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[liberationtech] unmonitored international communication?

Carolyn Santo cysanto at hawaii.rr.com
Thu Mar 3 14:46:58 PST 2016


Because I'm not anywhere close to the level of tech talent/knowledge of 
the people on this list, I floated this idea by Yosem first.  He 
suggested sharing with the list.

On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 1:35 AM, Carolyn Santo <cysanto at hawaii.rr.com 
<mailto:cysanto at hawaii.rr.com>> wrote:
Hi Yosem,

The recent talk about video games made me wonder about using them as a 
communication channel that might not be monitored by repressive governments.

For a little more than 2 years my son and I have been playing Clash of 
Clans.  I am amazed at how many players we have from all parts of the 
world.  We've made friends with people who live all around the world and 
our clan has been soundly beaten by clans based all around the world.  
Notably, some of our members have been from Palestine, Pakistan, India, 
Korea (I'm assuming South, but haven't asked), and various European and 
South American countries.  We've been soundly beaten (I think it's safe 
to assume the other clan plays a lot) by clans who are based in Iran, 
Syria, Myanmar, Turkey, China, and Korea (they are the toughest).

I'm amazed that so many people from so many parts of the world play.  
The chat function in the clan is a great way to stay in touch.  A set of 
brothers in our clan invited their Dad to join since they lived in 
England and he is currently working in Shanghai.

I could see how a group of dissidents could start a clan or even move 
from clan to clan to lessen the chances of being spied upon. For 
example, when we allow a new member to join, it's pretty common for them 
to invite their friends.  A dissident could join a clan and invite his 
friends and share information in disguise in the chat. His group could 
have multiple id's and pass partial messages in multiple clans that 
don't make sense unless you can piece the intended message out of the 
different chat messages in a number of clans.

When the chat is busy, old messages disappear from the clan view pretty 
quickly since they get pushed off the bottom of the chat screen.  I 
can't imagine monitoring the billions of chat entries that occur around 
the world in Clash of Clans alone.

Or maybe set up a clan as an emergency messaging system if other 
channels have been cut off or if the leader is arrested.

Just some random thoughts, but the key is figuring out how much 
monitoring a "bad" government does since it appears that people from 
repressive countries are allowed to play Clash of Clans.  I know that 
Iranians play.  We've been beaten by them too many times to count.  
(They must play a LOT to be so good!)

Anyway, thank you for all your do.  I appreciate the opportunity to read 
the liberation tech emails, even though I'm not that tech savvy.



Added today:

If anyone wants to view our clan, you need a clash of clans base. If you 
go to Cuz Can Clan, request to join and put in your message that you are 
one of Mon's old friends and have permission to join. We are an English 
speaking clan with international members.

Even when I'm busy I check into the clan at least 4-5 times per day.

We also have a website and facebook page.  I can see where it would be 
easy to put different parts of an important communication on all three, 
so it would be extremely difficult for authorities to piece together the 
communication unless they closely followed your clan and were members 
and had access to the chat.  That's where joining other unrelated clans 
for a period of time would also be useful. Once a person has been in my 
clan, for a short period of time after they leave, I can "follow" them 
by tapping on their id and their profile will tell me which clan they 
are in.  I can leave my clan and join their clan to chat with them.  
Their are millions of players around the world, but I can follow my 
friends if I know their patterns and which clans they like to visit.

If the authorities figured out my identity, I could always quit playing 
under that id and start a new base.

Finally, Clash of Clans is really flexible because I can log in and play 
from my phone (iphone or android), my computer using Bluestacks, or any 
tablet as long as I have an internet connection. Thus, it isn't 
dependent on a specific device.

Also, this isn't only a kids' game, so you wouldn't necessarily draw 
suspicion if you are an adult, sitting in Starbucks, and checking your 
base on your phone.

Hope this sparks some useful ideas for people in need of a good way to 
communicate without being monitored.

Or, if you have time for a hobby, Clash of Clans is great for teaching 
strategy, teamwork, and making friends from around the world!  Plus a 
lot of people practice their English in our chat. The learning 
possibilities are huge!




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