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[liberationtech] more on sat phone (in)security

Martyn Williams martyn at stanford.edu
Thu Feb 23 22:04:27 PST 2012


Jacob,

I don't see how using amateur radio wouldn't be an improvement over
satellite phones. The antennas and power levels involved would almost
certainly be larger.

Plus, where would you receive the signals? If you want to use mobile
transceivers then your range is limited so receiving stations would have
to be set up over the border.

If you want to transmit something back to, say, London then you're
talking about a fixed station that requires an outdoor, fixed antenna
and a battery backup system for uninterrupted use.

Jamming would be easy - anyone with an off-the-shelf transceiver could
find your signal and key-up on top of you.

I would bet that amateur stations are easier to direction-find than
satellite phones. In fact, direction finding is a popular hobby for some
hams and methods, technologies and equipment is widely understood.

Licenses don't allow commercial use or encryption, although this might
not be a problem. Presumably they wouldn't be licensed to operate in the
countries anyway. Amateurs probably wouldn't appreciate unlicensed and
unapproved use of their frequency bands by journalists.

Martyn

On 02/23/2012 05:36 PM, Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
> On 02/23/2012 05:17 PM, Brian Conley wrote:
>> 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.
> 
> This is an education problem. You could always use a HAM radio - at
> least it is well understood technology - right?
> 
> There are ALWAYS other options.
> 
> All the best,
> Jacob



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