Skip to comments.Communications for the "Entirely Sick-of-it-All" (Vanity)
Posted on 12/27/2011 1:56:17 PM PST by Celerity
Hello Freepers !
Another Vanity post - Posted after countless hours of research, experimentation, and lamentation. I will start this off by stating the problem, and then asking for ideas.
Problem: I am sick of the internet. It's a useful tool, when one learns to navigate it and then filter the results one sees. I'm an I.T. professional with almost 20 years career experience. I design and implement small and medium scale systems for Research and general communications. I have a lot of experience on large environments as well. The internet is just getting disgusting. Ads, spyware, government intrusion, privacy concerns.. it's all just become such an ugly ghetto of filth.
I'm looking to take cues from "The Old Internet", "The Old Communications" and the principles of free knowledge, data trade and free world-wide communications.
Further notes: I was recently given a demonstration of the security "flaws" (Make no mistake, these are "Features") of the Android and iPhone smartphones. It is now my goal to get away from these devices. I don't do anything illegal on them, nor am I planning to - but with laws and government growing into "Something I don't like", I do see how my activity can trigger future flags (Like when they finally decide to look at Freepers)
I have friends nationally, and internationally. I am aware that all Instant Messaging services have been logged and scraped, and then held indefinitely for future scrutiny.
I am aware that my once "Under the radar" email methods are now fully engulfed in privacy issues (Hotmail, Gmail) and also support companies that I no longer wish to support.
Here is the meat and potatoes of the thread. I am looking for thoughts and opinions on the following systems:
Cell phone systems. Pre-paid, below-the-radar types. Perhaps making a feature-rich phone utilize a $50 monthly plan with no contract. I am looking for a phone that is non-android / iPhone with a QWERTY keyboard (I used to enjoy my old Lotus flip-phone. It even got Exchange email !)
Email systems. I am searching for a web-based system that I can forward my email to from any other email server. I host many domains, and have about 80 domains at my fingertips. A device can only handle a single Exchange account, so I forward emails to my web-mail address and pick up from there. My webmail address is obscure and receives no spam (directly).
A better way to communicate with friends. I have shortwave - Setting up another person on Shortwave is only effective if that person is already a HAM. I CAN send them an alpha-numeric pager, after I decide which system I can trust and use.
I'm willing to spend money on this. I've often thought of providing alpha-numeric and group-based messaging devices to people I wish to keep in contact with. These devices aren't secure (I'm under no illusion) but they will probably knocked out a few days after the main internet is closed down or affected. A few days is enough.
Just what you are saying in your post is already probably illegal via some law or regulation that is not currently enforced.
Just something to think about.
You are probably correct. But we all know that just about everything is illegal in some sort of way. Control and all.
Taking a cue from the CBPatriot project (Which I think is a great idea, through and through) There are ways that are still legal, “will always be legal (or possible)” or will be overlooked. I know the FCC has the ability to find someone with a mobile CB in a short amount of time (I’ve witnessed it) and I know that all communications have the ability to be shut down by a tyrant (As has been demonstrated). There are main-stream things that get full-attention. Internet. Webpages. Internet-based and digital communications (iPhones and the like included). The rest will be policed, but the mainstream methods will be first to have focus. If I can get my national and international friends onboard with a plan as a SHTF scenario occurs - I’m calculating 48 hours - then the whole project is a success. After that I don’t care if its pony express.
My fear is that I’ll be the first in my area to be hit. If I’m at least second in the area - I have some sort of warning. If I see a news article that states “Gun owners who have mentioned second amendment complaints in emails have been arrested” Then that is all the warning I need. If I can hear my neighbors being invaded at 4am, then I’ve got until 4:01am to do something. And that’s better than myself being raided at 4am.
I would like a form of communication that will last. Again, with 48 hours being my goal.
Note: I have tried sending a friend a shortwave radio and some basic stuff to set up with. It was abject failure. HAMs are in a class of their own, intellectually.
What I think would work is if you could sent a text message via HAM signal in very short bursts like say an entire message in less than a tenth of a second. That way it is harder to triangulate the signal.
also you create several “dummy stations” in the area that are powered by solar/batter that transmit random texts as well and do it in small bursts too.
That way they can’t lock onto the signal, that is if you want to remain anonymous.
Oh and you would need to encrypt the text message too and pre-pad the text that gets sent into the encryption codec. The good thing is with ASCII you can substitute all sorts of letters randomly without really affecting the readability of the message. Like subbing a random “a” with “à” or something like replacing the letter “S” with “5” not all letters but some just randomly then encoding it. That way what gets sent looks like noise and is indistinguishable from the “noise” sent by the dummies.
If designed properly the system could conceivably seem to be “invisible” as the noise of someone hitting the talk button on the ham radio.
I must confess that I have had thoughts about this myself from time to time, and not come up with any real good solutions.
As for pay-as-you-go phones, the Pantech P7040P is very feature rich and nearly as good as a “smartphone”, you might give it a look.
As for email, what about the old Unix UUCP system, using POTS and modems, with encryption, and using your own email servers on both ends. You can also use HAM radio as a transport medium I believe, if my memory is not failing me. That way, you control both ends of the communication channel, and perhaps have a good deal of control over the transport medium. You also might be able to tap into the internet using proxies for part of the trip, don’t know about that...
You also might look into HushMail, as a secure email setup, although it is controlled by others...
I have witnessed this as well. Back in the mid-1970s, when I was in my early teens, a friend and I decided (being typical stupid kids) to use his brand new CB radio to pull a prank. We transmitted while pretending to be two pilots who were experiencing an imminent crash (remember, the stupid kid thing). Despite the minor fact that aircraft didn't use CB radio frequencies, it caused quite a stir on the frequency and a number of people began discussing what they heard.
Anyway, within no more than 30 minutes or so a white van suddenly showed up and parked down the street from us. We lived in a subdivision on the outskirts of a relatively small and isolated town (Quincy, IL) so any unusual traffic was very noticeable.
At one point someone turned on the interior lights just long enough for us to see racks of equipment in the back and someone seated there with headphones on. Needless to say, we stopped transmitting immediately. A few minutes after we stopped using the radio, the van turned around and drove away. The entire time it was just parked a block down, near the end of our cul-de-sac, in front of a vacant lot.
It seemed clear that someone, probably the FCC, had taken note of our misuse of the airwaves and was using direction finding equipment to try to locate us. It just shocked me that they showed up almost instantaneously, especially in a small town.
Go (back to) Usenet. It’s still there and has none or few of the strings you mention attached.
I think it’s too late. When I apply for a job, I no longer can lie about my age (which at certain age becomes necessary, sorry.) I am known out there. As are my ancestors. Not that anyone’s interested. UNTIL, I apply for a job, or a security clearance, or a mortgage, or... whatever. I’m less afraid that the government will pry on me. It already did, long before Al Gore’s Internet (and global warming.) Consequently, hiding won’t do me any good.
What’s more, and easily ignored are the records of your purchases held by banks, and credit card companies. Your complete profile, habits, history can be easily assembled, and for the purposes of marketing have been assembled somewhere out there. You might have noticed that the ads on Fakebook and Amazon have been individualized especially for you, as have been friendly e-mails from Amazon, Best Buy and such.
FidoNet over Packet Radio.
a long, long time ago - in a galaxy far, far away....
I used to run a series of Cybikos. The Cybiko is was a kid’s toy, in the US. In Russia it was a major advancement of the public joining the internet.
The Cybiko used Plan 9 linux, and a rooftop “Mesh” network topography. The internet was transmitted on secure packets from roof-top antennas that often looked like TV antennas. The Cybiko enjoyed an LCD screen, and QWERTY keyboards. They were ultra-cheap.
Plan9 linux offers a packet-based security. It was chatty, and the packets were quite large (Think Appletalk). But the nice thing about them was that each packet was 128kb encrypted, and prime-number algorithm was used in Russia, with a public key listed. It was truly private.
Russia didn’t like that too much.