Ever since ex National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked a ton of top-secret material detailing many of the agency's projects and capabilities, any illusion of data privacy has been thoroughly stomped out. There are basically two reactions to this disquieting knowledge: to say "oh well" and continue about your life, or try harder to protect your data. A new smartphone, called Blackphone, hopes to cater to the second type.

Announced on Wednesday, information on the new "Blackphone," itself, is still patchy. It's a smartphone created by a joint venture of two organizations -- Geeksphone and Silent Circle -- that promises to be "the world's first smartphone placing privacy and control directly in the hands of its users."

The Blackphone is an unlocked, contract-free smartphone that runs a security-oriented version of the Android operating system called PrivatOS, which is carrier and vendor independent. The device will feature the capability of sending and receiving secure phone calls, exchanging secure text messages, transferring and storing files in a protected manner, video chatting without trading off user privacy -- all through an anonymized virtual private network. Besides the paranoid mobile enthusiast, Blackphone is billing itself as geared towards business use, protecting important confidential communications from prying eyes.

Specific details about how Blackphone will keep all of these transfers secure no matter what GSM carrier you use are still unknown, as are the hardware specs for the device. Blackphone's website only promises, "performance benchmarks put it among the top performers from any manufacturer."

The smartphone will be manufactured by Geeksphone, a small Spanish company based in Madrid that specializes in developing open source phones. The company is best known for launching the first Firefox OS smartphone in 2013.

Silent Circle will helm the security-focused software and technical details. Silent Circle is a global encrypted communications service based in Washington D.C. It provides a peer-to-peer platform for encrypted voice, video, text, and file transfer on mobile devices using a proprietary, secure network, along with its own exclusive mobile apps and software. The peer-to-peer network means that Silent Circle doesn't even hold a key that can be used (or compelled to) decrypt its clients' messages or phone calls, and each data transfer has a "burn" function that can set a self-destruct time limit on anything a Silent Circle member sends to another member.

Silent Circle has some privacy credentials in its co-founders Mike Janke and Phil Zimmermann. Zimmermann created PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a data encryption protocol for video chats. "I have spent my whole career working towards the launch of secure telephony products," said Zimmermann. "Blackphone provides users with everything they need to ensure privacy and control of their communications, along with all the other high-end smartphone features they have come to expect." Mike Janke, interestingly enough, is a former Navy SEAL commando and security contractor.

Availability and price are also unknowns, but more information will be provided as the company plans to start taking preorders at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on Feb. 24.