The Tor Project Announces a Secure Smartphone for Android

There has been a lot of news lately about Apple’s secure cell phones that are not easily decoded by government officials. Android also has security available although perhaps not quite as secure as Apple’s encryption. Now the Tor Project has announced a prototype of a Tor-enabled smartphone — an Android phone beefed up with privacy and security in mind.

The new phone was designed by Tor developer Mike Perry.”The prototype is meant to show a possible direction for Tor on mobile,” Perry wrote in a blog post. “We are trying to demonstrate that it is possible to build a phone that respects user choice and freedom, vastly reduces vulnerability surface, and sets a direction for the ecosystem with respect to how to meet the needs of high-security users.”

The prototype, nicknamed “Mission Improbable,” is now ready to download and install. However, the prototype platform only works with Google’s Nexus and Pixel devices at the moment. Perry said he uses the prototype himself for his personal communications.

You can read more in Ars Technica at https://goo.gl/NNfDXk and at http://www.androidauthority.com/tor-android-smartphone-prototype-731218.

This announcement appears to confirm my article written on November 19, entitled, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Asks Apple to Roll Back the iPhone Encryption. I wrote, “The District Attorney apparently doesn’t realize that his request would be futile. Several other companies already offer encryption software for Android phones and could do the same for Apple iPhones, if there was a market for the software. Such software probably would be created by individuals or companies outside the U.S. where the District Attorney could not influence the products.”

The announcement of a Tor-enabled secure phone is but one example of third-party encryption software being installed in a cell phone. If Trump administration officials succeed in reducing the iPhone’s security, similar products undoubtedly will appear for iPhones within weeks, either from US or overseas companies and individuals..

 

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