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[liberationtech] Are analogue technologies making a comeback for activists?

Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb ei8fdb at ei8fdb.org
Thu Jul 19 07:53:41 PDT 2012


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I would wager they never went away. It was more that IP based (that is, communications that somehow went over "The Internet") became easier to access, and more popular.

There was a thread on this in the past, but amateur radio has been used for years in activist circles. To a certain degree primitive satellite phone technology could (I'd be willing to overrule my own point....) be classed as analogue tech.

Also, don't rule out morse code, while it is no longer a requirement for having an amateur radio licence, it has been used for decades as a robust communication tool due to a) extremely low power levels can still get you a large distance, b) equipment can be extremely basic and very robust, c) you can transmit in any cipher and be "relatively" sure of security.

There was a Guardian Newspaper article recently about activists in Syria using carrier-pigeons to pass coded messages.

Again, I don't think its a comeback, but more people are realising electronic communications allow for targetting based on location, and for recording.

Bernard


On 18 Jul 2012, at 08:43, Helena Puig Larrauri wrote:

> Hi Luke
> I know a few examples from Sudan - mostly people switching to radio, but also some where they've stayed offline entirely. Let me know if that is of interest and what details you'd like to know.
> cheers,
> Helena
> 
> On 17 July 2012 16:42, Luke Allnutt <AllnuttL at rferl.org> wrote:
> 
> Hello everyone, 
> 
> I'm working on a story about "analogue activism," basically cases of when activists, fearing government surveillance, are choosing to leave their phones behind, stay offline, or communicate by handwritten notes (for example). 
> 
> I have a number of cases already, in particular in Egypt. 
> 
> Going further, I'd also be interested in cases where activists, after evaluating the risks, are deciding to communicate using older analogue technologies like CB radio, or even Morse code (perhaps that one's a stretch), to evade government surveillance. 
> 
> Or any other analogue technologies making a comeback? 
> 
> I would love to hear from the folks here about any such cases, on list or off list. 
> 
> Any help would be hugely appreciated. 
> 
> Thanks, as ever, 
> 
> Luke 
> http://www.rferl.org/archive/Tangled_Web/latest/3281/3281.html
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- --------------------------------------
Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb

IO91XM / www.ei8fdb.org

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