Speed Reads

The future has arrived

Boeing is trying to make a self-destucting Android spy phone


Aerospace giant Boeing is trying to make everyone's Mission: Impossible fantasies come true by developing an Android-based smartphone that will self-destruct if anybody tries to tamper with it. The smartphone, evocatively called "Black," is designed for "U.S. defense and security communities," and features secure software and a "tamper-proof" sealed casing. Here's the sentence that has everyone talking, from an FCC filing: "Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable."

It may seem strange for an aircraft maker to get into the smartphone business. But they're not doing it for James Bond–obsessed amateurs. "What really prompted the need for the new phone," says Nick Stockton at Quartz, "was BlackBerry's nosedive." The fading Canadian smartphone company is famous for its robust security, and Boeing still has 40,000 employees using the handsets. Boeing is betting it won't be the only security-minded firm looking for a secure alternative if BlackBerry disappears.