I’ve often talked about how people will pay for privacy when they understand the threat. In that light, the New York Times article “Phone Taps in Italy Spur Rush Toward Encryption” is fascinating:
Drumming up business would seem to be an easy task for those who sell encrypted cellphones in Italy. All they have to do is browse the major newspapers for likely customers.
Piero Fassino, national secretary of the Democratic Left Party, could have benefited from an encrypted phone before comments he made regarding a sensitive bank takeover made the front pages.
Of course, selling phones one off misses the (ahem) fax effect, where the more people you can use your encryption with, the more valuable it becomes. Also, the phones are still pretty expensive:
The high-end package, which runs about $2,200 at both companies, includes a phone, which must be a model capable of using the encryption software.