Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Russia Blocks 500+ IPs & Domains, Fails to Shutdown the Encrypted Zello Voice Chat App

This is a follow-up to two different articles I published recently:

The Zello App Can Help Save Lives During Major Storms and Has Many Other Uses Also at

The Russian Government wants to Block Zello, But Can It Really Do that? at

Indeed, the Russian government wants to block all usage of Zello. It seems that Zello is another example of the type of secure communications service which the Russian regime is determined to stop its people from using. While the software has been used for humanitarian causes, it also has reportedly been used by workers coordinating strikes and even terrorist groups. The same can be said of any communications system, of course, but since Zello is end-to-end encrypted, the authorities want the ability to listen in.

The Russian government published an edict requiring all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to block 15 million IP addresses known to be used by Zello and its users. The blocks are now in place but appear to have little effect on Russian users of the Zello app. Apparently, VPNs (virtual private networks) are being used and IP addresses often can be changed multiple times per day, possibly every per hour.

The Russian government can’t find and publish the new IP addresses fast enough. This is sort of a high-tech game of Whack-A-Mole.

The interesting fact is that Zello originally created in Russia but is now based in the United States.

All the resulting publicity has been good for Zello. The producing company says its app has been downloaded several million times. That includes downloads by users in Russia and elsewhere.

I’ll leave it to the citizens of Russia to figure out what to do next. Obviously, those citizens already have had great success at finding solutions. However, for citizens of other countries, I will offer a suggestion or two:

Is it possible that YOUR government and/or private corporations are monitoring YOUR communications? We already know that the agencies of many governments do just that.

If you would like to keep your communications secure so that government spies, corporations, and individual hackers around the world cannot monitor what you are discussing, you might want to consider using Zello.

The the encrypted Zello app is available in two versions: a free personal app, and a paid version for work. You can find out more about Zello in my earlier articles, described above, as well as at

Categories: Online Privacy & Security

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