Light Reading

FreedomPop Launches 'Snowden Phone'

Dan Jones
3/5/2014
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FreedomPop's latest release is a phone aimed at those that are paranoid about privacy but still penny-wise.

The company is launching the "FreedomPop Privacy Phone" -- nicknamed "The Snowden Phone" -- in response to the ongoing revelations about the pervasive listening habits of the NSA and other spy agencies. The company uses the Samsung Galaxy II smartphone as the base platform but offers users VoIP calling and text messaging with 128-bit encryption and a secure encrypted virtual private network (VPN) for Internet browsing. (See Obama Weighs In on NSA Data Collection.)

FreedomPop Privacy Phone

"Large carriers don't have the flexibility, desire or creativity to invest in privacy," says Steven Sesar, COO at FreedomPop in a statement. "We don't agree with this approach and felt it was up to us to create a truly private mobile phone service at an affordable price."

FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols says that the phone is a "mainstream" play intended for the average consumer. This contrasts with the Blackphone -- from Spanish startup Geekphone -- a device that aims to be a super secure smartphone that will launch in June for $629.

The Privacy Phone costs $189 and comes with unlimited voice and text, plus 500MB of data for three months then costs $10 a month after that. Payment can be made via Bitcoin to further ensure anonymity, FreedomPop says. (See FreedomPop Phones It In (for Free).)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/27/2014 | 6:33:57 AM
Re : FreedomPop Launches 'Snowden Phone'
It would be much more informative if you could bring forth a comparison between upcoming Black Phone and this FreedomPop Snowden Phone. Both seem to use encryption to secure the communication. With Black Phone though it is difficult to understand how it will secure the data one handed at the device level.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/27/2014 | 6:33:25 AM
Re : FreedomPop Launches 'Snowden Phone'
@ mhhf1ve, I don't see any problem with their trying to get users to more expensive plans. This is their right to advertise and lure users into purchasing more expensive plans. However, lack of transparent practices in billing is objectionable. But again, this is something all the carriers have been doing always.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/25/2014 | 6:53:52 AM
Re : FreedomPop Launches 'Snowden Phone'
@ FakeMitchWagner, that's a tradeoff which comes with low cost plans. From another angle it will give consumers more control over their data usage because they will keep an eye on it. I personally believe that data cap is not that big a sacrifice. Consumers can live without unlimited data because they can still do unlimited browsing, chatting and using social media.
SachinEE
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SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/25/2014 | 6:50:57 AM
Re : FreedomPop Launches 'Snowden Phone'
@ KBode, haha nothing can be more private than getting completely disconnected from any kind of network. On a serious note, it will be useless if they have connectivity problems and have limited outreach. I would love the promised privacy, but they have to strengthen their signals if they want to come any way near success in the carrier business.
mhhf1ve
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mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/7/2014 | 7:37:53 PM
Re: Cryin Time
Will journalists keep after the Satoshi Nakamoto they found and think is the creator of BitCoin? He denies being the creator, but maybe that's just part of the craziness of being a paranoid guy who wants to be anonymous but then uses his real name... 
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/6/2014 | 12:36:05 PM
Re: Cryin Time
Yes, there's of heat around the service firms that sprung up to service Bitcoin right now.

See:

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/03/05/bitcoin-firm-ceo-found-dead-in-suspected-suicide/

 
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/6/2014 | 11:47:39 AM
Re: Cryin Time
And similiarly, what major carrier isn't dinged in rip-off report? See, for instance:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Verizon-Wireless/nationwide/Verizon-Wireless-Data-Usage-Scam-Nationwide-1084017

 

Not saying there's nothing to it but they're hardly alone in getting brickbats in this industry.
DanJones
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DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
3/6/2014 | 11:38:23 AM
Re: Cryin Time
Au contaire, its pretty easy to fat finger the large blinking green upgrade data button on T-Mobile phones by accident! 
TaraSeals
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TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/6/2014 | 9:21:47 AM
Re: Cryin Time
Yikes-- it all sounds a bit shady to me! And it may be savvy marketing but what assurances are there that it reallyis a private service? VoIP on the Sprint network sounds emminently interceptable to me...
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/5/2014 | 9:34:25 PM
Re: Cryin Time
> I've also seen a bunch of complaints that Freedompop users were upgraded
> "automatically" with some kind of opt-out system that they don't really tell
> you about.

These opt out subscriptions are so annoying. These are just slightly better than the hidden charges or the lengthy fine prints.
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