Erik Prince's new "secure" smartphone is an even bigger joke than it sounds

Originally published at: Erik Prince's new "secure" smartphone is an even bigger joke than it sounds | Boing Boing


A must have for the GQP insurrectionist Nazi.



Um, Prince didn’t found Blackrock the (still evil) investment company. He founded Blackwater the private mercenary group. I wonder if they’re trying to make him look less like a fascist war criminal and more like a normal white collar criminal.


Aside from the deep questions regarding trying to buy cellular privacy from unit 8200 guys(who have a nasty habit of developing an adversarial and asymmetric concept of privacy while in the service; then go pure merc because neutral evil pays better); I’d eat my metaphorical hat if these guys actually manage to own the baseband. That’s an alarmingly capable system(with front row access to the cell network) that’s pure proprietary blackbox from every vendor who sells the things, especially if you want something remotely new(hackers fighting the good fight have some limited reverse engineer and independent implementation of the really old stuff; albeit generally on fancy SDR gear, not SoC radios).

Not having an ‘advertising ID’ built in is all well and good; but carrying an RF beacon that just screams GUIDs into the void at all times is not really something one does securely.


It’s been done before


For a small startup, that can be an insurmountable challenge.

Which means it is a 100% certainty that these grifters farmed the job out to low-bidders, and nobody in the entire company can actually speak with any real knowledge of the code itself. Within2 years - 5 at the outside - their entire system will be hacked and opened to the world. that is. if they ever even deliver a viable end product that exists for that long, which I wouldn’t bet on at all.


Considering how quickly other equivalent phones fell, I think your units are better off “weeks” or “days”

With servers in UAE and Israel, probably before release.


Only available from your local Amway dealer.


‘Even just maintaining a unique Android “fork”—a version of the operating system that departs from the original, like a fork in the road—is a difficult endeavor that can cost massive money and resources, experts warn.’

They could just go the landfill Android phone route and simply never offer any updates to the OS.


I’m all for a smartphone that emphasizes privacy (as much as that’s even possible), but the moment they started in with the “patriots” bullshit it became clear this is a product for right-wing assholes, a group known for their extreme ineptness and gullibility. I expect this to end up being somehow more open to surveillance than mainstream Apple or Google phones once all is said and done- assuming they’re even competent enough to actually get past the marketing stage.


I came here to comment on this but you beat me to it. They’re deliberately conflating Blackwater (his mercs) and Greystone (Blackwater’s merc airforce) as a less-predatory company name to wash his reputation. He and his siblings are fascist monsters no matter how you slice or dice it. The reich wing media loves to put deniable misinformation in everything.


Then Greywater (sink drainage) might have been more appropriate.


I mean, blackwater is sewage so they already hit the nail on the head.


Well, it’s better than I was expecting, even if it does turn out to be a complete scam. I was assuming it was going to be (yet another) bog-standard Android phone made in China (and probably loaded with malware) with a 500% mark-up because it was being sold to MAGAts.

I mean, the previous attempts to make phones that appeal to the MAGA market resulted in cheap Chinese Android clones running superficial reskinned versions of an older OS, being sold for many times their usual price. So on the one hand, this seems a lot more serious (at least on the surface), but on the other, that’s the bar for competency in this particular market niche and their audience is mostly not going to know the difference if they were any better than that, so why bother?



True, true. Personally, I wouldn’t touch it even if someone gifted me one in a box- I don’t trust the companies that are being pitched as the manufacturers one bit. In fact, If someone tried to gift it to me, I’d leave it in a trash barrel, unopened and untouched. Let whoever is using it to spy on me deal with that.


There IS NO WAY this thing is secure. The reasons are at least as follows:

  1. It’s not open source
  2. It’s a half-assed fork of a static image of Android at an arbitrary version, and thus will never get patched properly
  3. Android is pretty lousy on security as it is (no offence Android fans, but it is)
  4. Mercenaries and MBAs don’t know shit about software security
  5. Their team is way too small to ever keep with with the relentless constant attacks the tech stack will be under the moment it goes live
  6. They don’t control about two thirds of their hardware/software stack. Without total and complete vertical integration from silicon all the way up to GUI, there’s no real hope of being secure.

That’s just off the top of my head. I get pretty worked up when CEOs and meatheads come in and think they can fix software security by starting over. Hey bros- thousands of people a lot smarter than you have been working on this problem for decades. It’s hard, and you clowns don’t have a chance.


We’ll know its legit (that is, legitimately illegitimate) when Alex Jones starts hawking this product alongside his ersatz viagra supplements, prepper bulk-food, and gold medallion coins.

I’m shocked, shocked, that the same fine, distinguished news site that hosts the rogue’s gallery of Steve Bannon and John Solomon and Jack Posobiec somehow, unaccountably, mixed up those two fine, distinguished companies.


Reference here is to Eric’s sister who’s a top part of the Amway ponzi scheme. You may have heard of former Education Secretary (whatshername) DeVoss.


My money is that these are backdoored from day one, possibly by more than one actor. (hardware from multiple suppliers) But of course people that fell for the idea that Trump was “on their side,” are pre-selected to be likely to fall for the idea that these guys will keep them from being spied on instead of being busy DOING the spying.