The FBI had long wanted to get inside an encrypted phone firm. As Motherboard previously revealed, the FBI initially tried to get a backdoor into Phantom Secure, an encrypted phone firm popular across the world and used by bikers and the Sinaloa drug cartel. The FBI cornered the company's CEO Vincent Ramos in a Las Vegas hotel room, but Ramos declined to help. Shortly after, a confidential human source (CHS) who distributed Phantom phones offered the FBI access to Anom: "It became absolutely the plan to have the FBI establish a covert company," Young said.
Do you know anything else about Anom? Were you a user? Did you work for the company? We'd love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, OTR chat on firstname.lastname@example.org, or email email@example.com.
Baris Tukel, an Australian now based in Turkey accused of being an Anom distributor, has long running connections with Australia's bike gangs, according to the Guardian. Tukel is currently an international fugitive.Hakan Ayik, a drug trafficker that Australian media dubbed The Facebook Gangster for his prolific social media posting, is allegedly responsible for introducing Anom devices to some criminal Australian users in the first place. Due to the threat to safety he may now face for unknowingly helping the FBI, Australian authorities are encouraging Ayik to turn himself in.
"We wanted to shatter the trust in the encrypted phone industry that catered to criminals."