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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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

However, encrypted voice applications do exist. See for some past articles about voice encryption, mostly about applications that are available today.

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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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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How the US Secret Service Breaks into Smart Phones

There is an interesting article about cell phone privacy and security at

One thing in the article surprised me: “A cheaper phone that might be less popular, it seems like it’d be easier for the vendors to get into it,” says Darnell of the Secret Service phone lab. “But it’s actually quite the opposite.”

I think I’ll go out today and buy a cheap cell phone.

Telemarketing Firm Leaks 400,000 Recorded Calls

Now THIS is unusual! But it is a huge security and privacy leak nonetheless.

More than 400,000 audio files associated with a Florida company’s telemarketing efforts were stored online in the clear, and were discovered earlier this month by researchers at MacKeeper. More than 17,600 of those audio recordings were customer transactions that included names, addresses, and credit card and CVV information of those called.

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Using a Cell Phone Number as Your Primary Contact Number Does Not Need to be a Privacy Risk

There is an article on the WAFF web site that claims using a cell phone as your only telephone number can be a potential privacy risk. I sort of disagree.

I guess I need to explain “sort of.”

no_landline_telephoneFirst of all, millions of Americans have only one telephone: their cell phones. They no longer have old-fashioned landline phones provided by the local Baby Bell company. I am one of those millions. I have a cell phone and I use it as my only telephone.

I used to have two phones: a cell phone plus an old-fashioned landline phone. One day I woke up to the fact that I didn’t need two phones. I can only talk on one phone at a time. I also have no need to pay for two phones, especially now that the cell phone service I use costs less per month than does a wired phone from the local telephone company and the cell phone provides better service to boot.

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