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Technology A company that sold encrypted phones was run by crime lords

03:30  25 october  2019
03:30  25 october  2019 Source:   theverge.com

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MPC, a company that sold encrypted devices, was actually run by criminal enterprise, as chronicled by Vice’s Joseph Cox in this fascinating story. You’ve probably heard the idiom of the fox guarding the hen house — but how about the one of the encrypted phone company run by drug lords ?

MPC, a company that sold encrypted devices, was actually run by criminal enterprise, as chronicled by Vice’s Joseph Cox in this fascinating story. You’ve probably heard the idiom of the fox guarding the hen house — but how about the one of the encrypted phone company run by drug lords ?

You’ve probably heard the idiom of the fox guarding the hen house — but how about the one of the encrypted phone company run by drug lords?

  A company that sold encrypted phones was run by crime lords © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Okay, that’s obviously not an idiom, but it’s a true story chronicled by Vice’s Joseph Cox. In the story, Cox tells how MPC — a now-seemingly defunct company that apparently sold phones, tablets, and computers running custom firmware with significant encryption protections — was ultimately controlled by two at-large criminal kingpins known as The Brothers.

As Cox’s reporting explains, The Brothers apparently first bought and used encrypted BlackBerrys before hiring developers to make a custom operating system that could theoretically offer them even more privacy and loaded it on phones. The story doesn’t say what type of phones The Brothers use(d), but MPC sold Nexus 5 and 5X phones loaded with a custom OS, which seems likely to be the same one paid for by The Brothers.

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A company that sold encrypted phones was run by crime lords . theverge.com. 24 dk. ·

Custom encrypted phones are often linked to serious organized crime . But an intense rivalry has sparked between those selling the custom The phones are not cheap: Manupassa’s customers have to pay between 1,200 and 1,800 per year for a PGP device. Other companies offer even more

MPC even marketed itself to privacy-conscious customers to appear more legit, using images of Edward Snowden in its marketing, for example. MPC also offered to pay Cox to do a paid evaluation of an MPC device. (Cox declined to take payment, though he expressed potential interest in getting more details from the company. MPC never sent a device to him.)

It’s a fascinating and, at times, horrifying story (warning: it describes a murder), but you should go read it.

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