“You can communicate only with other people on a network to which you’ve subscribed. Such networks have their own servers, in the manner of Signal or WhatsApp. Hardened phones often have no working camera, and geolocation and tracking services are disabled. A ‘wipe’ feature instantly deletes all messages. More sophisticated services offer a ‘dual-boot’ mode, so that the device can—at the touch of a button—look like a normal smartphone. Hardened devices cost about fifteen hundred dollars, and six months of service on a network costs about a thousand dollars.” All in all, it’s these hardened phones operating on private networks are a pretty useful tool for criminals. But what if the sense of security they provide is an entirely false one. Ed Caesar in The New Yorker: Crooks’ Mistaken Bet on Encrypted Phones. “Drug syndicates and other criminal groups bought into the idea that a new kind of phone network couldn’t be infiltrated by cops. They were wrong—big time.”