Snowden Phone
The 'Snowden Phone' is a Samsung Galaxy S2 with modified, encrypted software. FreedomPop

Known as the Snowden Phone, a US company has created what it claims to be a smartphone designed specifically to protect the user's privacy and prevent call monitoring.

Developed by US-based FreedomPop in response to growing concern over government surveillance in the wake of NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the Snowden Phone has software that encrypts calls and text messages over FreedomPop's VoIP (voice over IP) network.

All applications, as well as the phone's internet browser, are encrypted using a 128-bit virtual privacy network (VPN), which is the same encryption used to protect credit card transactions.

The phone's encryption enables anonymous web browsing, prevents online marketers from tracking your web activity, defends against data monitoring and eavesdropping by third parties, and "bypasses any website restriction" letting the device connect "to any site online" its makers claim.

In addition to stopping anyone from tapping your communications, the Snowden Phone is more protected from viruses and malware than regular smartphones, can block unsolicited incoming calls and texts, and is capable of making your contacts, call history and text conversations confidential.

Officially called the Freedom Privacy Phone, the Snowden Phone is actually a Samsung Galaxy S2, the three-year-old Android phone with a 4.2in display and an 8-megapixel camera.

Naturally, the Snowden Phone can be bought anonymously for $189 (£113) worth of bitcoins - and for that FreedomPop provides unlimited calls and texts, plus 500MB of data for the first three months.

After that it costs $10 per month, and for every megabyte of data over the 500 each month, the company charges 0.01 bitcoins., or around £3.90.

Encrypted smartphones have been all the rage this year, with the Blackphone launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, and Boeing filing a patent for a secure phone called the Black.