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Wireless Security: An IP VPN Conspiracy Theory
Unfortunately for members of my profession, this situation didn't last. The U.S. government chose a legal solution, making it a crime to sell a radio receiver that could tune in to the cellular band. Europe chose a technical one, mandating the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), a then-new cell phone standard that included 64-bit encryption and smart card-based authentication.
Though GSM is now two decades old, its encryption algorithm has so far remained secure. (A theoretical attack was published in 2001, but it's difficult to pull off.) The law against scanners is another matter. It couldn't do anything about the thousands that are already out there, and many high school students learn how to construct a radio receiver in their physics class.
The link for this article located at Network Magazine is no longer available.