By Harro Ten Wolde BARCELONA (Reuters) - Following the U.S. snooping revelations, there is a growing interest in a range of mobile phone products with one central selling point: privacy. The latest contender is the Blackphone, which runs on a customised version of Google's Android software and encrypts texts, voice calls and video chats was launched in the Spanish Pavilion at the annual Mobile World Congress industry fair in Barcelona on Monday. It aims to tap into the market for so-called mobile security management (MSM) products which was estimated to be worth $560 million in 2013 and is expected to nearly double in size to $1 billion a year by 2015, according to ABI Research. Separately Deutsche Telekom said it is also preparing to launch a smartphone app that encrypts voice and text messages, making it the first major network operator with a mass market-compatible product that will be rolled out to all its users. Edward Snowden set off a global furore when he told newspapers last year the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) was mining the personal data of users of firms such as Google, Facebook and Skype under its Prism programme. The former NSA contractor, who faces spying charges at home and has temporary asylum in Russia, also suggested the United States had monitored the phone conversations of some 35 world leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel, adding to concerns over privacy. Swisscom said last week it has seen a tripling of downloads for its secure messaging service iO, which encrypts chats and calls and stores all its data in Switzerland. Swiss mobile messaging services myENIGMA and Threema also encrypt users' exchanges. The Blackphone, which chose Switzerland as its home base because privacy there is a constitutional right, is the result of cooperation between U.S. security software company Silent Circle and Spanish handset maker GeeksPhone. The device will retail for $629 including a two-year subscription to the Silent Circle encryption service, which normally costs $120 a year, as well as a one-year subscription for three other parties. "We are aiming to sell hundreds of thousands devices," Blackphone's managing director Toby Weir-Jones told reporters. "This is a phone for everyone - whether you are an executive who likes to bring his device to work or you are a privacy-minded citizen who just wants to make sure that the internet is not looking over your shoulder." SNOWDEN EFFECT Meanwhile the Deutsche Telekom cloud-based app service, which will be officially unveiled at the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover next month, will be run with Germany's Sichere Mobile Kommunikation mbH (GSMK), a provider of encrypted phone services and devices. GSMK, which has seen the number of customer inquiries it receives rise fivefold since the Snowden leaks, has long been offering phones with encryption services to governments and firms willing to fork out 1,300-2,500 euros per handset. However, such new offerings as the Deutsche Telekom app and the Blackphone mean such secure communications are ready to reach the mass market, although both sides of a call have to be using the same service to get full encryption. Deutsche Telekom has already launched its SiMKo 3-Smartphone, an adapted version of Samsung's Galaxy, which encrypts e-mails, contact data, appointments, text messages, photos, audio recording and voice conversations. The open-source Guardian Project is another service offering free applications for secure communication over smartphones and tablets. It aims to help campaign groups and journalists to communicate in hostile environments with its Tor version for Android having been downloaded 2 million times so far, said project founder Nathan Freitas. With its app, users can gain access to internet services such as Twitter or Facebook without passing through any government-controlled servers. Most recently it saw interest in its software rise in the Ukraine, Turkey, Vietnam and Venezuela. "Every time when there is a crisis, you see an increase in people talking about our software," Freitas said. Still, it is almost impossible to ensure total privacy, security experts say. Every phone with a radio can be traced and followed. And metadata, information about who calls who, can be as valuable as the content of conversations. "I know it is a habit hard to unlearn, but it is better to leave your mobile at home, if you want to remain unnoticed," Freitas said. (Additional reporting by Caroline Copley and Katharina Bart; Editing by Pravin Char and Greg Mahlich)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- The Daily Beast
YouTubeThe last text Gabby Petito sent before she went missing while road-tripping across the U.S. with her fiancé set off alarm bells for her mother, who became fearful for the 22-year-old’s safety after receiving the “odd” message.That’s according to a newly-unsealed search warrant giving North Port, Florida, police permission to search a hard drive investigators found in Petito’s white van, which she and Brian Laundrie, 23, had been using to tour the country’s national parks.“The text message
Search warrant for Brian Laundrie: Gabby Petito's mom says conversations and texts with her appeared to show 'more and more tension' between couple
The tenor of some messages, followed by a lack of communication from Petito, is what led her mother to contact authorities, according to the warrant.
A police note was found on Brian Laundrie's car after he disappeared following a hike into a Florida nature preserve, his family says
Brian Laundrie's family said they picked up the Ford Mustang from the Carlton Reserve in Florida when he didn't come home.
- E! News
Instead of dancing the night away at an after-party for the 2021 Emmys, Mandy Moore celebrated ending her awards night in the best way possible: by eating pizza in her pantry.
- Harper's Bazaar
Issa Rae at the Emmys. Megan Fox at the VMAs. Zoë Kravitz and Kendall Jenner at the Met Gala. Is this what a post-Victoria's Secret world looks like?
Close-ups of footage said to show Gabby Petito's van near where a body was found appear to show the rear door closing
A YouTubing family said it caught footage of Petito's van unoccupied. Zoomed in, the footage suggests the rear door closed as the family approached.
- Good Housekeeping
We did not expect this! 🙌
- In The Know by Yahoo
Man's bone-chilling demonstration casts doubt on the safety of hotel rooms: 'Another thing to be paranoid about'
If you aren't already inspecting your hotel room or Airbnb before settling in, you might want to start.
- The Daily Beast
Michael M Santiago/GettyImagesProsecutors have discovered a tranche of evidence in the basement of a co-conspirator in the Trump Organization tax fraud case, a defense lawyer for indicted chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg revealed in court on Monday, with the attorney also signaling that more shoes are yet to drop in New York’s ongoing investigation.“We have strong reason to believe there could be other indictments coming,” Weisselberg’s lawyer, Bryan C. Skarlatos, said in Manhattan crim
- Yahoo Movies
Sultry toon is being transformed from damsel in distress to private investigator at Disneyland's Roger Rabbit ride. "Disney does not understand the concept of Jessica Rabbit," grouses one fan.
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
The 49ers saw three of their running backs get hurt in Sunday’s win over the Eagles, so they are looking at some potential additions to the roster this week. According to multiple reports, the team is bringing in Duke Johnson, Lamar Miller, and T.J. Yeldon. Johnson was released off of the Jaguars’ practice squad last [more]
Carole Middleton's bridal gown got a "second lease of life," says her new daughter-in-law
- Washington Examiner
Mixed martial arts rising star "Suga" Sean O'Malley commented critically on transgender fighter Alana McLaughlin's victories over female fighters.
Her style is truly unmatched.
- Kansas City Star
“Glad I didn’t find them, I would have called the crime scene investigation.”
- Yahoo Life
Jordyn Woods is a ‘dream girl’ in stunning draped crystal dress: ‘All of your dreams shall be furfillleeeeeed’
Jordyn Woods is entering her 24th year in style!
- Charlotte Observer
After impressing Hornets coaches at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, they signed him to the team Monday.
- Business Insider
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer announced they would attach a debt-ceiling suspension to a government-funding bill, daring the GOP. McConnell answered.
- Entertainment Weekly
Dancing With the Stars recap: See who earned the lowest score by doing something completely different
Jojo Siwa danced last with a female partner, a show first.
It actually has nothing to do with the British royal family