> The point could be considered this way. Assume that you have a thousand
> telephone lines and a clandestine organization wants to listen into all of
i'm not addressing whether echelon exists (it does) and where it operates
out of (not, as a rule, embassies). i'm just pointing out that GSM is much
harder to listen in to. so if your concern (or the government's concern) is
security, the situation in NG right now is extremely poor: it's very easy to
listen in to the existing analog conversations using off-the-shelf
consumer-grade multi-band radio receivers. a switch to GSM would make it
considerably harder to listen in. any slowdown in GSM implementation in NG
that's attributed to security is a smokescreen for other reasons.
the reason GSM is not widely used in the US has nothing to do with security
and/or government clearance (other, far more secure, digital mobile phones
have been in use in the US for some time). it's merely that it's a newer
technology that came along after huge amounts were invested in building an
analog infrastructure, and so as new systems are implemented to replace the
overburdened analog ones, the newer ones generally are leapfrogging over GSM
to the next generation (just as, in its own time, europe leapfrogged over
analog directly to GSM).
> In Nigeria, cellular phone was almost replacing the ordinary phones until
> this sad revelation.
i don't agree. when i'm in nigeria i find the mobile to be extremely
unreliable and for that reason not very widely used, whether by government,
business, or individual--even in lagos, not to mention in other cities.