Story 2014-05-02 3JS Anonymous develops system for secure data over ham radio

Anonymous develops system for secure data over ham radio

Anonymous Coward
in security on (#3JS)
In the Snowden era, it's pretty clear that the Internet as a worldwide communication medium that would permit activists to securely communicate and disseminate information has not been effective: governments appear to be surprisingly and increasingly effective at clamping down on, censoring, controlling Internet information as well as using it to track down dissidents. Mobile telephony isn't much better as it's a related technology that suffers many of the same ills as TCP/IP with regard to anonymity. So the privacy gurus are turning to a technology you'd probably forgotten: Ham Radio .

Airchat, they call it, and it's got a few characteristics that make it very interesting and useful . The group states:
The goal of the project is to communicate directly, without using Internet or cellular infrastructure. ... We traded bandwidth for freedom, simplicity and low cost.
It's not a fast protocol, since packet data over audio channels is necessarily low bandwidth. But its promise to offer real anonymity is a big deal. And not surprisingly, these enterprising hackers are having fun with it. For starters, to anonymise communications and handle encryption and error correction, the system uses a packet they call the Lulzpacket .

Curious? go check out the code for yourself on github .
Reply 3 comments

Real anonymity??? (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-05-02 14:50 (#1AT)

So how do they get around triangulation?

Lulzpackets (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-05-02 16:24 (#1B2)

I love, love, LOVE the idea of blasting out lulzpackets. Unless I'm mistaken, this system is something like alt.anonymous.messages or whatever it's called on Usenet, where you post publicly, but only the right user has the appropriate public key to decipher the message. Or something like that. It's true that one advantage of radio is that it's much, much harder to figure out who is reading/listening to it. On the Internet, all those damned, numbered packets make it too damned easy to figure who is sending what.

Not legal to use this with actual HAM in most of the western world (Score: 2, Informative)

by on 2014-05-02 17:35 (#1B7)

I suppose if you're using this technology to route around a privacy infringing government, then this doesn't matter since you'll already be breaking the law, and justifiably so.

Now, radio in general can use a variety of frequencies (as the article states), some regulated, some not, and this technology will work with any of these underlying bands in general. But don't try using it with on HAM bands, please. It is certainly not legal to do so in most countries that have HAM licenses, but also it's not ethical, at least within the jurisdiction of countries like the US and Canada. HAM operators pride themselves on operating in the clear, according to string self regulation.

Feel free to use it on unlicensed bands though!