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Submission + - Legality & need of encrypted cell phones 5

LlamaZorz writes: Dear Slashdot community, I have been wondering for quite some time as to why American citizens do not have access to cell phones with encrypted data and voice communication. We all know that the government has such technology and makes very good use of it, so why cant the populace? Is their a set regulation by the FCC or something which prohibits companies from marketing encrypted cell phones to the everyday person? I have searched and cannot find one.

I am aware that both GSM and CDMA all have their own encryption standard which is mainly used to stop everyday people from listening in. But such minor encryption in no way stops our government and its agencies or a criminal organisation. The US government has numerous known programs like ECHELON, where they are capable of listening to your calls, screening for keywords. What is even more scary a majority of our intelligence is outsourced to private enterprise. I find all of these things completely ridiculous. We as citizens should have our privacy and it shouldn't compromised no matter how bad the threat.

So I mainly wanted to ask Slashdot if it were legal & ethical to create such a phone which would use known secure public key encryption trying to completely secure all voice communication. I think such is both possible and practical. What do you guys think?

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