Before you could just install your own NSA-level security suite on your smartphone, securing lines demanded hardware. From cabinet-sized cipher machines to the eavesdrop-evading combat radios, our friends at Oobject have assembled nine of the coolest secured handsets in American history.
Moscow Washington Red hotline Telephone used during Carter administration
In some ways this is an anti-crypto device since the introduction of the famous hotline was as a result of the time taken to decode messages during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
STU-1 secure phone desk set, 1970s
Called the Stew phone, three models were produced, until the current STE set replaced them in 2008.
STU III phone, 1987-2008
The picture shows Bush using the phone after the 911 attacks.
Current US secure phone, STE, 2008 on
This replaces and is backward compatible with the STU-III
SIGSALY secure speech system used in WWII
SINCGARS Secure Combat Net Radio, US present day
STU-II secure phone, US, 1980s to present
Shown here is both the headset and the secure message hardware, below.
Navajo-I secure travel phone for US govt officials 1980s