5 Reasons Why You Should Ditch WhatsApp for Viber

If you are using WhatsApp, you really need to read Rob Nightingale’s article in the MakeUseOf web site.

Nightingale points out that WhatsApp‘s 1.2 billion users send tens of billions of messages to each other EVERY DAY. Obviously, that’s huge. Viber only has 800 million users. Yet Nightingale says that Viber is the better app in almost every way but WhatsApp got a head start and became popular before Viber could get started.

Both apps:

  • Are free to download.
  • Provide end-to-end encryption.
  • Work over 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi.
  • Work on Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones.
  • Have Windows and Mac desktop apps.
  • Offer instant messaging.
  • Offer voice and video calls to other users.
  • Allow you to send photos, audio, and video clips.
  • Offer private group chats.
  • Work with Google Now and Siri.

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The Ultimate Encrypted Voice & Data Modem

If you like gadgets, this may be the ultimate device to own. Well, you and your associates will need at least two of them. The RT7 Encrypted Voice and Data Modem works with any HF or V/UHF two-way radio system or computer network to provide secure voice, data and position services.

The RT7 provides robust secure voice, text, forms, file transfer, quickcodes, navigation, situational awareness, sms*, and email* (* via Gateway or CommandPoint Software). It is not a two-way radio itself. Instead, it connects to compatible two-way radios, networks (via an ethernet connection), or computers. It securely encrypts voice or data and also provides positioning information, all while using military-grade encryption.

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We Have Lots of Encrypted Chat Capabilities, Why Not Add Encrypted Calls?

If encryption works for text-based chat, voice seems like a natural extension. If only it were that easy.

Encrypted voice calls can circumvent government wiretaps, or criminal snooping. But a host of technical challenges with facilitating the calls themselves has slowed the spread of voice over internet protocol overall.

You can read the details in an article by Lily Hay Newman in Wired at http://bit.ly/2p566TT.

However, encrypted voice applications do exist. See https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aprivacyblog.com+voice+encryption&t=ha&ia=web for some past articles about voice encryption, mostly about applications that are available today.

The Environmental Protection Agency is Being Sued for Using Encrypted Messages

The conservative group Judicial Watch is suing the Environmental Protection Agency under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking to compel the EPA to hand over any employee communications sent via Signal, the encrypted messaging and calling app. In its public statement about the lawsuit, Judicial Watch points to reports that EPA staffers have used Signal to communicate secretly, in the face of an adversarial Trump administration.

But encryption and forensics experts say Judicial Watch may have picked a tough fight. Delete Signal’s texts, or the app itself, and virtually no trace of the conversation remains. “The messages are pretty much gone,” says Johns Hopkins crypotgrapher Matthew Green, who has closely followed the development of secure messaging tools. “You can’t prove something was there when there’s nothing there.”

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TOX: an Encrypted Skype Replacement

I wrote about Tox more than two years ago at http://bit.ly/2nUqo1p. A lot has happened since then.

In 2014, Tox was “under development.” In fact, it was in pre-Alpha status and was notably buggy. Today, a lot has changed. Tox now is a fully supported release and is as close to bug-free as most other software that you use every day.

Tox (pronounced “talks) is a secure Skype alternative. Unlike Skype, it cannot be monitored by government spies or by hackers. It is not supported by a corporation. Rather, it’s an open-source tool made by “people fed up with the existing options that spy on us, track us, censor us, and keep us from innovating.”

Good-bye Microsoft!

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Make Encrypted Voice Calls Using Telegram

Telegram is introducing the ability to make encrypted voice calls. It offers end-to-end encryption, meaning it is super secure.

The Telegram interface is both familiar and easy to use. However, Telegram’s voice calling capabilities offer two major innovations over most of the competition: end-to-end encryption and granular control.

Telegram puts you, the user, in charge of who can and cannot call you. This precision control means you can turn voice calls on for everybody, just your contacts, or nobody. You can also restrict certain individuals from calling you on a one-on-one basis. It also offers crystal-clear call quality. It works on wi-fi as well as on cellular connections.

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What the CIA WikiLeaks Dump Tells Us: Encryption Works

“If the tech industry is drawing one lesson from the latest WikiLeaks disclosures, it’s that data-scrambling encryption works,” writes the Associated Press, “and the industry should use more of it.” An anonymous reader quotes their report:

Documents purportedly outlining a massive CIA surveillance program suggest that CIA agents must go to great lengths to circumvent encryption they can’t break. In many cases, physical presence is required to carry off these targeted attacks. “We are in a world where if the U.S. government wants to get your data, they can’t hope to break the encryption,” said Nicholas Weaver, who teaches networking and security at the University of California, Berkeley. “They have to resort to targeted attacks, and that is costly, risky and the kind of thing you do only on targets you care about. Seeing the CIA have to do stuff like this should reassure civil libertarians that the situation is better now than it was four years ago”… Cindy Cohn, executive director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group focused on online privacy, likened the CIA’s approach to “fishing with a line and pole rather than fishing with a driftnet.”

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