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[liberationtech] New Satphone Safety Guide

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at
Wed Mar 21 22:51:52 PDT 2012

On 03/21/2012 10:08 PM, Brian Conley wrote:
> However none of this deals with the fatal flaw of being under threat of
> Radio Transmission triangulation, no?

If you're talking about direction finding, no, these issues aren't a
solution to DF issues. This is about the data in the signal and it does
not address that the signal itself is a problem.

The best way to deal with that threat is to not use RF transmissions for
sending information. Another idea would be to separate the location of
the sender and the transmission equipment.

Still - if you're not dealing with the GPS issues - the direction
finding issues are probably NOT your biggest problem.

> As I understand it, you may have to be within a few kilometers to pick up
> the signal, but if you know the transmission is coming from with in X
> neighborhood or Y town, the GPS issue isn't necessarily the primary/only
> threat.

There are lots of places - including space - where one might pick up the
signals of a handset. It is not limited to a few kilometers. The GPS
issue matters a great deal because the downlink includes the data - so
it's possible to monitor nearly all location information for all calls
for the entire planet (!) from any place that can watch the bird's downlink.

That's a big part of why unencrypted or badly encrypted location
information is such a disaster. That data need to be incorrect or it
needs to be removed. Incorrect data sounds better than removed as
removed is clearly for special people (!) and that might attract other
attention, right?

All the best,

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