Despite the price tag, business is booming for makers of cryptophones, which make it impossible for NSA spooks to decode your calls.
Writing in the Mobility Hub, mobile security expert Pablo Valerio said that the GSMK CryptoPhone was a good example of what was happening.
The CryptoPhone is based on Samsung’s Galaxy S3 handset but it has an extra Android ROM that allows encrypted calls, disables location tracking, and provides zero-knowledge encryption keys that never leave the device.
The phone will set you back $3,500 and this will include two years of secure service.
GSMK CryptoPhones were among the first products to take advantage of the fact that the CPU performance of mobiles is sufficient for strong real-time voice encryption.
One of the key features the company offers is Zero-Knowledge. Zero-Knowledge solutions are completely anonymous, and no one, not even the company selling the device and service, knows who is using it. The CryptoPhone generates unique keys from static noise, and those keys never leave the device and are not accessible by the company or the user, making it impossible to share them.
The phones most successful marketer has been Edward Snowden. After Snowden started making NSA files public last year, GSMK has seen a jump in sales. There are more than 100,000 CryptoPhones in use today.
If people have the money the company also offers satellite, landline, and PBX, all interconnected, to provide full security at corporate level. Obviously this would be the tool of choice for anyone who does not want someone listening in on their calls, and not all of them will be companies trying to protect themselves. With a satellite link you have the perfect method of organising a terrorist raid from across the world with no one finding out about it.