As Elites Switch to Texting, Watchdogs Fear Loss of Transparency

From an article by Kevin Roose in the New York Times:

“Secure messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal and Confide are making inroads among lawmakers, corporate executives and other prominent communicators. Spooked by surveillance and wary of being exposed by hackers, they are switching from phone calls and emails to apps that allow them to send encrypted and self-destructing texts. These apps have obvious benefits, but their use is causing problems in heavily regulated industries, where careful record-keeping is standard procedure.

“‘By and large, email is still used for formal conversations,’ said Juleanna Glover, a corporate consultant based in Washington. ‘But for quick shots, [secure] texting is the medium of choice.'”

Also:

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Signal Private Messenger for Safe and Secure Text, Voice, and Video Messaging

“Privacy is possible. Signal makes it easy.”

Signal is a very popular safe and secure replacement for cell phone text messaging systems. Best of all, it is available FREE of charge. If you have an Android device, an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod Touch, Signal will supplement or replace your present text messaging app. Your cell phone will continue to send and receive normal text messages as it always has plus it will now securely send and receive private, encrypted text messages to and from anyone else who is using Signal.

Millions of cell phone users have installed Signal and use it every day to keep their communications secure and away from prying eyes. Users include many senior politicians in Washington, business professionals, newspaper reporters, movie stars, sports professionals, and private individuals alike worldwide. It blocks credit card thieves, identity thieves, nosey neighbors, and (probably) government agencies from tapping into your private communications.

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6 Things You Didn’t Realize Your Cell Phone Is Tracking

Most of us realize that our cell phones track our location minute-by-minute and that information is available to the cell phone company, to many web sites, to law enforcement agencies, and to hackers around the world who manage to access the various web sites. (See my earlier articles at http://bit.ly/2rUT3lF and http://bit.ly/2sPEAMe for details.) However, that is just the tip of the iceberg.

An article by Brad Jones in the Make Use Of web site details lots of privacy-invasive information being shared by your cell phone. Take a look at: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/iphone-tracking.

The Tracking Device in Your Pocket

Your cellphone service provider knows where you’ve been. If you use Google apps on your smartphone, you can see proof of that at https://www.google.com/maps/timeline.

Try that address right now. You may be amazed at how much Google is tracking you. Your cell phone company can see that data also and a lot more.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if its OK for police to look at your tracking information without a warrant. Details may be found in USA Today at https://usat.ly/2rJkS1P.

Do you really want the police and who knows who else tracking you?

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Things You Don’t See Anymore

An article in the BBC News web site points out one major change in lifestyles in the past decade: the number of U.S. homes that have an old-fashioned, wired telephone obtained from the local telephone company has now dropped to less than 50%. That is a number that few people would have dreamed of ten years ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed thousands of Americans and found most American homes contain at least one cell phone; but, for the first time ever, fewer than half the homes have a wired phone obtained from the telephone company.

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Who Did You Say Is Listening to My Cell Phone Calls?

The Ooma Blog has a short article that explains how anyone who knows your cell phone number has the ability to hear your calls, read your texts, and track your location (even if GPS is turned off). I suggest this article be required reading for anyone who is concerned about privacy and does not want anyone listening in.

The article is obviously designed to promote Ooma’s VoIP telephone service, which is encrypted. However, I have used Ooma for several years and love the service so I don’t mind the advertising.

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