Secret Policeman’s Haul
The An0m phone is something you were unlikely to have been offered, as it was designed specifically for people involved in criminal enterprises to communicate without being monitored. The phone was never publicly for sale, you had to know a guy that knew a guy to be able to get your hands on one. The phone itself was $1700 along with a $1250 annual subscription and it lacked the ability to make calls or to browse the internet. All it did do was allow you to access a secret encrypted An0n messaging app, which was only available on these phones and only these phones could communicate on the app.
There was just one small problem, all of the 27 million messages sent across the platform were intercepted by the FBI and Australian police. This lead to huge drug and gun busts in Turkey, Australia, Germany, Sweden and several other countries, along with the arrests of hundreds of people. The admins of the phone network were also charged, this time it was actually a successfully prosecuted RICO case, with some arrested and others on the run.
This type of secret app and/or device is incredibly vulnerable to this sort of thing, where there are few enough people involved in administrating it that a conspiracy could flourish either on purpose or because one person is compromised by another group. There is no reason a government or other agency couldn’t repeat this on another product, so do make sure to question if you happen to be offered any secret devices offering perfect anonymity.
The Guardian tells the story of "a viral sensation in the global underworld," the high-security An0m phones, which launched with "a grassroots marketing campaign, identifying so-called influencers — 'well-known crime figures who wield significant power and influence over other criminal associates', according to a US indictment — within criminal subcultures."