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Blackphone bets on privacy

Zimmermann takes another stab at privacy

No encryption by default

Blackphone makes your Wi-Fi smarter

Encrypted phone, encrypted traffic

Tame those permissions

The Blackphone is a mid-tier Android-powered smartphone in terms of hardware, but it comes with nine services designed to protect your privacy.

To put its privacy skills to the test, I toted the Blackphone everywhere for three days at DefCon in Las Vegas in August.

Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Phil Zimmermann, who created the encryption tool Pretty Good Privacy in the 1990s, is looking at making smartphones safer as his company Silent Circle is co-developing the Blackphone.

Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Although the Blackphone's Activation Wizard strongly encourages users to encrypt their phones, it's not required.

Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

The Blackphone comes with Kismet's open-source Smarter Wi-Fi Manager, a free tool that makes sure you don't accidentally hop on the wrong public network.

Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Another included Blackphone app is Disconnect's Secure Wireless virtual private network. It gives you 1GB of free VPN use per month and will protect both mobile data and Wi-Fi.

Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

The Blackphone gives Android users something that Google hasn't yet -- per-app permission control. If you don't want Facebook to have access to the phone's GPS or camera, all it takes is one tap.

Caption by / Photo by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
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