I am getting the unlock or un-secure lock image on my Nokia phone when ever I call.


Most GSM operators do encrypt their subscribers' communications, but some may choose not to do it, and in some countries, like India, they may even be required by law not to use encryption.


Another very senior expert told us: “False base stations are always possible on GSM. It does not surprise me. Of course, encryption can be turned off by the operator, or by the State such as China or India. It does not happen on 3G or LTE if you are using mutual authentication.”

1 Answer 1


Are phone calls unencrypted and forced by law to be unencrypted in India?

Yes, they are. The Indian Licence Agreement for Provision of Cellular Mobile Telephone Service states in section 42.1:

The licensee shall not employ bulk encryption equipment in its network. Any encryption equipment connected to the LICENSEE’s network for specific requirements has to have prior evaluation and approval of the LICENSOR or officer specially designated for the purpose.

It is however perhaps worth noticing that the question is slightly misleading. The encryption used elsewhere in GSM and other mobile networks only applies to the radio interface between the mobile phone and the cell tower. Within the network, phone calls are generally not encrypted anywhere and in most countries, phone network operators are obligated to provide law agencies interfaces to intercept phone calls.

  • It seems that even between network and Cell tower is unencrypted in India. That is why I'm getting the Unlocked icon in my Nokia phone on call.
    – Dudey
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 9:09

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