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.

How Zello Became a Lifeline for Venezuelans Under Maduro

I have written several times about the private communications app called Zello. See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+zello&t=h_&ia=web for my past Zello articles.

Zello has many uses , especially in catastrophes such as hurricanes, tornados, floods, forest fires, traffic jams, and more. It has also been used to coordinate anti-government activities in Russia. Now the Venezuelans are using Zello as a crucial tool for Venezuelans protesting widespread hunger and political oppression under dictator Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

Like a walkie-talkie, Zello allows one person to talk at a time, whether in private chats or on public channels that can function somewhat like CB radio only over it reliably communicates over much longer distances and without all the static and noise associated with CB radios.

Venezuela Hasta Los Tuétanos is configured so that only the moderators can speak; anyone else listening to the channel can ask them for permission to talk. The free service has a dozen moderators taking shifts 24 hours a day. While sometimes the moderators let people speak directly on the channel, other times they pass on requests or questions or tidbits of information they receive from users, like radio hosts reading listener mail. The service apparently has thousands of listeners. If you have the Zello app installed on your smartphone and if you can understand Spanish, you too can listen to all the communications on Venezuela Hasta Los Tuétanos.

You can read more in an article by Emily Dreyfuss in the Wired web site at: https://www.wired.com/story/zello-channel-venezuela-maduro/.

Categories: Current Affairs, News & Current Events

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