Zello Walkie Talkie: Why App Downloads Are Soaring Ahead of Hurricane Florence

Are you facing a hurricane in your area? Or do you want to be able to communicate with friends and/or relatives during a hurricane and soon after? If so, read Zello Walkie Talkie: Why App Downloads Are Soaring Ahead of Hurricane Florence in the Yahoo web site at: https://yhoo.it/2p3WBTM.

You can also read my previous articles about Zello by starting at: https://privacyblog.com/?s=zello.

Cajun Navy, Houstonians are Preparing to Respond to Louisiana during and after Tropical Storm Gordon

This article isn’t about privacy, but I will suggest it does show an example of people being prepared for an emergency. Are you prepared?

On March 30, I published an article entitled, The Zello App Can Help Save Lives During Major Storms and Has Many Others Uses Also. Click here to read the earlier article. In that article, I described why I think everyone should have the Zello walkie-talkie app installed on their cell phones. This is especially true for anyone who lives in areas where hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, forest fires, and similar disasters happen frequently.

The people of Louisiana and the Cajun Navy did step up to help Houston in 2017 during Hurricane Harvey. And now, with Tropical Storm Gordon swirling in the Gulf of Mexico, headed towards Louisiana again, Houstonians are keeping an eye on the radar in case Louisiana needs help recovering after the rainfall. Several communication channels titled with a variation of the ‘Cajun Navy’ are now listed on Zello- a cellphone app that allows users to communicate like they would via walkie talkie.

You can read more at: https://tinyurl.com/yasyhjze.

Skype Now Offers End-to-End Encryption

Skype users can now make encrypted voice calls and text chats. The end-to-end encryption used by Skype means that your chats are encrypted from one end to the other, ensuring eavesdroppers can’t intercept your messages or listen into your conversation. It has taken a while for Skype to offer the feature, but it’s better late than never.

However, be aware that encryption is an OPTION. Unfortunately, the default remains the same as it has always been: unencrypted. Your calls are not encrypted unless you manually choose the option to encrypt the call. If you want a truly private and secure video call or messaging, use Signal or Wire.

If you really do want to use Skype, check out the article at https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/skype-end-to-end-encryption/.

Australians Who Won’t Unlock Their Phones Could Face 10 Years In Jail

Big Brother is alive and well and living in Australia. The Australian government wants to force companies to help it get at suspected criminals’ data. If they can’t, it would jail people for up to 10 years(!) if they refuse to unlock their phones.

The government’s explanatory note says that the Bill could force a manufacturer to hand over detailed specs of a device, install government software on all cell phones (before the phone is sold to a customer), help agencies develop their own “systems and capabilities”, and notify agencies of major changes to their systems.

You can read more about the Australian government’s proposed legislation at: http://bit.ly/2MqWTlV.

U.S. Supreme Court says Police Need a Warrant for Historical Cell Location Records

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that law enforcement must first seek a warrant before obtaining historical cell phone location records from phone companies, upending a near-decade long practice by police.

The court ruled 5-4 on the case, in what became one of the most awaited privacy legal decisions in the US this year.

The so-called “Carpenter” case had centered on the eponymous Timothy Carpenter, a criminal who was caught thanks to cell phone records in 2011. Law enforcement had obtained his location data from a phone provider without a search warrant, arguing the provider already had his data and Carpenter had no “reasonable expectation of privacy.”

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Atom, World`s Smallest 4G Rugged Smartphone

NOTE: This article isn’t strictly about privacy. However, it is about a very small cell phone that should become popular and also works well with Zello, the privacy-oriented walkie-talkie app. Go to https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+zello&t=h_&ia=web to see my previous articles about Zello.

A review in the Digital Trends web site says, “The Unihertz Atom won’t replace your smartphone, but it’s perfect for outdoors.”

While I haven’t yet had my hands on a Unihertz Atom cell phone, I suspect that description is accurate. It appears to be tiny, rugged, and resistant to water, mud, and all the other nasty stuff one finds in the great outdoors. I don’t think the Unihertz Atom is a good phone for everyone but it certainly will appeal to those who spend a lot of time outdoors, either for work or for pleasure or both.

One thing that appeals to me is the red push-to-talk button on the side of the Unihertz Atom phone. It works with the Zello push-to-talk walkie-talkie application, which is also pre-installed on the phone.

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Verizon To End Location Data Sales To Brokers

Verizon is pledging to stop sales through intermediaries of data that pinpoints the location of mobile phones to outside companies, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

From the report:

The data has allowed outside companies to pinpoint the location of wireless devices without their owners’ knowledge or consent. Verizon said that about 75 companies have been obtaining its customer data from two little-known California-based brokers that Verizon supplies directly — LocationSmart and Zumigo.

Though Verizon is the first major U.S. wireless carrier to end sales of such data to brokers that then provide it to others, Verizon did not say it was getting out of the business of selling location data.

You can read more in an Associated Press article by Frank Bajak at http://bit.ly/2JU4tEs.