After Edward Snowden exposed the NSA's spying behavior last summer, it took little time for companies the world over to capitalize on it, offering either software or hardware with the promise of enhancing our security and privacy. Admittedly, I'm always more drawn towards the hardware side, and it was Geeksphone's Blackphone that first caught my eye. With a promise of keeping your communications as locked-down as possible, the company was definitely catering to the privacy nut - a term that seems a lot more sane today than it did prior to Snowden's leaks.
Mere days after we talked about the Blackphone, we learned that Boeing was working on its own ultra-secure mobile phone, but with this one, things are taken a step further. For example, merely trying to disassemble the device will render it ruined - there are no serviceable parts, and by breaching the chassis, you've pretty much told the phone that you're not its owner. Other software switches exist as well, and ultimately, the goal is to be able to offer a phone that packs unparalleled security to companies and agencies that Boeing currently works with - including the US government.
Since we learned about Boeing's ambitious phone, we haven't heard anything further about it - until now. It seems that while Boeing might understand the basics of how to make a phone secure, it needs help to wrap the entire concept into something people would actually want to use. To help with that, the company has turned to BlackBerry, a company that needs a beneficial joint venture like this given its fall from grace in recent years.
BlackBerry says its part of this venture will involve its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 being used on the device, which CEO John Chen says is the only thing he can say about the cooperation. Given the goals of the device, that's not too surprising.
If there's an immediate downside to Boeing's phone, it's that it's not likely going to be available to end users. Instead, it's targeted at important agencies, as mentioned above, and is likely to carry one heck of a price tag that would keep it out of the hands of us regular folk anyway.