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Mar 28, 2022

Russian Troops’ Tendency to Talk on Unsecured Lines Is Proving Costly

I have written often about the wisdom of using encryption to secure (and privatize) computer files and text communications. Of course, the need doesn’t stop with text; there is an equal need to make sure no one can eavesdrop on your voice and data communications.

That is a lesson learned recently by Russian soldiers and their commanders while serving in Ukraine. The lack of encryption on voice communications has literally cost the lives of a number of people.

Hopefully, the risk is not all that great for the majority of us who are not involved life-or-death battlefield activities. Nonetheless, do you care if someone from the government or the “other” political party or the Mafia or the two-bit criminal down the street is listening in on all your conversations?

Alex Horton and Shane Harris have written in The Washington Post about the experiences of Russian soldiers talking over clear (unencrypted) communications paths at: https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Russian-troops-tendency-to-talk-on-unsecured-17031606.php.

COMMENT: For your cell phone conversations, you should be using Signal, used by tens of thousands of people to keep their conversations private. Signal works on voice, text messaging, and even on two-way video conversations. It is available for Windows, Macintosh, iPhone, Android, and some Linux systems. It even allows Windows computers to communicate with Macintosh and similar mixing of technology.

Signal is used by law enforcement officials, bankers, stock brokers, and international criminals alike to prevent anyone else from listening in to their conversations. If it is good enough for them, it is also good enough for me and you to use. However, BOTH users in a communication must be using Signal in order to privatize the conversation. See https://signal.org/en/ for more information.

Who is listening to YOUR phone calls?