China and Russia Are Listening to Trump’s Phone Calls, Says the New York Times

According to The New York Times, the Chinese are regularly listening to Donald Trump’s cellphone calls (Warning: source may be paywalled. If so, try this alternative source). While he has two NSA-hardened iPhones, and a secure landline, he insists on using a consumer-grade iPhone — even while knowing he’s being eavesdropped upon — because it has his contact list on it.

“White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information when he is on them,” reports the New York Times. But, officials were also confident that “he was not spilling secrets because he rarely digs into the details of the intelligence he is shown and is not well versed in the operational specifics of military or covert activities”; in other words, security through ignorance.

The article mentions the rationale is to be able to listen to his calls to find out what and whom influences him, and that the Russians also listen in, albeit with less frequency because of his unique relationship with Vladimir Putin.

UK ISP Tests SIM Card That Forces All of Your Mobile Data Through Tor

This sounds like a great idea except, perhaps, that sending data through Tor is always slower than normal connections on the Internet. Tor is a highly-secure method of connecting to web sites.

One UK grassroots internet service provider is currently testing a data only SIM card that blocks any non-Tor traffic from leaving the phone at all, potentially providing a more robust way to use Tor while on the go.

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Keep Loved Ones Digitally Close with Family Locator

Every time we have a disaster, I think of the cell phone app called Family Locator. I am in Florida at the moment, and news about this week’s Michael hurricane certainly reminded me of the need to find and even track the whereabouts of family members. This app answers an age-old question: “Where are you?”

The Family Locator app for iPhones, Android phones, and even BlackBerry phones lets you know where some or all of your family members are located, plus or minus a few feet. This can be critical information when they have been evacuated to a storm shelter of some sort in advance of a hurricane or forest fire or tornado, or if they are simply stuck in a blizzard. Setting up alerts in the app will also allow you to know when family members have made it safely to their next destination.

In order to function, both you and all family members you wish to locate must have the Family Locator app installed on everyone’s cell phones, and each phone must be turned on and communicating with cell towers or wi-fi hotspots.

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Spotty Data or Internet after Hurricane Michael? Try these Apps to Communicate

Thousands of residents are without power after Hurricane Michael barreled through the Florida panhandle and across Georgia Wednesday and Thursday. Telephone lines are down in many areas. Some people have reported spotty cell phone service and internet service in Michael’s aftermath, likely because of the continued power outages. Yet others, perhaps only a few miles away, report reliable cell phone service and internet service.

What should you do if you are without communications? It is probably to late to fix the problems now but you might want to be prepared for the next outage. After all, Michael won’t be the last hurricane to visit the Florida panhandle and Georgia. Several apps for your smartphone can improve your preparations. They also have many uses besides hurricane emergencies.

Perhaps the most popular app for communicating during disasters when telephone service and even cell phone voice service is unavailable is called Zello.

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Thought for the Day

“Recent privacy debacles at Yahoo, Equifax and Facebook have driven home the realization that anyone with a smartphone is walking, talking, searching, eating, posting, browsing fodder for advertisers, machine learning algorithms and thieves. And users neither control this data nor receive any compensation for giving it up.”

– from an article by David Floyd at http://bit.ly/2yktmn3.

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.