Brazilian company launches untappable smartphone

The spy-proof device was developed as a response to NSA spying revelations


A Brazilian company is looking to provide the best alternative to smartphone users concerned about sharing too much of their personal information with a new device unveiled in this week's Mobile World Congress (MWC).

As well as its encryption features, Sikur's GranitePhone will offer high authentication levels, as well as a remote cleaning function and an antivirus.

Following the MWC launch, two versions of the device will be available for purchase. The GT1 model is aimed at users that require full security for exchange of sensitive information such as politicians and senior executives and does not run any kind of social network. The Android-based GT2 is a "light" version of the encrypted device and allows access to the Play store.

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Sikur Chief Operating Officer Leandro Coletti told reporters at an event last week that the NSA spying scandal and the revelations that president Dilma Rousseff was being monitored prompted the development of the device.

"Brazil was the epicenter of the Snowden affair but until now we had no practical response," Coletti said.

Also as a response to spying by the US government, the Brazilian government has procured an "anti-snooping" email platform and has also been investing in direct fiber optic cables between Brazil and Europe that will completely bypass the US.

Equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.26GHz processor, the GranitePhone devices have a full HD 4,95 inch screen, and 8 megapixel rear camera and a 1.3 megpixel front camera, as well as 16GB of internal storage and RAM of 2GB.

The GranitePhone will be available from the fourth quarter in markets including Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, the Middle East and the US, where it will cost about $800. Sikur intends to sell 80,000 GranitePhones this year.