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November 20, 2015

NSA snopping fears lead secure device drive in china

News: Private and state run companies are working on devices made solely in China.

By Charlotte Henry

Firms owned by the Chinese state are looking to manufacture their own privacy enabled smartphones for Chinese officials.

The country is sceptical about US based technology and its potential to spy on state officials, particularly in the light of the Edward Snowden NSA snooping revelations

Private Chinese tech firms are also helping in the effort, which is part of wider Chinese strategy to be self reliant on its technology, according to the Wall Street Journal.

For example, ZTE is building a secure smartphone, based on its own operating system and a Chinese made chip. To try and minimise security risks, the phone will not have GPS, wi-fi, Bluetooth or a camera.

Spreadtrum Communications, which is China’s largest chip designer, says it is going to mass produce a set of chips running a Chinese operating system by the end of the year, while Alibaba is working with China’s Ministry of Public Security for a secure operating system for police officers.

US companies in the secure phones market too, with PGP Creator Phil Zimmerman’s company Silent Circle releasing its latest secure Android phone in September.

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