The Russian Government wants to Block Zello, But Can It Really Do that?

I wrote about Zello, the free walkie-talkie emulation software for cell phones, a few days ago at It is a great app that gives users excellent one-to-one and one-to-many communications capabilities. Now the Russian government thinks that Zello is an evil thing. Well, it is evil in the eyes of a repressive government. The Russian government wants to block all usage of Zello. It seems that Zello is another example of the type of secure communications service which the Russian regime is determined to stop its people from using.

The regime of President Vladimir Putin sees apps like Zello as being a threat rather than a vital communications tool. That is because apps of this nature are frequently used by opposition groups to coordinate protests and opposition to the Putin regime.

There is but one problem: blocking all Zello users within the country will be a difficult, maybe impossible, task.

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Shonin Streamcam Wearable Camera: Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?

I don’t know if this is protection for your own privacy and your body or if it is an invasion of privacy for you and everyone around you. I’ll let you decide.

You know those bodycams that many police officers wear? Those are frequently in the news. Law enforcement wants them, many politicians are pushing for them, and communities that already have a strong police presence in their neighborhoods are demanding that the police get cameras now. Civil-rights groups are advocating for them. The White House is funding them.

Now a start-up company wants to sell you a personal bodycam that you can wear. Is that a good thing? Or a bad thing?

You decide. The Shonin Streamcam Wearable Camera is being funded on a KickStarter campaign at:

More on the Equifax Data Breach

This is an update to the brief article I published last week at:

Equifax, which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a data breach could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the United States. Literally over one third of the entire US population is at risk of identity theft now thanks to Equifax’s bungling. In reality, it will only affect adults as children normally do not have credit cards. 143 million is roughly half of all American adults.

The data breach obviously was criminal. What is perhaps even more criminal is that this is the third such data breach at Equifax in 16 months and yet the senior executives at Equifax continue to keep their data in unencrypted databases that are available to hackers! That’s beyond dumb!

In fact, it may be criminal.

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Equifax says Data Breach Could Potentially Affect 143 Million US Consumers

Equifax, which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a data breach could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the United States.

The population of the U.S. was about 324 million in 2017, according to Census Bureau estimates, which means the Equifax incident affects a huge portion of the country.  Chances are that YOUR information was stolen. Be on the lookout for  possible identity theft.

Equifax said it discovered the breach on July 29. “Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files,” the company said.

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How to Obtain True Online Private Web Browsing Despite Trump’s Recent Repeal of US Broadband Privacy Rules

I assume you do not want your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to snoop on your online activities and then to sell your web surfing information to commercial companies. Your data should be valuable, private, and most important, it’s yours. You should be the owner of your data and no one else, especially not a commercial company interested in selling your private data, should have access to your data.

Luckily, there are easy ways to block the snooping. I have already written about using a Virtual Private Network (see for my articles). However, that may require a bit more technical knowledge that may scare away computer novices.

A second solution is to use the Tor web browser and networking package. See for details. Tor is a well-known and reliable privacy solution. However, Tor does slow your network connections significantly and does require a bit of technical knowledge to use it effectively.

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