Starium (was Re: article: german secure phone)

Greg Rose ggr at
Mon Jun 11 16:31:40 EDT 2001

At 10:41 AM 6/7/2001 +0100, Ian BROWN wrote:
>I think to some extent, the next-generation mobile standards (UMTS/3GPP) will
>do this automatically... GSM currently encrypts the air interface between
>phone and base station; 3GPP pushes this much further back into the network
>(all the way back to a device in the user's home network, I think).

Not correct. It does push the encryption back into the visited network, to 
the  old "snoop the microwave backhaul" doesn't work. Once in the visited 
network, the (currently being worked on) Network Domain Security takes 
over, but that doesn't include encryption of voice. Note that if you're 
roaming somewhere, and place a call to somewhere nearby, most of the time 
your home network is never involved (except for location update and billing).

>  Unfortunately I don't think two 3GPP phones talking to each other will do
>end-to-end  -- saves the phone companies having to implement MITM or escrow
>functionality for law enforcement interfaces :(

End-to-End, of some form, has failed for lack of support in the standards 
committee. (Support means at least 4 companies have to agree to work on it, 
provide specifications, etc.) Only 3 weeks ago it was put on hold again.


Greg Rose                                       INTERNET: ggr at
Qualcomm Australia          VOICE:  +61-2-9817 4188   FAX: +61-2-9817 5199
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