On Wednesday evening, at an undisclosed location in Washington, DC, Erik Finman will officially release the Freedom Phone to a group of invitees and press curious about where a nation is headed when its government threatens to use the ubiquity of the smart phone to read personal text messages looking for criticism. Or worse.
“They said, ‘build your own phone,'” Finman says, referring to the cynical response to conservative concerns about Big Tech and government spying via technology. “So I did.”
The overarching goal for development of the Freedom Phone was simply offering a product that protects Americans' right to free speech.
The Freedom Phone is a free speech and privacy first focused phone. With features like tracking blockers and an uncensorable app store.
Works with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, & Sprint, and all other domestic & international carriers. Move phones over in 60 seconds as soon as the phone arrives.
We want to create a future where free communication is not banned by Big Tech.
We want to bring back free speech. Forever.
Finman tells Redstate he's worked hard to keep his phone — a solid, sleek smartphone that looks just as shiny and useful as any of the others currently on the market — off the censorship grid.
“The two most exciting features of the Freedom Phone are the app store and the security features,” Finman tells Redstate by phone from somewhere in Texas. The app store, he says, was developed in-house by a fairly large group of tech engineers he employs; and he says the door is open to new developers reaching out with ideas. “If you want to build something…and it meets our security [requirements], we'll try to work with you,” he says.
The security of the phone itself was a bit more of a challenge, Finman suggests. But he has his own bank of servers, a team, and a plan to expand to address how quickly technology — and the government — moves.
His operating system — Freedom OS — was developed specifically to promote free speech, and Finman guarantees no apps will be banned (many of the more “notorious” like Parler come pre-loaded on the phone).
If this kind of entrepreneurship seems almost non-existent in these modern days of government expansion into everything from the classroom to the boardroom, it's because it is. So Finman did what many of the modern innovators with libertarian streaks are doing: he self-financed.
Finman, it turns out, is a bitcoin millionaire.
Erik Finman has not followed the traditional path of college-bound students growing up in the United States. In May of 2011, at the age of 12, Finman struck a deal with his parents to be able to skip college in pursuit of an unorthodox education, provided he could invest successfully. The deal? He had to turn $1,000 in cash that his grandmother gave him into an impressive $1 million. Finman pursued his goal relentlessly and managed to succeed, purchasing about $1,000 worth of Bitcoin when the fledgling currency was at just $12 per coin, as well as a number of other digital currencies including Ether, Ethereum's native token. Finman was successful in his goals, making him a self-made millionare at the age of 18. However, he remains skeptical about the future potential of Ethereum.
Thankfully, he seems to be using his smarts and his earning ability for good rather than evil.
Today I'm announcing the Freedom Phone.
This is the first major pushback on the Big Tech companies that attacked us – for just thinking different.
Complete with it's own Uncensorable App Store & Privacy Features.
— ERIK FINMAN (@erikfinman) July 14, 2021
While Finman has eschewed investors to this point, he is interested in a natural tendency of conservatives to protest with their money rather than in the more traditional community organizing ways progressives favor.
“Conservatives are more proactive in how they show their disdain,” Finman says, “They move their money into other investments when they've had enough.”
Finman is hoping to capitalize on that while offering conservatives something they desperately want — a sense that their privacy and security are not being infringed upon by the very technology that has become almost indispensable to modern life.
“Nobody elected Mark [Zuckerberg] or Jack [Dorsey] to be the arbiters of truth in America,” Finman says in the video touting the phone's release. “If they censored a sitting president, they'll censor anyone.”