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In the TED talk, A Brief History of Phone Wiretapping and How to Avoid It, Christopher Soghoian implores people to use the encryption tools on the their mobile devices even though they make wiretapping more difficult. His premise is that, although criminals, foreign countries, government and law enforcement agencies will have a harder time wiretapping cell phones, the majority of people are using the devices for personal, not criminal communications. He explains how the security of telecommunications has changed by initially making the very strong point that early telephone systems were set up for surveillance by the government and law enforcement agencies but in actuality, almost anyone could tap into your conversations. He goes on to explain that newer technologies such as text messages or FaceTime sessions on Apple iPhones are much harder to tap into due to the encryption techniques employed by Apple. There are also phone apps available for other types of phones and devices that work on cellular networks that encrypt information so that wiretapping is much more difficult. Despite these safeguards, foreign entities do wiretap communications on a regular basis by hacking the systems. He ends his talk by saying that his choice would be to live in a world where cheap, easy encryption techniques are allowed to be used on cellular devices so that personal communications are not easily tapped into. Some might argue that this is a weak assumption based on the ability of unknown, often unidentifiable entities to tap into large corporations and government agencies to access personal information.
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