Inspired to do it today though inspired by this quote from @admsjas
…they can zero in on any device connected to the network and if secure have the security cracked or bypassed within seconds of even connecting to the network. […] If I want true security in a mobile device then I’ll have to be content to not even be connected,
that was in another thread but I started a new one because the question is off topic (kinda, but not really at all)
I don’t know, but it seems to me no matter how fast the computer is trying to crack a device, it would be limited by the network itself, and by device speed. So its cracking of the device would actually be limited by those factors.
@leetaur @Skalman @kieran
I was just wondering if there were hams among the early backers (likely would have responded QSL without the question mark). That´s ok though, I was just curious because really a phones modem is also a radio and that might have sparked discussion about carrier network alternatives
Tee hee, but crickets… ah well.
73 (thanks for listening and best regards :))
Government owned most definitely, I would say theyŕe even more problematic. Commercial (like Elon Musks starlight express) little LEOs are still questionable (and besides, I have my own theory about their true purpose and cheer him on for that hunch). Yet there are also the OSCAR class satellites managed by amateur radio clubs.
Yeah, I really like GNUnet and what theyŕe doing !!!
I speculated in a post several weeks ago, that since the modem is easy to swap-out, that there might be some additional options available for amateur radio operators using the Librem 5.
The Amateur radio band plan has relatively large amounts of spectrum space available for legal use by amateur radio operators, spread out through the GHz bands. For every phone band, there is typically spectrum space near-by, available for amateur radio use. In the VHF and UHF bands for example, it is easy to buy commercial radios and re-tune or reprogram them to access the amateur radio VHF and UHF bands.
So theoretically, we should be able to buy a an appropriate modem (probably meant for use in other countries or that has a wider band capability), mount it to a custom made board that slides in to the librem 5, write some code to accommodate, and have free use of currently unused spectrum space to experiment in. If you have an amateur radio license, this would be completely legal. Such applications could be cellular networks that are free of charge that operate under the same rules as amateur radio repeaters operate, and the ability to create direct Librem 5 to Librem 5 GHz band radio communications. With the help of some adapted commercial and/or cellular tower gear, the sky is the limit. This could re-awaken an interest in amateur radio as some Librem 5 owners have phones that do things that no other phones are capable of. I remember a time when only amateur radio operators could make mobile phone calls from a handheld device. I envision communication applications that let you do things that are not possible to do through commercial cell phone carriers, and the ability to make free and legal cellular phone calls without subscribing to any cell phone carrier service, in cases where no wifi phone service is possible. Amateur radio calls on your Librem 5 could fill in the gaps in mesh networks.
Anyone can get an amateur radio Technician license which would be all you need. Eight year old kids do it. It’s not hard to do.
There is no legal way to operate on the citizens band channels in the US except with the use of an FCC type accepted radio. At the same time, there wouldn’t be any IC modems that would work on the 27 MHz band (way too old of technology and requires bigger components). And who wants a crappy old 10 KHz wide analog AM signal anyway (1970’s tech)? Even Amateur radio fell out of wide popularity when the cell phone replaced the two-way amateur radio auto-patch in to the landline PSTN system in the early 1980s. At that same time, most radio experimentation became too difficult for amateurs as commercially made proprietary radios with integrated circuitry and locked firmware became the norm. Now with a cutting-edge open platform (the Librem 5 in this case) available for the first time in several decades, radio amateurs are saying “humm, I could use that platform to experiment in the GHz bands where up until now, only the big boys could play”. Use this chip that was intended for other purposes, change the design of the supporting circuitry to work for my application and now I have a smart phone that can communicate directly with a satellite, or that can communicate with a type of free Amateur- radio-specific wifi that covers an entire city or more from a single mountaintop source (totally feasible and legal). No additional government approval is required for amateur radio experimentation and use. You just publish your communications protocols and then deploy your new communications equipment at your home on some mountain top where the land-owner gives their permission. It typically takes years and maybe decades to go from first amateur radio implementation to reach commercialization. In the mean time, the geeks typically have some really neat toys that no one else has. This could lead eventually to new markets that replace today’s cellular systems the same way that the cellular systems largely replaced our fully functioning landlines in the 1980s and 1990s. I think that Purism is building a bigger foundation than even they are aware of.
A notable add-on to this topic. Amateurs who are not employed to do so, can expirement in FCC regulated spectrum to their hearts content as long as they follow a few reasonable restrictions. They can publish their findings daily, upload their code to a github, and face few if any obstacles, as long as they are not being paid to transmit anything. Even GPL-type rules do not apply to the use of the spectrum as long as the actual communications protocols and keys used in the actual transmissions, are published (use of codes and ciphers by Amateur radio operators is prohibited). A company like Purism could use this information from volunteer amateur radio experimenters, to build commercial projects, as long as they do not have their employees accessing this protected spectrum themselves without the proper permits and licenses (which are expensive and take time to get). They could not have their employees get Amateur Radio licenses either, to do paid work using those licenses. This opens the way for the open source community to develop new products that would be extremely difficult and maybe impractical to develop commercially using traditional methods. For a business to do the same development work, they need to draw-up plans and get FCC approval, and to pay for permits, before that work can even begin. Then they can’t deviate from their licensed plans unless they get new plans approved first. Meanwhile an amateur says “I think I’ll try this or that” as they just do it unimpeded.
Ummmm, I’m “70’s tech” myself so I remember (ham shacks and handheld scanners were never widely popular but CB rigs,mobile and base, were somewhat popular) yet there was always the duplex/ latency issue. Also, size.
I meant for the users (we are users, we are citizens). As well, many cities (including mine) still have tonnes of operational amateur repeaters atop buildings.
I’ve looked up ham radio in the past (a friend who used to do it talked my ear off about it), but only now am I really interested. Would it even be possible to be secure and private on the airwaves like that?
As with all broadcasting, the lower levels of the over-the-air protocol must be insecure. Anyone can receive what you transmit. What matters is whether the upper levels of the over-the-air protocol are secure.
Of course those upper levels of the protocol do actually have to be secure. If you look at the two most widely used types of wireless network communication - WiFi and the cellular mobile network - both of them have had iterations of release / oops / upgrade.
You can improve things by running further secure protocols over the top of the over-the-air protocol (e.g. your vanilla SSL/TLS) but that too has had those same iterations.
No, by law you give up all privacy when using amateur radio bands. You have to identify yourself by a call sign that is tied to your mailing address (I use a PO box) that anyone can look up, and you can’t use any codes or ciphers to obscure your communications. But it’s always free and if anyone wants to listen-in while I call my sweetheart to say I’ll be home in two hours, I don’t care. I just tell her I am calling through an auto-patch when she answers and she knows how that works.
A few years ago, I went to a camp-site snuggled in-between a mountain range to set-up early. I realized that I left some critical supplies behind when I went to set things up. I called home on the auto-patch because there was no cell service at the camp site and I needed my other half to bring those things with her when she showed up later in the day. When I hung up, someone from the next camp site who saw me talking on my hand-held radio came over and asked how I was able to use my cell phone. I told him I couldn’t get out on my phone and had used an amateur radio auto-patch to make the phone call. This kind of access is very common.
Repeater latency issues are usually tied to the squelch tail. But I like those. It lets you know that you made it in to the repeater. The half-duplex phone calling (the receiver of the phone call only hears you when you key up to transmit and you can only hear them when you stop transmitting) does take some getting used to. Most large cities today still have many repeaters. But things are different now. It’s most often dead quiet, no traffic most of the time. But you can usually find a conversation if you try. Now many of the VHF and UHF repeaters are linked to repeaters in other cities through the internet. I live in Phoenix and one day, a guy from Hawaii came-in much better than the guy in Scottsdale did. I was close to a linked repeater and the Scottsdale Repeater was much further away. Every time the power goes out, I turn on my amateur radio. You’ll get reports of the scope of the outage in seconds, even if the whole West coast goes down and there is no internet. People figure out the full scope of the outage using the world-wide bands and then they go up to the UHF and VHF bands to let everyone there know what is happening. If no one is talking about it, it’s probably only in your neighborhood.