USMobile, Inc.'s Scrambl3

The special sauce in USMobile, Inc.'s Scrambl3, the mobile app that facilitates "the world's most private calls and messages", is a set of open-source components that create a top-secret-grade VPN, encryption algorithms and internet protocols.

USMobile says that, for myriad reasons, Scrambl3 stands head and shoulders above WhatsApp and Viber for security and privacy. For instance, new Scrambl3 Android and iOS users are asked to provide only a user name and password sans verification of a cell-phone number, access to private cell-phone contacts and email addresses, all of which is "a hassle and a violation of your personal privacy".

Scrambl3 provides many advantages since it does not rely on a cell-phone number. For example, Scrambl3 can be used on Wi-Fi-connected tablets, and attackers cannot listen in on user calls and texts by exploiting the public telephone system's SS7 security flaw. Finally, Scrambl3 users privately exchange their user names and add them to their respective Scrambl3 Black Book contact listing, making unwanted calls or messages impossible on users' private networks.

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James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal.