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The Smartphone Even The NSA May Have Trouble Hacking Is Coming Soon

•, Paul Szoldra

First announced in January, the Android-based phone goes on sale before the start of July for $629, according to NBC News.

While the price is a bit hefty, it comes with impressive features, including fully encrypted voice, text, and video calls, and a virtual private network that anonymizes web surfing — all built on a custom version of Android.

Demand for such a device certainly ramped up after Edward Snowden began leaking top-secret documents detailing NSA surveillance programs, but Silent Circle had been working on the device long before.

"We did this because there was a problem that was not being solved: secure communications," CEO Mike Janke, a former Navy SEAL, told AFP in January.

With Janke leading the company, Silent Circle's team includes a number of cryptographic experts. including Phil Zimmermann, the creator of the widely-used PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) standard.

The company has taken great pains to ensure it could not give up user data, even if compelled to by a government. While many U.S. companies receive controversial national security letters forcing them to share customer info, Silent Circle is incorporated in Switzerland and has Swiss data centers.

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