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What does "voice privacy" mean on a cellular phone, and can cell phones be tapped?

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Summary: The average person can rely on a digital cellular phone, or a "spread spectrum" cordless phone to keep their calls reasonably confidential. If you are worried about "tapping" as opposed to "eavesdropping"... "voice privacy" won't help you. Depending on where you heard the term "voice privacy" used. It may not mean what you think. Cellular phones... In the context of the IS-41 standard for cellular phones, "privacy" only means that the information about the cellular phone's identity (serial number, phone number, number called, etc.) is safeguarded, not the conversation itself. This deters 'cloning' of your phone and subsequent theft of services. It does not protect what you are saying from being overheard. Use a "digital" cell phone to reduce the risk of someone eavesdropping on your calls. Here is a list of the common cellular transmission modes in order of eavesdropping ease (easiest to most difficult)... Analog (simple FM transmission, original technology) * TDMA (digital) ... more
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