Paranoid much? Demand for secure CryptoPhone is so high, company can’t keep up

cryptophone demand exceeds supply do not track privacy feature large

If you need proof the world is more paranoid than ever about privacy, eavesdropping, and other nefarious spy-related activities, then look no further than ESD America. The company name may not be as familiar to you as Samsung or Apple, but at the moment it’s churning out 400 smartphones a week, and it can’t keep up with demand.

Why? The phone it sells is called the GSMK CryptoPhone 500, and it’s a super secure device which sets up a secure connection between two communicating phones, ensuring calls and data exchanged stays secret. It’s for those who’re seriously concerned by Edward Snowden’s revelations regarding our privacy, as the phone costs $3,500.

CryptoPhone 500It’s not a bespoke smartphone either, but a repurposed Samsung Galaxy S3. The existing Android OS is wiped, and replaced by a new version created by German security specialists GSMK. The OS promises “360 degree protection,” and offers voice encryption, secure messaging, an encrypted storage system, self-destructing messages, and a clever encryption method which uses random background noise as its key.

ESD America’s CEO, Les Goldsmith, told MIT Technology Review that demand for the phone has “soared” over the past months. The 400 produced each week simply isn’t enough, and he estimates there are 100,000 CryptoPhone devices now in use around the world. The CryptoPhone 500 isn’t ESD’s only product. The Las Vegas-based firm also sells everything from bomb proof suits and powerful “defensive sprays,” to fully trained sniffer dogs. Ironically, it also sells GSM Interceptors – used for monitoring and decrypting GSM mobile calls.

If the secure aspect of the CryptoPhone 500 appeals, but the five-times-the-price-of-an-iPhone puts you off, then there are cheaper options out there. The Blackphone, for example, uses Silent Circle’s security apps and protection, costs a more reasonable $630. If that’s still too steep, then FreedomPop offers the Galaxy S2-based Privacy Phone for just $190.

Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Echo devices that play Alexa’s sweetest-sounding music

Amazon slashed prices on Alexa-controlled Echo devices with the best music sound quality. All Alexa smart speakers stream music, but some sound better than others. Save on Echo Plus and the Echo Sub bundled with Echo and Echo Plus speakers.
Smart Home

Viral porch pirate videos freak people out, cause unrealistic concern

Viral porch pirate videos convince others crime is more prevalent than facts indicate. According to polls, even though FBI reports show property crime rates are at historic lows, more people worry about crime today than ever before.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Wearables

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.