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[liberationtech] Satellite phones for Rohingya in Burma

ttscanada ttscanada at
Sun Mar 17 13:49:22 PDT 2013

Very good points, thanks, Jake. We were thinking more of phones since it 
appears they are more paranoid of cameras than phones, but you have a 
very good point, phones are more easily controlled. Rethinking.

All the best,

Heather Marsh
@GeorgieBC on Twitter

On 13-03-17 1:25 PM, Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
> ttscanada:
>> Hi Jacob,
>> Yes, exactly to the security issues, which is why we have tried nothing
>> to date, any Rohingya caught with anything like a camera or radio is
>> tortured and killed. Ease of use is also paramount, there is no point
>> risking lives to get a phone in that no one can use. We are
>> unfortunately at final wipeout stage and the people there are agreed
>> that the risk of being killed is 100% with or without phones. I don't
>> know of anything except satellite phones they could use to document. The
>> military is definitely paranoid of cameras, phones and outsiders atm.
>> The situation in every refugee camp outside Burma is also awful, but
>> still not at the stage where it is worth risking lives. We have managed
>> to get some pictures (like of Rakhine flyers announcing the next
>> massacre) but almost nothing out of Sittwe. There is plenty that needs
>> documenting in the surrounding areas though.
>> In any case, they know they will die, they don't want to die without a
>> trace. I am slightly more optimistic that if we get some pictures out
>> some of them won't die at all, we have it from good sources that the
>> government is already very annoyed at the small publicity we have
>> created and worried at the war crimes documentation. The government's
>> official position is that the Rohingya don't actually exist, or if they
>> did they just left.
> The situation with the Rohingya is heart breaking. :(
> If it is possible, I would suggest trying to bring cameras like the GoPro:
> They're not easy or cheap in that part of the world. They are certainly
> easier to pass on, harder to detect and have a quality that is rarely
> available to any phone camera. Obviously, any camera is better than no
> camera for documenting but those are generally weather proofed for
> serious use.
> It seems like physical smuggling or geo-caching of the data would be
> much safer than a sat phone that can be *tracked* and *jammed*
> simultaneously. At least with geo-caching, one could pass along the
> coordinates for evidence later and then perhaps at a later date, we will
> have the evidence stored, found and released.
> As far as physical smuggling, I suspect that people would need to
> swallow the media cards or to sew them into clothing. That would allow
> the cameras to stay in the area but for the data to trickle out.
> I wish that there was more that I could offer but areas with the
> Rohingya is very hard to reach. If there is information that you would
> like to discuss more privately, I welcome contact with GnuPG or with OTR
> off list.
> If you are able to get the data to a major city, I think that physical
> transport *of a copy* will be your best bet for getting the data out
> quickly.
> All the best,
> Jacob
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