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Freedom Phone or Terror Phone?

Posted: 1/2004

Freedom Phone or Terror Phone?


GSMK 100 Cryptophone

A German company launched a new mobile handset for business
executives that secures lines from eavesdroppers, sparking criticism it also
could make criminals harder to catch.

Berlin-based CrytoPhone, a unit of privately held GSMK,
developed the phone by inserting encryption software inside a standard handheld
computer phone. This ensures calls can be decoded only by a similar handset or a
computer running the software.

However, the phone is seen as a mixed blessing in some
European countries. While the benefits for business managers exchanging sensitive
information are obvious, such a device could have the side effect of helping
criminals. Security specialists in the Netherlands say the device could
threaten criminal investigation by Dutch police, one of the worlds most
active phone tappers, listening in to 12,000 phone numbers every year.

Privacy lobbyists, however, say the new handset is a freedomphone
much more than a terrorphone.


From Reuters wire service

Overheard…


Greg Rohde

This is the first telecom merger in recent years thats going to do
something to enhance competition.

Greg Rohde, former assistant secretary of commerce for communications and
information, in his keynote address at the ASCENT 2003 Fall Conference &
Networking Center held in Dallas in November, referring to ASCENTs recent
merger with the Competitive Telecommunications Association.

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking

Throw away your earpiece. Your finger soon could help you make
and take mobile phone calls. Japanese phone firm NTT DoCoMo has created a wristwatch phone
that uses its owners finger as an earpiece. The gadget, dubbed Finger
Whisper, uses a wristband to convert the sounds of conversation to vibrations
that can be heard when the finger is placed in the ear.

According to reports, the Finger Whisper phone is answered by
touching forefinger to thumb and then by putting the forefinger in the ear to
hear who is ringing. The call is ended by again touching forefinger to thumb.
The sound converting wristband on the watch phone is also fitted with a
microphone that the phone owner can talk into.

The phone has no keypad but a user can make a call by saying
aloud the number he or she wants to reach. Voice recognition electronics built
into the wristband decipher what has been said and dial the number.

So far NTT has given no date for when a commercial version
will go on sale.

From the BBC



click here for larger version

Links
CryptoPhone www.cryptophone.nl
NTT DoCoMo www.nttdocomo.com

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