Jamie's Blog

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Do we all need to encrypt our phone conversations?



The New York Times has an interesting article about the huge expansion in sales of encrypted cell phones in Italy. It seems that nearly everyone in Italy is eager to purchase the encrypted phones to keep their conversations private. The most interesting thing about it, is that the eavesdroppers they are trying to protect themselves against aren't government agencies.
It seems that lately there has been a rash of wire tapping done by individuals and journalists using homemade equipment and free software from the Internet. Many of those wire taps have resulted in public scandals and even arrests. Consequently, many individuals are worried about illegal wire taps exposing their private conversations.

So the question is, is this a concern in the US? Italian cell phone systems use basically the same technology as US cell phone systems. Theoretically the same techniques used by individuals in Italy to tap cell phones could be used here. So is it just a matter of time before private wire tapping becomes a big concern here?

The New York Times: Phone Taps in Italy Spur Rush Toward Encryption

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