Cool website and all but this doesn’t tell me a whole lot about their product. So far I’m seeing a Geeksphone paired with a modified fork of Android called PrivatOS which I can’t seem to find much information about.
@amb and I were just talking about what a privacy-focused phone would look like. Sadly, as with most Silent Circle products, this page and announcement are very light on details.
One of the difficulties in creating a phone resistant to tracking is the cellular network itself. Law enforcement has many tools to track identity and local of users on a cellular network, none of which are affected by a phone’s operating system. I’m not sure how (or if) blackphone can subvert these systems.
The cellular network is in no way designed for privacy. Another huge threat is the baseband processor; these often have DMA access; if an attacker has an exploit for this, your entire phone is accessible to them.
I think one way to avoid being tracked by the network would be to only use pre-paid SIM cards. Your location would still be tracked by the network, but if you pay for the SIM card in cash it would be more difficult to associate your network ID to you.
Of course, if you were truly paranoid about this, you would use a burner phone and not a smart phone.
Your IMEI would still be the same when using different SIM cards, and I’m not sure if cell providers would take kindly to a device generating a new, fake IMEI every time it connects (ala ifconfig em0 lladdr random).
ifconfig em0 lladdr random
The only way to protect yourself if you are worried about that level of privacy is to accept the fact that you can’t use a cellular voice or data network. Make all your calls over WIFI using anonymous hotspots and using all the privacy protection tools the internet has to offer.
I’d feel a lot better about this if I could see the source.