Questions about Purchase and Usage of Cryptophone Products

Are there any restrictions on the use of the CryptoPhone?

There are no restrictions on using the CryptoPhone for use in the EU, the US, Australia and Japan. To the best of our knowledge use most of Asia, South America and Africa is also unrestricted. In India and several other countries civilian users might be subject to regstration requirements. Use of the CryptoPhone in Russia and other CIS countries is possibly subject to state licensing with which we can not comply. If in doubt, we strongly recommend you check with a competent lawyer or with the authorities in your country. As a general rule, we ship only to the countries listed in the webshop. This list may be subject to change. We explicitly do not ship to some countries, either for reasons of EU and / or German export control law or because we consider them zones of armed conflict or war. We also do not ship to companies, organizations and individuals that are on the official EU list of terrorism supporters. The use of the CryptoPhone in countries or regions that enforce public or informal regulations on encrypted communications is at the sole risk of the user. In countries where this is applicable it is the user’s obligation to obtain any required licenses for operating the CryptoPhone. We can not be held responsible for any problems that may result.

I want to buy a CryptoPhone, but my business partners cannot afford one. What should I do?

To adress this problem we offer a solution not available with any other secure phone product on the marke: A freeware software version of the CryptoPhone that will turn any standard Windows PC (desktop or notebook) in a CryptoPhone-compatible secure phone! This software features the same algorithms and protocols as the CryptoPhone mobile, satellite and desktop phones and thus allows you to make secure calls between your CryptoPhone and anyone owning a windows computer and a modem. After installation of the software, anyone can set up a secure voice connection in no time. Please note that the free CryptoPhone for Windows software is currently on maintenance-mode development and supports only a limited number of modems. A commercial version of CryptoPhone for Windows is available on request for larger projects.

The software is available for download at the CryptoPhone website. For added security, ask your partner to use a dedicated machine for the calls. The only way real security can be achieved is if this dedicated machine is not connected to the Internet, and has no other software installed on it. This will prevent data thieves from hacking the computer, or sending them a virus. Malicious programs are a very common threat these days, so the use a separate computer for the CryptoPhone for Windows software is a prudent security measure.

But of course the best solution is to buy them their own CryptoPhone.

Are there any limitations or drawbacks on using the CryptoPhone for Windows software?

The CryptoPhone for Windows software is completely compatible with the CryptoPhone GSM and contains no time limits or other feature limitations. However, if you use the CryptoPhone for Windows with a landline and a modem and want to call a CryptoPhone GSM you might need to obtain a special data number that can receive modem data calls for the GSM call plan. This is because of a technical limitation present in all GSM networks. Another option is to use an ISDN landline because digital GSM-compatible data calls can be placed from it. Also, please note that as detailed above, CryptoPhone for Windows is a software application that by its nature cannot protect you agains attacks agains the device itself. GSMK CryptoPhone mobile and fixed-line phones are protected against these threats.

I dont use Windows! What about a Mac / Linux / BSD / VMS / RiscOS version of the software?

CryptoPhone is a small operation that needs to carefully consider where to put its resources. We would love to provide the software for at least MacOS X and Linux, but have currently more pressing issues, that mainly revolve around our money-earning products. Porting the codebase to MacOS X and Linux is on our roadmap and will happen, but at the moment we cannot make any promises on timeframes. If you happen to have tested the Windows software in emulation environments under other operating systems, we would love to hear about your experiences at ports@cryptophone.de.

What is the best way for me to get a CryptoPhone?

The best way is to order your CryptoPhone from your local Authorized GSMK CryptoPhone Reseller. If you do not know how to contact your local reseller, or if you need to buy direct, please contact us at sales@cryptophone.de (our PGP key can be found at the Contacts page).

Can I return the CryptoPhone after I purchased it and do not like it?

No. All sales are final. Each GSMK CryptoPhone is a Communication Security (COMSEC) device that is configured, packaged and security sealed individually for you and is therefore not subject to the two-week return policy for consumer electronics ordered online. The reason is that once a phone has been in the hands of a customer, we can not sell it to another customer, because there is no economic way to check for all the possible modifications and tampering that could have affected the security of the device. Think of it like the no-returns policy that applies to tailored suits and other similar products. On questions of warranty, see below.

What happens with the data I gave you when I ordered my CryptoPhone?

We strongly believe in knowing as little as possible about our customers. This is why you can not create an “account” at our webshop and why you need to enter the relevant details again for each order. All customer data is only stored in a secure environment that is not accessible from the Internet. Some payment details need to be retained for regulatory and bookkeeping reasons. We will under no circumstances sell or loan customer data to anyone.

I do not want my bank details and / or address associated with the purchase of a CryptoPhone. What can I do?

We have a network of Authorized GSMK CryptoPhone Resellers where you can pay cash and pick up your CryptoPhone either from stock or at max three working days after ordering (down-payments may be required). For larger orders we may be able to arrange different logistics based upon customer request. Please contact us at sales@cryptophone.de. We only accept advance payment by bank transfer. We generally ship within 48 hours after receipt of payment. Inside the EU, smaller orders can also be shipped Cash on Delivery (COD). If you wish to arrange some other form of payment please contact us at sales@cryptophone.de.

How do you ship?

For shipping our products we use a few selected international courier services, depending on destination, volume and security parameters. We offer a split shipment option where you can select to have us ship devices from one order to multiple locations. We usually ship within three working days after successful payment processing.

What is the split-shipment option good for?

Split-shipment is a method to set up a secure communications network with multiple partners within a short time. You order the required number of devices with one order, we ship them to the different destinations that you specify. A typical use for this option is for instance when you need to set up a new project team that needs secure communications immediately or if you discover a problem in an existing communication structure that needs to be resolved quickly. Split-shipment is only available with some forms of payment.

How do you make sure that I receive an untampered device?

We use a variety of high-security seals and procedures to help make sure the device arrives at your doorstep as we shipped it. If you want to verify the integrity of the package, please follow the instructions that you can obtain after ordering. Special verification procedures basically require you to send us an e-mail upon reception of the package, but before opening it. You will then immediately receive an e-mail from us with the types and serial-numbers of seals that we used to secure your package as well as pictures of where and how the seals were placed. We may at our discretion also include information on additional hidden security markers used for your package.

We regularly perform anonymous test purchases of the CryptoPhone GSM to verify the integrity of the entire delivery chain. All orders are shipped directly from our secure production facilities without unnecessary delays. If you are ordering via one of our resellers, resellers are required to notify you immediately when the shipment arrives, hand you the fully sealed package and envelope with all seals intact and store both in a secure place until you pick up the CryptoPhone.

What kind of warranty do you offer?

All mobile, satellite and desktop CryptoPhones come with a one-year manufacturer warranty. In the unlikely event that your CryptoPhone needs warranty repairs, please contact us first at service@cryptophone.de, so we can inform you about the detailed warranty and shipment procedure. Please be aware that certain fees for shipment and security sealing might apply. You must obtain a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number before returning any equipment to us. Return shipments without a confirmed RMA number will be ignored. Please note that the integrated battery of the CryptoPhone is subject to wear and tear and not covered by the warranty.

We do not offer any kind of warranty for the free CryptoPhone for Windows software.

What about firmware updates?

We offer firmware updates for the CryptoPhone, e.g. when additional features become available for your device. Please contact us or your local Authorized GSMK CryptoPhone Reseller for details on how to obtain updates for your particular model. Updates generally fall into two categories: security updates and feature updates. Security updates will be made available in the case a security problem has been discovered. Security upgrades are free for download as long as the main firmware version they apply to is supported. Feature upgrades enhance the functionality of the CryptoPhone, and may be sold or offered for free download.

FAQ Sections:

  • General Questions about Cryptophone Products
  • Questions about interception of GSM Calls
  • Questions about Cryptophone technology
  • Questions about published source code
  • Questions about purchase and usage of Cryptophone Products
  • License Questions
  • Purchase related matters
  • Warranty and Upgrade-Options