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.)
"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