What is Secure Terminal Phones? Why We Use These Devices?

Some conversations cannot be made public. For instance, the telephonic conversation that takes place between government officials or the forces of a country need to be prevented from any kind of malicious intervention. In other words, these calls cannot be conducted until a secure infrastructure is there. This is the purpose that has to be achieved through Secure Terminal Equipment (STE) comes into play. These days, the use of this equipment is increasing at a rapid pace. Here are few points that explain the use of these devices.

  • Calls that are carried out by government officials, presidents of a country, army officials and other related personnel. The communication that is done through these calls can prove to be very damaging if it gets into the wrong hands. In addition to that, criminals do aim at tapping these important conversations. For instance, US government uses one of the most dependable STE systems so that all the chances of conversations being leaked out can be eliminated.

  • In the older times, various technologies were being used to provide systems for secure telephonic conversations. In the modern day technological dominated time and with the increase of these malicious security attacks, VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is being used as the technology platform to provide secure communication platforms. Reputed software and hardware companies that are involved in the designing and provision of these phones use a VOIP based technology infrastructure to provide a secure platform for this form of equipment.

  • STE phones cannot be termed as very compatible with all the supporting devices that standard phones are used with. Thus, the infrastructure that these phones can be used with has to be very specific. In other words, as these phones are used for very specific form of communication, the system that they are integrated with has to very specific as well.

The Fish Bowl by US Government

The government of United States is one of the prominent users of STE devices. Calls that involve the security professionals, army and all other forces are conducted through the STE system. In other words, this system is used by the US government to provide end to end encryption.

A lot of people have not heard about Fish Bowl which is one of the most recent examples of the use of the STE system.

  • Fish bowl is a state of the art mobile architecture that has been designed by the National Security Agency of US. This architecture has been designed for the Android platform and it maintains the highest security standards. The purpose of this architecture is to maintain the confidentiality of secure information while it is being commuted. In technical terms, two security protocols have been used to provide an assurance that no one would be successful in accessing this confidential information. One of these protocols is IP sec and the second is SRTP.


  • Fish Bowl is not restricted to the Android platform only. Instead, it functions equally well on the iPhone platform as well.


Reasons for using STE devices

There are various reasons for using STE devices and national security is definitely one of the most important ones. Governments cannot take the risk of important classified information being accessed by national enemies. Thus, large sums of money are spent to implement these infrastructures and ensure that there is no security threat to confidential information.

STE and VOIP architecture

Whenever a network based security system is being implemented, the technological infrastructure that is used to support it matters a lot.  VOIP is far better than other networking infrastructures that are used for similar purposes. Along with that, it is a helpful option if you want to combat the highly impactful networking threats of today.

STE is a key example of how modern day network security can be used to prevent national security threats. In the earlier times, scramblers were used to protect the confidentiality of confidential information. However, this system eventually failed with technological advancements. In comparison to Scramblers, STE is a much more secure system that protects information with complex data algorithms and end to end encryption.  This is one of the key reasons due to which it is being used by governments all over the world. Governments are selecting this infrastructure for their top professionals who deal with classified information and are connected to national security in one way or the other.


Use of STE phones by the US president

During the tenure of President Obama, STE evolved on a major scale. Obama used this technology to carry out conversations related to national security in a 100% dependable manner.

  • The presidential bus which is termed as one of the key commuting options used by the president has L3 STE phones. The president used to use these phones while he had to hold discussions during travelling.

  • The STE phones were also used by the president when he had to communicate during international conferences.

  • The president used these phones when had to conduct meeting sessions with this team members in relation national security and decision making.


With the passage of time and technology advancing at a rapid pace, protecting national interests has become a tough challenge to meet. STE devices make this task easier with the help of advanced networking.  On a national level, it is very important to maintain the highest possible standards of security. This advanced network infrastructure is highly secure and it eliminates all the chances of attackers trying to tap a call and extract confidential information. The US government is one of the key users of this system and various high profiled personalities related to the national government have been using it. Unlike a lot of mechanisms that have been developed for networking and communication security purposes, STE can be termed as more result oriented and productive. Phones that are equipped with STE are actually completely secure. For even the smartest malicious attackers, it is impossible to breach these security platforms.


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