Written by Nick Heer.

Investor Pitch Deck Claims Unplugged Services Are to Be Backed by Servers in International Waters, and Other Fictions

Remember the Unplugged Phone? Patrick Howell O’Neill, of MIT’s Technology Review, obtained the company’s pitch deck:

In June, [Erik] Prince publicly revealed the new phone, priced at $850. But before that, beginning in 2021, he was privately hawking the device to investors — using a previously unreported pitch deck that has been obtained by MIT Technology Review. It boldly claims that the phone and its operating system are “impenetrable” to surveillance, interception, and tampering, and its messenger service is marketed as “impossible to intercept or decrypt.”

Boasting falsely that Unplugged has built “the first operating system free of big tech monetization and analytics,” Prince bragged that the device is protected by “government-grade encryption.” Better yet, the pitch added, Unplugged is to be hosted on a global array of server farms so that it “can never be taken offline.” One option is said to be a server farm “on a vessel” located in an “undisclosed location on international waters, connected via satellite to Elon Musk’s StarLink.” An Unplugged spokesperson explained that “they benefit in having servers not be subject to any governmental law.”

Reminds me of the long-running libertarian fantasy of living on a barge on the ocean. This whole venture is completely untethered — unplugged, even — from reality.