Skip to comments.Unorthodox links to the internet Signalling dissent
Posted on 03/25/2011 11:22:57 AM PDT by swarthyguy
WITH a tin can, some copper wire and a few dollars worth of nuts, bolts and other hardware, a do-it-yourselfer can build a makeshift directional antenna. A mobile phone, souped-up with such an antenna, can talk to a network tower that is dozens of kilometres beyond its normal range (about 5km, or 3 miles). As Gregory Rehm, the author of an online assembly guide for such things, puts it, homemade antennae are as cool as the other side of the pillow on a hot night. Of late, however, such antennae have proved much more than simply cool.
According to Jeff Moss, a communications adviser to Americas Department of Homeland Security, their existence has recently been valuable to the operation of several groups of revolutionaries in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. To get round government shutdowns of internet and mobile-phone networks, resourceful dissidents have used such makeshift antennae to link their computers and handsets to more orthodox transmission equipment in neighbouring countries.
Technologies that transmit data under the noses of repressive authorities in this way are spreading like wildfire among pro-democracy groups, says Mr Moss. For example, after Egypt switched off its internet in January some activists brought laptops to places like Tahrir Square in Cairo to collect, via short-range wireless links, demonstrators video recordings and other electronic messages. These activists then broadcast the material to the outside world using range-extending antennae.
According to Bobby Soriano, an instructor at the Philippine branch of Tactical Tech, a British organisation that teaches communication techniques to dissidents in five countries, such antennae can even foil government eavesdropping and jamming efforts. Directional antennae, unlike the omnidirectional sort, transmit on a narrow beam. This makes it hard for eavesdroppers to notice a signal is there.
Another way of confounding the authorities is to build portable FM radio stations. One broadcasting expert, who prefers not to be named but is currently based in Europe, is helping to develop a dozen such backpack radio stations for anti-government protesters in his native land in the Arabian peninsula. Though these stations have a range of only a few kilometres, that is enough for the leaders of a protest to use them to co-ordinate their followers. The stations operators act as clearing houses for text messages, reading important ones over the air for everyone to hear.
Conventional radio of this sort cannot, unfortunately, transmit video or web pages. But a group called Access, based in New York, is trying to overcome that. To help democracy movements in the Middle East and North Africa get online, it is equipping a network of ham-radio operators with special modems that convert digital computer data into analogue radio signals that their equipment can cope with. These signals are then broadcast from operator to operator until they reach a network member in an area where the internet functions. This operator reconverts the signal into computer-readable data and then e-mails or posts the information online.
Satellites provide yet another way of getting online, though they are expensive to connect to. It is, however, beyond the authorities in most places to shut down a satellite operated by a foreign company or country. The best they can do is try to locate live satellite links using radiation-detection kit similar to that supposedly employed in Britain to seek out unlicensed televisions. The result is a game of cat and mouse between the authorities and satellite-using dissidents. Tactical Tech, for example, has trained dissidents in five countries to rig satellite dishes to computers in order to get online. It advises some users to log on only for short sessions, and to do so from a moving vehicle.
Such dishes can also be repurposed for long-range internet connections that do not involve satellites. Yahel Ben-David, an electrical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, who has designed secret cross-border links to the internet for people in several countries, does so by adding standard USB dongles designed for home Wi-Fi networks. Thus equipped, two properly aligned dishes as much as 100km apart can transmit enough data to carry high quality video. Moreover, the beam is so tightly focused that equipment a mere dozen metres away from its line would struggle to detect it.
Creative ideas for circumventing cyber-attacks even extend to the redesign of apparently innocent domestic equipment. Kenneth Geers, an American naval-intelligence analyst at a NATO cyberwar unit in Tallinn, Estonia, describes a curious microwave oven. Though still able to cook food, its microwaves (essentially, short radiowaves) are modulated to encode information as though it were a normal radio transmitter. Thus, things turn full circle, for the original microwave oven was based on the magnetron from a military radar. From conflict to domesticity to conflict, then, in a mere six decades.
Looks like Obama really did set things in motion with what seems to have been a well managed covert campaign organized by various entities and using social networking and communication technologies.
Sure. The dish illumination won't be optimal using that USB dongle as a feed, but so what? It allows you to do something you could never do with the USB dongle alone.
100km isn’t a stretch? 62 miles?
That sounds just, ... , illicit
Obozo is subversive of what is traditional Western thought and supportive of Marxist dictators.
None of what is in the article is high tech. We (not the government but citizens) helped the Iranian dissidents during the Iran Election phase of Twitter, and the Hondurans during their election crisis. Haystack was a brainchild of citizens not the government, but it was eventually used to track down the dissidents, when the Mullah's employed European tech companies for help.
There is nothing about Obozo that helps those wanting freedom. He is only supporting our destruction and the interest of foreign powers who hate us for our personal freedoms. Commies never create anything, only lie, steal and destroy things others create.
A high gain directional antenna on a CDMA phone
would extend battery life since the transmitter
would not have to run at as high a power level as
with an omnidirectional antenna. Good for fixed
As long as you can overcome the curvature of the Earth, it can be done.
If the data is getting through, it's because someone wants it to get through.
Good information. Thank you very much.
> I won’t go much farther into it than what I’ve already said
Damn. I hate that.
Say it, man, what’s to be afraid of.
We’re all transparent these days.
What is wrong with CW and Morse code??
>None of what is in the article is high tech
Not the point.
The point being that what we saw as spontaneous demos in the Arab world may well have been begun by the USA as a matter of policy using some of the tools and techniques this author describes.
That we wittingly and with purpose, deepsixed our allies like Mubarak and perhaps even others in Araby.
Looks to me the US policy elites decided to roll the dice, get rid of the old guard, and take their chances with the popular majority even though it may mean allowing islamists into the rulings circles of places like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and even Bahrain and Yemen.
Not so much afraid as aware of my NDA. I, literally, can’t speak about such things as they’re proprietary.
It can be tracked easily and surreptitiously , placed under scrutiny almost at will and jammed with the proper kit. Not bad it you’re not trying to hide, but if stealth or privacy is high on your priority list, don’t go that route.
OK, OK, I was kiddin’ or trying to provoke you into dropping some juicy tidbits. Frankly, with an active imagination and a slightly paranoid and cynical nature, I could hypothesise - well I did say we’re all transparent now.
Cheers. But then you probably know what beer I’m imbibing anyway :>>
You’re welcome. Some articles compel one to share.
What struck me about his was the organized method to promote dissent. Outfits like the ones mentioned don’t just operate in a vacuum. And those cute techie tricks.
Hence, my conclusion that the USA has embarked on a significantly new policy in the Muddled East, igniting the repressed dissent of the region.
If you want a real fun thought exercise, think on this. Unlike a mechanical switch, cell phones are activated by an electrical signal. While most of the time that signal comes from the keypad, it's doesn't have to be that way all of the time.
I’ve thrown this out at parties to get a rise out of people.
Techies can turn on fones surreptiously without the device signaling anything and/or an active one can be used as a mike without the knowledge of the owner/operator of the fone.
Gasps of disbelief, and you’re a nut follow.
Fine, a nut, but doesn’t mean I’m incorrect.
Works fine, a bit slow, and you may be a sitting duck, depending on how clever the opposition is.
Change with the times and technology.
Caddis the Elder
Extremely low bandwidth. In this media-driven world, a picture is worth a thousand million words. One picture can foment a war, or end one. There is a place for low-bandwidth communications, but CW and Morse and PSK31 are never going to be able to send pictures.
We have a winner ladies and gentlemen!
Never, never, never say anything around a cell that you wouldn't want someone else to hear. Ever.
Tech from the 60's could key in on CW, much less what they can do today. I'd only use CW if I didn't worry about being listened too.
They are TRAITORS to the heritage of this nation. Those "elites" in both Parties. They had best tread lightly now, the U.S. Eagle has awakened from her slumber and does not like what she sees. The Dems are controlled by the Commies and the elitist Pubbies are largely "blind" Globalists. Screw them both.
Too few good OP’s.
Too slow, but reliable.
Everyone else on earth.
You’re right - the point is the destruction of Israel and the United States.
for later USB dongle alone
for later USB dongle alone
Ultimately, the islamists are going to lose out to the modern world. Their fundamentalist islam philosophy can only compete where they can enforce it by violence. It isn’t strong enough to stand on its own.
Free communication ultimately means the free flow of ideas. That ultimately means islamofascism will lose out, just as communism has lost out.
Heh. Your post brought to mind HST’s ‘mojo wire’ ...
Communism has lost out? Who knew? China is doing well, and communism also has more than a toehold in the greatest nation ever known to mankind, to wit: the U.S.. Sure, the Soviets crashed and burned, but they are back with the new, improved version that incorporates nascent capitalism as a feeder line. They gave the people jeans, cell phones, DVD players and pizza so they’d chill and let the old guard continue on as they did before. Look at their attitude toward the West. Look at their elections. Nothing has changed in 80 years. The same leaders rule until they drop dead. NK doesn’t practice true communism at all - what they have is beyond that.
As for Islam, muzzie membership is growing. Christianity is shrinking, particularly in the West. The West foolishly subjects itself to the economic and physical brutalities of that culture.
I really don’t know what you’re talking about, unless you’re just trying to make yourself feel better.
IMHO, we are in some seriously deep shit on all fronts - economic, cultural, political, you name it.
This is a really interesting technology to me... For the purpose of hooking up hillbillies to the wire. A low cost line-of-sight operation like this, that could propagate a network to a bunch of families, till one got to a house with a dsl connection would be a really cool thing... If a guy could use a pci device rather than USB, it would eliminate a bunch of layers... I wonder if a router could be used in the same fashion....
The distance record for WiFi using directional antennas is 237+ miles, last I looked, by a team in South America. I think the Swedes bested that record, but I recall they used an amplifier and they bounced their signals off a balloon.
The parties in the middle east haven’t discovered anything new. Long-range UHF propagation is stuff that US & UK radio amateurs have known about for decades. The #1 thing that you need is a very good antenna, and the more directional the better. You need low-noise input amplifiers at the receiving end and you need to get the antennas aimed properly.
I won’t bore you with the records set by hams using the moon as a signal reflector. Let’s just say that with some proper antenna design and a 50+ watt amplifier, you could bounce WiFi signals off the moon to someone clear on the other side of the earth. The higher level protocols might go nuts with the delay on packet retransmissions, but the radio part of the issue would be entirely feasible.
You think so?
How many guys in the western world are sick and tired of listening to the daily screed and bilge wash from feminists?
And how many of them one day might wake up and say “Hmmm. All I have to do is bang my head on the ground five times a day, and I will never again have to listen to another peep out of any woman... is banging my head on the carpet five times a day better or worse than listening to all her crap, day after day?”
The people who ultimately had better worry about salafism aren’t men. It is western women. Men come out with a pretty sweet deal in an Islamist society.
Anyone possessing a functional cell phone has approximately zero security. Faraday cage might marginally improve that assessment.
There are ways to avoid giving away a transmitter. Not foolproof.
The Romans believed that of the barbarians. They were right until the barbarians were inside the gates. The key to winning as the barbarians is a proper understanding of asymmetry.
Yes, that has been my experience, too.
Before that, I could hit a tower 40 miles away with an analog bag phone and a directional antenna, and did so often, working on oil rigs.
Digital was a pain because it was designed to work where there are sidewalks (close in), and I had to get a booster for the CDMA phone, adapters and hook that to the antenna. Without it the battery would die in no time, looking for signal.
The results were seldom as good as with the analog phone--more dropped calls or 'no service' moments, even if connections had less static.
Now AT&T has bought out my carrier and I have to change phones (GSM, now) and equipment yet again--and have it work the first time.
From the cheapseats, it looks like the policy elited defected to the Islamists.
TDMA/GSM doesn't have that same equal field strength constraint. It isn't trying to pick out a signal by correlation of a pseudo-random number stream unique to the handset. It does have other impairments. The stream is time sensitive and subject to Rayleigh fading when reflected multi-path signals mixed 180 degrees out of phase and cause signal dropout. Multipath actually helps CDMA by comparison.The multiple correlators expect out of phase arrival and leverage it as the PN streams are correlated and summed. I haven't looked at how LTE is implemented, but the move to 700 MHz should significantly improve penetration of signals into buildings.
If it is too negative, I may have to change carriers.
Thanks for the ping
Resistance to skynet starts in an unlikely place...
Thanks. Love it. The TechnoKB of FR is wonderful