I just ran across this link and found it to be an interesting use of cell phone technology.
You can turn your cell phone into a 2 way Walkie Talkie with this add on app but the most interesting thing I saw was that you can also link a CB radio or HAM radio with a computer and an interface to it. This would effectively extend the range of a CB to whatever the range of your cell phone network is.
The Venezuelans protesting their government have used Zello to organize protests, trying to stay a little ahead of the government monitors. To a lesser extent the Ukrainians who were in a protest and now in a civil war have also used Zello.
In short Zello is an application for NSA iPhone or NSA Android which turns your phone into a walkie-talkie. The walkie-talkie ability is very similar to NEXTEL’s old push to talk (PTT) ability that Sprint allowed to die. The nice thing is it allows you to “one to many” up to 1,000 other Zello users. This is great for an organization when immediate communication with a large group people immediately. It is nearly a small broadcast application. Zello’s other nice ability is that it is an application. Thus, if the Internet or cell phone towers with data ability, you can use Zello to communicate. And here is a very powerful feature. With an Echo link into your CB or HAM radio, you can broadcast from your HAM or CB into Zello. The ability to create a single broadcast network with CB, HAM and smartphones is potentially very powerful.
The downside of Zello is that it is an application. That means it runs on a smart phone, and therefore everyone who has one can be tracked. Also Zello tracks you to a certain degree broadcasting it to other users of Zello. Also, Zello is not encrypted. Thus, it is like you are broadcasting in the clear. However this is the same as HAM radio or CB radio. Anyone can listen and talk on HAM or CB bands. It is “open” and “in the clear.” Zello design was to be a radio for your phone and thus is no different. This application, like radios was not designed for security or anonymity but immediate large-scale broadcast on a smartphone.
Organizing your group only over open, unencrypted channels no matter if it is the Internet, HAM or CB bands is not smart. That is what happen to the Iranian backed protestors in Bahrain. The government guys supposedly got on the Zello application and encouraged a meetup and then arrested everyone who responded. The Bahrain operation is very telling as it is suspected that the US intelligence services assisted Bahrain in putting down its protest as Bahrain is a friend of the US military.
Even though it is completely insecure, the ability of turning any cell phone into a two-way walkie-talkie broadcasting out from one to many, with global reach and the ability to tie CB and HAM together with smartphones may have its uses in your liberty operations now or in the future. With this application you can listen to HAM nets happening in the American Redoubt. It apparently has been useful to the protestors in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Bahrain.
Like I said, interesting and shouldn’t be discounted as having a place in your inventory.
Although it has zero security, as long as you weren’t using it for subversive activities it could be very handy in a pinch.
As always, options are good.