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Android app offers a super-secret burner phone number

The new Hushed app for Android lets Android owners create disposable, fake, fully functional phone numbers usable in 40 countries on five continents.

By Paul WagenseilTechNewsDaily / January 28, 2013

J.K. Shin (R), president and head of mobile communications business from Samsung, and Andy Rubin, senior vice president of Google Mobile, unveil the Galaxy Nexus, the first smartphone to feature Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a HD Super AMOLED display, during a news conference in Hong Kong October 19, 2011.

Bobby Yip / Reuters / File

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Are you a drug dealer? A spy? Or perhaps just having an affair while traveling overseas?

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Whatever the case, the new Hushed app for Android lets you create disposable phone numbers that you can use in 40 countries.

It's similar to the Burner app for iPhones, except that Hushed transmits calls over data connections rather than over regular phone lines.

Hence, Hushed's creators say the app works in most of western and central Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa, instead of just the U.S. and Canada. (It also apparently works in Bahrain, where the government has spied on dissidents.)

"Hushed is perfect for dating, job searches, short-term projects, Craigslist, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media, and for whenever else you want to be in touch and want to keep it on a private line, or don't want to give out your real number," says the official app description in Google Play.

The Hushed app itself is free, but a U.S. or Canadian number costs starts at 99 cents, and an overseas one starts at $1.99. You'll pay a bit for incoming and outgoing calls as well.

Each number has its own voicemail and, in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, SMS account as well. When the disposable numbers are deleted, so are all voicemails and text messages.

AffinityClick, the Canadian company that makes Hushed, says it's working on a version for iOS.

The company also says Hushed is "private, safe and secure," but doesn't explain how. 

If you're looking for serious encryption for phone calls and text messages, rather than just a burner number, it's probably best to try RedPhone or TextSecure for Android, or Silent Phone and its sibling Silent Text for iOS.

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