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Cryptographer creates Blackphone to "ensure privacy"

Phil Zimmerman, creator of PGP, will reveal the Android-based Blackphone at Mobile World Congress in February.

Phil Zimmerman, the man behind early email encryption technology PGP, has a vision for a smartphone that places "privacy and control directly in the hands of its users".

The Blackphone: It's where style meets privacy, backers say. (Credit: Blackphone/CNET)

Called the Blackphone, the smartphone uses a security-focused build of Android called PrivatOS. The idea behind the phone is to create a carrier- and vendor-independent phone that allows for a completely secure transfer of all telephony data, with increased user control.

"I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products," said Zimmermann in a press release. "Blackphone provides users with everything they need to ensure privacy and control of their communications, along with all the other high-end smartphone features they have come to expect."

More details on the Blackphone will be revealed at Mobile World Congress in late February, including — we assume — specs, pricing and availability.