Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Commo Workarounds And A Bleg

("Glory to the partisans who destroy the Fascists' rear")

Three useful articles on ways to get around a communications shutdown by the government (not that such a thing could ever happen here in the land of Lee Greenwood):

Creative Minds Adapt

Communicate If Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet

USNI Blog: Google Declares War On The Egyptian Government

Read them all, as each contains pertinent info, even for non-techies.

Here's the bleg: can the techies in the audience give us non-techs a list of stuff to have (besides Ham, CB, and FRS/GMRS), where to get it, and how to use it?

Thanks in advance.

Extra bonus meditation, just in from the monastery:

All nodes must die.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A "insurgent commo for dummies" guide would be valuable.

I'd pay for one.


February 2, 2011 at 4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If government turns off your Internet, then why don't you stop listening to government, and turn it right back on? Techies can't whip up an alternate method to feed yourself inside concentration camps, or inside an iron curtain. Free political speech is the end of the line; there are no reasonable alternatives.

February 2, 2011 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Crustyrusty said...

Been preaching modems for years. A hardware modem running on something other than Windows would be the best option. Patriots can avail themselves of BBS systems like they did in the 90s.

Also the Egyptians are using their modems to dial up foreign numbers to get interweb access.

February 2, 2011 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Crustyrusty said...

LOL read the articles before posting, Crusty...

My advice about hardware modems and Windows stands, though. Too many security holes in Windows, and winmodems don't work well in general with other operating systems.

February 2, 2011 at 11:25 AM  
Anonymous GardenSERF said...

I last mentioned the Internet Kill Switch back on Jan 21:


What people need to keep in mind is that Egypt used a very predictable heavy-handed response which for a wired generation tends to just p!ss people off more when it's done nationwide.

In the USA and other more advanced nations, the kill switch is far more *selective*. In fact, "the message" could be restricted without the messenger or his usual audience even knowing it had been.

Some of us who are old programmers should probably comment on this (and by old programmers I'm not talking HTML, visual basic, etc).

February 2, 2011 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

That old boy on the line about to snip the wires with a pair of scissors is about to get a big surprise. I too, would pay for an insurgent commo for dummies guide. If Obongo were to dump the internet, he could update his resume', and check the want ads.

February 2, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Bard said...

The "Communicate If Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet" article is a great reminder of possibilities for jump-starting creative thinking. I'll add just a few comments:

- Your tribe's commo solution will be dictated by what you want to communicate, to whom you wish to communicate, whether you can make use of any existing infrastructure, how much money you have to spend on gear, and so forth. As nice as it would be to have a standard box of commo gear that would suit everyone's needs, that's probably not realistic for many reasons. Which brings me to my next point, specifically for non-techies:

- Make friends with a techie. Especially during a period of, shall we say, "uncertainty," the commo landscape will resemble a battlefield in that it will be constantly changing and require skilled adaptation to accomplish your goals. Beyond being skilled enough to adapt and implement different solutions, a techie is likely to know other techies in different places who are similarly equipped to exchange information, which increases the reach of your network. There are a few of us who are both liberty-minded and technically competent, and we like to do cool things and be useful.

- There are many possibilities out there. It's entirely possible to do fairly exotic things like set up your own local cell site or IP telephone network. Given that you'd likely be operating on a small scale, it's not as difficult or expensive as you might think. Now, few bother, because as long as things aren't going sideways, there's little practical value unless you're a geek wanting to learn the technology.

- Don't forget power! Have some way to sustainably power your backup commo gear off-grid.

- Especially when dealing with critical information over a reduced-capability commo system, procedures are as important, if not more important, than equipment. Standard abbreviations and net practices that would be silly over full-duplex video Skype become invaluable when you're stuck with low-bandwidth packet radio or ridge-to-ridge Morse Code with flashlights.

February 2, 2011 at 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.w1hkj.com/Fldigi.html -- for digital-mode commo over radio.

http://hflink.com/olivia/ -- digital mode that will overcome high SNR

http://laptop.org/en/laptop/hardware/specs.shtml -- OLPC are an excellent laptop for insurgents. You'll have to wait for the next G1G1 program to get one.

February 2, 2011 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technically, the translation of the caption on the poster is "Glory to the Partisans Who Destroy the Fascists' Rear."

It may also be viewed as more a more accurate assessment of the current situation, especially considering Mussolini's definition of fascism.

February 2, 2011 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Concerned American said...


Thanks for the correction. Fixed now.

February 3, 2011 at 5:33 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Re: "insurgent commo for dummies" guide

Excellent idea, AP. I might have to add that to my list of projects.

Another useful comm tool that has not yet been mentioned here: a burner cellphone.

"A throwaway prepaid cellphone, typically used by dealers. Used until the minutes are up, then thrown away so they cannot be tapped."
- Urban Dictionary

Pay with cash and be sure to use a public computer or pay phone to activate the burner. The idea is to make it very difficult for the phone to be traced back to you.

February 3, 2011 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Number 6 said...

Did a post somewhat related to these questions:


It's important to focus on the strategy at this level, not the tactics.

February 3, 2011 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger J. Croft said...

Been harping on this subject for years-I saw it coming... we need our own internet and now that the enemy has let that cat out of the bag for everyone to see it's imperative we adapt existing technologies and combine them in new ways to achieve a more resiliant, less controllable wi-fi internet. The problem will be when the enemy employs broad spectrum frequency jamming to at least degrade performance, which means wires, which means those wires lead to your modems.

Not a fan of anything requiring a phone number either as that entails painting a bullseye on you. Sure you can use a proxy or a number of proxies but for how long?

And, any encryption can be cracked. The enemy has enough computers to accomplish this given enough time.

Whatever solution is used it must be anonymous or it's useless.

February 3, 2011 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Also, everyone should at least have the capability of communicating digitally using PGP-based encryption installed & tested, even if they don't use it on a regular basis.

It's FREE (http://www.gnupg.org/) and I'd be happy to assist anyone having trouble getting it up & running.

February 3, 2011 at 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Mark Matis said...

For Charlie:
But you had better make SURE you don't try to do that from within any Microsoft product. WHY do you think FedGov was so willing to give up after Microsoft had been found guilty of monopolistic activity? Can you say "backdoor"? I thought you could!

Best bet is probably Linux, and Ubuntu looks like the most likely choice. Doubt that THEY have any backdoors for FedGov, even though FedGov is most probably their best ally...

February 5, 2011 at 6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlie, how do we set up the PGP?

February 5, 2011 at 6:36 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

re: "But you had better make SURE you don't try to do that from within any Microsoft product."

You're preaching to the archbishop, my friend. There are lots of reasons why you shouldn't run Windows -- compromised security is only one.

February 7, 2011 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

re: "Charlie, how do we set up the PGP?"

It depends on your system (what OS you run, what email you have, etc.). PGP is fairly easy to use once you have it up & running, but the installation can be tricky.

In a nutshell, PGP is a type of public-key cryptography. Everyone has a public key that they share with the world and a private key that they keep to themselves. Once you give me your public key, I can then create a coded message for you that can only be decrypted using your private key.

I recommend using GnuPG (http://www.gnupg.org), a free, open source implementation of the PGP standard. Installation depends on your system. As a Mac user, I like using MacGPG -- this makes it really easy for me to manage keys and drag & drop items to be encrypted/decrypted.

Windows users should check out the frontend packages available for GnuPG (http://www.gnupg.org/related_software/frontends.en.html#win) such as Cryptophane -- these applications will help you use GnuPG to encrypt & decrypt messages without having to mess with the command line.

February 7, 2011 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

A couple of additional thoughts:

1. Get a pocket-sized HD camcorder, and keep it handy. Instapundit recommends these, and I used one to capture the meeting of MBV & Paul Helmke at the RTC rally outside DC (http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=2JLnVdhUD_o&hd=1), among other things.

The Flip Video line of cameras are becoming almost ubiquitous, though I prefer the Kodak PlaySport camcorders (http://www.amazon.com/Kodak-PlaySport-Waterproof-Pocket-Camera/dp/B0030MITDK) as its waterproof (up to 10 feet), more rugged, and it uses removable SD media (which is easier to hide/smuggle than an entire camera if necessary).

2. Back up your critical data off-site. This is good practice for everyone, not just the III community. If your data is lost due to an accident or "dynamic entry" incident, it'll still be recoverable by you or someone else later. If it's sensitive information, encrypt it with PGP before backing it up (using a different PGP key pair than what you use for secure messaging, and share this backup private key beforehand with a trusted party).

You can simply burn DVDs periodically and send them with your trusted caretaker, or use a commercial backup service. One such solution would be Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com), which offers 2GB of online storage for free.

3. I could go on... maybe I should start up a guide or blog about this stuff? It seems like something people would be interested in...

February 7, 2011 at 9:19 PM  

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