SMS and calls are encrypted by going through a data connection, then to the Blackphone servers, then to the recipient. So basically this needs both ends to have internet and the service, or at least an app to receive the SMS and call which can read the encryption. So it's basically an encrypted Google Voice/Hangouts? With the added bonus of having any OS backdoors closed. Any breach of privacy in this case would be either the company's fault (allowing say, NSA access to servers), or on the receiving end (loudspeaker with other people listening, or a security backdoor on their end).
     
  4. zipred

    zipred Android Expert

    *stands up, raises right hand*

    Hi my name is zipred, I'm a hopeless smartphone addict.

    Not only have I bought nearly every new flapship smartphone, over the last seven years, the current collection I own, far more than the limited number listed to the left, is so large it's insane... Oops I meant I'm the insane one... Heh!

    If not for the plethora of phones already populating my must buy list, I would have already bought a Blackphone, I find it very intriguing.

    But not as exciting as those on my list... :D
     
    Ferrisore likes this.
  5. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    They might still allow NSA and other law enforcement access to their servers, especially if a warrant was served on them, usually for suspected terrorist activities. Although the NSA and other three letter spooks don't tend to bother with warrants AFAIK, Patriot Act.

    Blackberry was always supposed to be secure, but they allow government access to their servers.
     
  6. CrimsonToker

    CrimsonToker Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    If what I read about the Blackphone is correct, the data is encrypted on their servers in a way that it cannot be accessed even from the room where the servers are located.
     
  7. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    That's what I meant. People see privacy and they think it means hiding from NSA. Privacy in this case is hiding from anyone not named NSA.
     
  8. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Presumably they're using known open source encryption technologies, rather than closed proprietary, like say PGP and TrueCrypt. Because with open source, there cannot be any secret back-doors in it. The only way to crack things like TrueCrypt is brute-force attacks, basically trying to guess the passwords. Like here's the servers with data fully encrypted, but we can't read it, because we don't know the user's password, and we don't have a back-door to it.
     
    zipred likes this.
  9. CrimsonToker

    CrimsonToker Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Well let's be realistic. If the nsa wants your info they will get it. But stuff like the Blackphone can at least help you stay off their radar
     
  10. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    My take has always been I don't have anything to hide. I'll always be more suspicious of people trying to hide things. Same goes for people who are too open though.
     
  11. CrimsonToker

    CrimsonToker Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying "The man who gives up privacy for security deserves neither." Or something to that affect. I have nothing to hide either, but does that mean the government has a right to all of my information?
     
    zipred likes this.
  12. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I'm thinking, may come up on the NSA and GCHQ radar, because one is using a Blackphone. They could read it is as, why is he using this thing and not an iPhone or a Samsung like most other people, what's he trying to hide?

    It was only less than 20 years ago, that strong unbreakable cryptography was a prohibited export from the US. Used to be 40-bits maximum for exports. It's classified as munitions, and products that feature strong encryption are still prohibited from export to "terrorist supporting" countries like North Korea and Syria, e.g. Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.

    AFAICT Blackphone wouldn't even be allowed here in China, really for the same reasons that Google is banned. Blackberry had problems with being blocked in countries like Egypt and Pakistan, until they gave the government access to user's data.
     
    chanchan05 likes this.
  13. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    No. But actively hiding it makes you a more likely target for surveillance. They're more likely to pass you over in surveillance because they see that you're just a normal schmuck.

    What I'm finding weird is that people seem to think that the NSA is literally listening in on everything you do. As if they care what you had for lunch, which you post on instagram anyway. From what I understand, they can get access whenever they need it, they're not actually listening. Basically, retrograde wiretapping.

    Besides, Jefferson lived in a different time. Back then, you can't plan a terrorist attack without meeting up with your cohorts, at a time when privacy only meant things behind closed doors. But everyone knew who went in and out of that door. Nowadays you can orchestrate one through a group chat in Viber without leaving your house.

    The more adamant you are in trying to hide something, the more likely they are going to watch you. The more normal you are, the less likely they'd bother to look in your private stuff since they already feel that you're no threat.

    In other words, protecting your privacy by cooperation. Of course though there should be rules/laws to avoid abuse of authority.
     
    mikedt likes this.
  14. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    There's nothing wrong with wanting more privacy.

    It's a right in the United States and some people feel strongly about it.

    The argument that you ought not have anything to hide is the darling of totalitarian regimes.

    Let's just support people who want that and are interested in this phone without questioning their motives or consciousness.

    They have the right. ;) :)
     
  15. CrimsonToker

    CrimsonToker Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Seriously. Everyone has gotten so off topic from what this hold thread was supposed to be about. I wanted to know what the service is like, what the phone is like, instead you are all throwing in your opinions of whether this technology is useful or not.
     
  16. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Fwiw, I checked it out from the software side when announced and I thought that they were on the right track for privacy and data protection. As I recall, some of the protection is subscription based (double check me on that) and that's understandable.

    Sorry I didn't get to really test the hardware but if I had to go back to heavy foreign travel as I used to do, and be a walking target for industrial espionage, as I definitely was, I'd be gladly be giving this phone a try.
     
  17. CrimsonToker

    CrimsonToker Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    It is subscription based, but you get a free year with the phone. Same with the encrypted texts and calls. You get a free year for yourself and one other person
     
    EarlyMon likes this.
  18. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

  19. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Sorry for getting tangential, but it did stem from a valid point of view IMO. The Blackphone is still not immune from government surveillance should it come down to that. It's basically a subscription based service which goes through a server which the NSA can access if they demand it (warrants or that Patriot Act).

    I am not against more privacy. I am just saying that at this point in time, it's sort of impossible to have complete privacy when the servers can get accessed, and that to have privacy, we should control what we send out on our end, and not rely on others.
     
  20. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Given that you brought up the NSA in the first place, I can see why you think that continuing to focus on that is a valid point of view. :D

    And maybe it is.

    But unbeknownst to most of the blogosphere, there are great non-NSA privacy concerns out there and they happen to be very real.

    And also very valid.

    The OP never brought up the NSA, the Patriot Act or anything else nefarious.

    So, let's stick to the question at hand - how good is this phone?
     
    CrimsonToker likes this.
  21. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert

    Benjamin Franklin said that.

    But it's still right.

    We are not subjects who live and operate at the pleasure of the government. The only information they have a right to is anything voluntarily given or procured through a warrant.
     
    CrimsonToker likes this.
  22. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    From reading knowledgeable reviews, the Blackphone seems to be a decent-enough performer for its specs. Price-wise it falls short in terms of hardware specs, but you're paying for the software development after all.
     
    EarlyMon likes this.
  23. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

  24. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Apparently it's closed beta at the moment, due for release next year. A secure custom ROM that should run on popular phones like Samsung S4.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...