Even though it's died down some in the news, the government is still plugging away on surveillance. There are several outstanding legal cases that could put a stop to it, but those have been going on for years and will probably take years more.
The only major concession recently has been limiting the use of StingRays, which are portable cell towers that can track the phone activity of anyone in range. Of course, that only applies to federal government, not local government or agencies with a search warrant. However, it isn't just the government that's spying on your phone.
Hackers, app developers and advertisers are all trying to get a peek at your personal life. Slipping an app on to your phone that gets more information than it should is a popular trick.
Unfortunately, smartphones, especially Android smartphones, aren't really set up with as much privacy and security as you might like. That's why a group called Silent Circle is taking matters into its own hands with the Blackphone 2.
You might remember the original Blackphone from a year ago. It was a phone with high-end specs that ran a custom version of Android called SilentOS. SilentOS was built to be as private and secure as possible
How good was it? The Department of Defense uses the Blackphone for its personnel, which is a fairly strong recommendation for the original. Now, however, it's time for Blackphone 2.
Blackphone 2 ups the specs on its predecessors with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, an 8-core processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM and 32GB of storage with a microSD slot for adding up to 128GB more space. It also has a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5MP front camera with a large battery and quick charging.
In other words, it matches other high-end phones on the market. However, its big selling point is still the software.
SilentOS has upgraded to the latest version of Android, so you get the slick look and speed. However, it still has custom privacy and security features.
You get full control over app permissions so you can stop apps from accessing more information than they need. That isn't going to be a standard Android feature until Android 6 arrives.
Then there's "Spaces," which lets you create multiple password-protected profiles to keep work, home and other parts of your life separate. The phone also comes with the Silent Phone app that gives you encrypted audio, video calling and messaging.
SilentOS boasts "Smarter Wi-Fi" that warns you about Wi-Fi networks you should be on. And, if there's a security flaw, Silent Circle promises to have it patched in 72 hours.
Those are nice features, but they will cost you; the Blackphone 2 costs $799. In fairness, that's only a bit more than a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 32GB or iPhone 6 Plus 64GB off contract. The difference is that you can get monthly financing for both of those phones through your carrier.
Still, if you really want the most private phone around, the Blackphone 2 is worth a look.
Would you consider buying it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.