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[liberationtech] Exactly how are satellite transmissions tapped/intercepted, in Syria and elsewhere?

Brian Conley brianc at smallworldnews.tv
Mon Nov 28 14:42:08 PST 2011


Hi all,

First of all, thanks Brett for that article about Area SpA, great news!

Secondly, I'm in the middle of some research into how satellite
communications are being used by activists, as well as how they are being
used/intercepted by Syrian authorities in an attempt to quell the uprising.
I've read a number of articles in a disjointed fashion, and am just now
beginning to coordinate my efforts. I am working on a series of best
practices for being "most safe" as I'm not sure we can offer much better
than that with regard to satellite equipment, furthermore I'm hoping to
provide an educated understanding of just what the risks are and what might
be done to mitigate them. However my impression is that the guide will
primarily be about understanding the full extent of the risk you place
yourself in.

I have heard rumors about Syria's capacity direct from Syrian activists,
including that some calls made with thuraya phones have been recorded, and
that a phone simply making a call, for the first time, in a distant
location was tracked by syrian authorities. unfortunately, as many of you
know, such anecdotes are not as helpful as they might seem, and that its
important to understand, as best we can, just why thuraya phones seem to be
"less safe" than inmarsat or iridium, and to ensure that syrians don't
become lax and begin to depend on an alternate tool to thuraya such as
inmarsat phones, only to find themselves equally targeted via that means,
though it may take the regime longer to establish practices.

Anyhow, what I'm looking for are accounts of how satphones have been
used/tracked in syria, as well as articles about syria's capacity to
monitor satellite transmissions. Separately I'll be researching the
practical capabilities of various satphones to ensure that readers of the
guide have access to the best information available, though this will
obviously need to evolve over time.

cheers

Brian

-- 



Brian Conley

Director, Small World News

http://smallworldnews.tv

m: 646.285.2046

Skype: brianjoelconley
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