RATS: the Radio Transceiver System, an open source communication tool for the security-obsessed

by
Anonymous Coward
in security on (#T6HE)
The Internet... Who Needs It?

"As a growing number of web users have become more security-conscious, there's been an explosion of VPNs and encryption tools and other security services for the Internet. But what about a device that lets you bypass the Internet entirely? That's the goal of RATS,[1] the Radio Transceiver System, an open source communication tool for the security-obsessed and/or the Internet-bereft."

"The RATS is simple: it's a small antenna that connects to computers by USB and lets them send encrypted messages and file transfers directly, via radio transmission. There are two obvious advantages to this: firstly, it doesn't rely on any network being up or even the power staying on — as long as your laptop has some batteries, you can send and receive — and secondly, it's a level of security and privacy that trumps most of what you can do on-line. Apart from being entirely separated from the Internet, it employs AES-256 encryption with a randomized salt so even the same message sent repeatedly will produce completely different encrypted data every time.

The range of the RATS antenna is about a kilometer in a city, but it can also be connected to superior antennas and, in areas with no obstacles, achieve ranges above 5km. Obviously this means it isn't suited to everything, but alongside the Internet it could be extremely powerful for certain local applications in urban neighborhoods, workplaces, and other situations where we normally use the robust global Internet just to send short messages to people within walking distance. But perhaps more than anything it could be a boon for people living under governments that censor and monitor on-line communications, allowing local groups to coordinate without so much as touching the compromised networks."

- https://www.techdirt.com/blog/innovation/articles/20151031/07410132682/awesome-stuff-Internet-who-needs-it.shtml
(Archived) https://archive.is/XQxJm

[1] https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1688986732/rats-chat-and-send-files-without-Internet/description
(Archived) https://archive.is/ly2mt
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