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  Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Bug-resistant cell phones could be available on the Russian market as early as June
The Federal Security Service (FSB) forbids the importation of foreign smart phones, so Russia will be producing its own, costing about $3,000, or twice as much as the foreign equivalent. Experts say these new secure smart phones are likely to become popular with local businessmen. The first Russian-made smart phone, available this June, was developed by the well-known local Ancort data-protection company. Ancort President Anatoly Klepov said that the first cell phones will be assembled at a Malay enterprise and fitted with Ancort encryption systems. Each new smart phone will also operate as a conventional mobile phone. Smart phone owners can push a special button for encoding all conversations and SMS messages. "It took Ancort ?5 million to develop the secure smart phone," Klepov said. However, the company hopes to regain its investment soon. Klepov estimates the national smart-phone market at about $1 billion. Ancort has already received 65,000 smart-phone orders both here and elsewhere, he said. However, some experts are still hung up on the smart phone's high pricetag. Bug-resistant Siemens phones cost between $1,000 and $1,500. "Such phones will hardly become very popular among businessmen," Alexei Volchkov, president of the RusCrypto association, said. GSM networks are not easily bugged because each GSM phone features a vocoder, or scrambler. Nonetheless, specialists can bug GSM conversations rather easily. Encoded smart phones were developed for users who like their privacy.
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