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[liberationtech] more on sat phone (in)security

Brian Conley brianc at smallworldnews.tv
Thu Feb 23 17:17:43 PST 2012


Unfortunately they are often the only option. I think there needs to be a
radical rethinking of international law as well as efforts to provide
journalists ict support without relying on opposition activists which is
inherently dangerous.
On Feb 23, 2012 5:09 PM, "Katrin Verclas" <katrin at mobileactive.org> wrote:

> Yep, all true.  Extremely imperfect risk mitigation strategies. We should
> probably just leave it at - DON'T use them in insecure environments.
>
> Looking forward to your piece.
>
>
> On Feb 23, 2012, at 8:05 PM, Brian Conley wrote:
>
> > Thanks Katrin,
> >
> > I will be writing my own piece about this issue soon, I hope tomorrow!
> >
> > I would like to take issue with two comments from the safer mobile
> submission, based on my own experience with the technology in the field. I
> would add a comment but am on my phone so will try to remember to submit
> late today.
> >
> > Now the issues:
> >
> > Initial comments only, anonymous says you should "move" which is a nice
> idea, but without higher end equipment this is notreally an option,
> particularly on older model phones and certainly not for bgan terminals.
> Unless you are in a desert in north Africa sitting on the side of the car
> That faces south in a rural area, you at not getting a reliable connection.
> >
> > Anonymous also suggests using the phone in a built up area, which hours
> directly against previous comment, it is REALLY difficult to maintain a
> reliable connection in a city unless you are on a roof our a balcony facing
> the proper direction, or a harbor or other area with a large open space
> away from the buildings. Remember satellite phones are not inconspicuous.
> >
> > Just some things to consider.
> >
> > Brian
> >
> > On Feb 23, 2012 4:36 PM, "Katrin Verclas" <katrin at mobileactive.org>
> wrote:
> > There is some indication that the two journalists killed in Syria were
> located by their sat phones. While details are elusive and unknown, here
> are some posts on why and how it's easy to track a sat phone. As @ioerror
> has repeatedly stated, be afraid. Be very afraid of sat phones in insecure
> areas.
> >
> > This from EFF:
> https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/02/satphones-syria-and-surveillance  -
> a good overview
> >
> > This from SaferMobile (disclosure: I run the site/edit content) by
> Anonymous, a contributor to the site who works in the telco industry:
> https://safermobile.org/be-afraid-be-very-afraid-of-satellite-phones-in-insecure-locations/ - detail on how location tracking is possible, easy, and cheap
> >
> > This from David Burgess, fabulous guy and core developer on OpenBTS:
> http://openbts.blogspot.com/2012/02/some-comments-on-satellite-phones.html- more detail on the technical logistics, nicely complements SaferMobile's
> post.
> >
> > Katrin
> >
> >
> > Katrin Verclas
> > MobileActive.org
> > katrin at mobileactive.org
> >
> > skype/twitter: katrinskaya
> > (347) 281-7191
> >
> > Check out the new Mobile Media Toolkit at
> > http://mobilemediatoolkit.org. To "Making Media Mobile!"
> >
> > A global network of people using mobile technology for social impact
> > http://mobileactive.org
> >
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>
> Katrin Verclas
> MobileActive.org
> katrin at mobileactive.org
>
> skype/twitter: katrinskaya
> (347) 281-7191
>
> Check out the new Mobile Media Toolkit at
> http://mobilemediatoolkit.org. To "Making Media Mobile!"
>
> A global network of people using mobile technology for social impact
> http://mobileactive.org
>
>
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