Bill Conner, CEO at Silent Circle, the company responsible for the Blackphone secure mobile device, has said the Blackphone 3 is already being worked on. It’s not coming soon though, and, according to Conner, the firm is concentrating on encrypted software for now; something that appears to be a response to recent calls by governments and law enforcement to be given special access to secure software.
Adding so-called ‘backdoors’ to secure software would be like adding “a front door for the criminal,” said Conner to Wired. He goes on to say it’s law enforcement that needs to change the way it does things, rather than demanding for access to encrypted communications. “They’re going to have to learn to fight a different way,” he’s quoted as saying.
Although we now know the Blackphone 3 is coming, we don’t know much about it. Conner hasn’t discussed a release date, or any details on the specifications, design, or price. It’s probably not imminent though. The Blackphone 2 has only recently gone on sale, after being announced back in March, and it came more than a year after the original Blackphone.
Conner was speaking at the launch of Blackphone’s parent company Silent Circle’s latest secure software, aimed specifically at businesses. The app, made for iOS and Android, provides encrypted VoIP and instant messaging services, plus a variety of other privacy-focused features. It’s not free though, and the level of functionality depends on which subscription package is chosen.
Blackphone’s stance on encrypted communications remaining private echoes that taken by a number of other mobile industry heavyweights. For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that forcing backdoors into encrypted software could have, “dire consequences,” and would only hurt consumers, not criminals. The counter argument, voiced by many including the head of homeland security, is that encryption makes crime harder to solve.
The Blackphone 2 is for sale now, and it costs $800.