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Verizon Working On Encrypted Voice Service With Cellcrypt

December 16, 2014 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

 

Big Red wants to bring you encrypted voice calls. Well, not necessarily you, but government and enterprise customers to be specific. Verizon has partnered a wireless encryption company called Cellcrypt and the two companies have created an encrypted voice service called Voice Cypher. The service will offer end-to-end encryption for voice calls on Android, iOS, and BlackBerry devices. They have built a special app that facilitates this functionality. Like I said, this is aimed at big governments and large corporations that want to protect their voice calls. Consumers may or may not have access to it. The service uses military-grade encryption standards and technology. It supports the Federal Information Processing Standard and works on cell networks, Wi-Fi and satellite networks. Verizon has optimized the service for their 4G LTE network.

U.S. wireless carriers are required by law to give the government access to their networks. They have to let government agencies wiretap calls and give them access to call records, but wiretapping can only occur if their network architecture makes that possible. Verizon and Cellcrypt could have built this app so that neither of the companies had the necessary keys to decrypt the calls made and received with it. This would have been legal. Instead, both companies say that law enforcement agencies will have access to wiretap these calls and access encrypted call records, as long as legitimate legal reason is given for doing so. There’s a back door into Voice Cypher that makes it less than perfect. We didn’t really expect anything different from Verizon, or any of the major U.S. carriers.

The Voice Cypher app and service can be ordered from Verizon’s website right now. You can also get in contact with a Verizon rep to get more details and sign up for it. There’s no mention pricing, but remember that this is aimed at businesses and government agencies. They probably won’t let you add Voice Cypher to your family plan. If it’s something you’re interested in, though, give it a shot and let us know how it works out for you.

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