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FreedomPop Releases $189 Encrypted "Privacy Phone"

Sprint MVNO FreedomPop, which is best known for their free mobile broadband and mobile phone service, is branching out into the market for secure communication. The company today released the Privacy Phone, which Internet wags have quickly dubbed the "Snowden Phone" after the whistle blower who revealed the National Security Agency's widespread domestic spying.

The Privacy Phone costs $189 plus $6.99 for shipping. It's a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S II fitted out with a VPN client for anonymous encrypted data use and a special version of FreedomPop's messaging and VOIP calling app that wraps 128 bit encryption around all calls and texts. There's also a pre-installed  mobile security app that hides contacts and call history and can block unwanted calls and texts. The phone can be remotely wiped if lost or stolen and FreedomPop will allow unlimited phone number changes at no charge. For added anonymity FreedomPop is accepting Bitcoin for Privacy Phone and airtime purchases.

FreedomPop is including three months of free unlimited service with the phone purchase. After three months, the service, which includes unlimited calling and texting and 500 MB of data per month, costs $10 a month.

The Privacy Phone does add a level of protection to calling and Web use. However, there are limits on that protection. The NSA is capable of decryption encrypted communications, Sprint is more than willing to track its users' location for police and government agencies and FreedomPop can't refuse court orders to reveal customer data. If you don't want to be tracked you shouldn't be carrying a cell phone or using an Internet connected computer period.

Source: FreedomPop via Re/code

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