The US National Security Agency has modified Google’s Android operating system to create smart phones that use powerful encryption to protect every call. The “Fishbowl” devices were announced today at the RSA security conference in San Francisco by Margaret Salter, the agency’s Technical Director, who said she hoped to encourage companies to adopt some of ideas used in the system.
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Such was the interest in the NSA’s presentation that this reporter – and most others – weren't able to gain access to the room where the demo was held. Australian IT publication SC Magazine did, though, reporting that Salter said 100 Fishbowl phones are being used to test the new technology. The Fishbowl phones allow fully encrypted calls that can be used to discuss the most classified information. Commercially available phones would require NSA employees to “speak in code”, SC say
The NSA has made rough specifications of the system available online. They show that Fishbowl phones make calls using a Skype-style VOIP app that routes connections through NSA servers.
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