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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Default A DISCUSSION OF MODERN COMMS, GADGETS, AND SECURITY

    Ok ... after reading the radio thread this morning in the hotel while Shield Maiden sleeps, I thought an update would be in order.

    I doubt that we will be involved in a guerrilla war in the outback of the southwest, or that an EMP will push up back to 1965 technology... but continued communications in urban centers will always be necessary.

    So let's get into that.

    Modern comms for the individual or small group that are sustainable, portable, and secure even from the ever reaching ear of eavesdroppers.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    1,718
    Great idea Gabe…. I’m OCONUS at the moment with limited connectivity so I’ll make my initial thoughts as brief bullet points so as to stimulate the conversation.

    I think that the primary things to keep in the forefront of this discussion if we indeed want to have an realistic adult discussion on such a broad topic is; Mission, Adversarial Capabilities, Acceptable limitations and Cost. Those four factors need to be realistically considered.


    Commo in an urban area requirements as stated.

    • - Compact
    • - Lightweight
    • - Reliable
    • - Easy to use with limited training
    • - Secure (COMSEC)


    Options off the top of my head.


    • - Burner Cell Phones…this includes phone calls, SMS text messaging, and (encrypted???) messaging apps while understanding that not all are created equally.
    • - Commercial 2-way Radios (Plaintext/Unsecure)
    • - Commercial 2-way Radios (Cyphertext/Secure)
    • - COMSEC TTP’s use of Unique Prowords, Codewords, Variable callsigns, OPSHEDS, etc......Discipline, Discipline, Discipline
    Cheers
    T.

    "VICTORIOUS WARRIORS WIN FIRST...
    AND THEN GO TO WAR,
    WHILE DEFEATED WARRIORS GO TO WAR FIRST...
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  3. #3
    Our local ARES team provides comms support to a Downtown one mile charity run every year. Lots of tall cement and steel buildings. We use HAM handhelds and it's always challenging. Simplex is out of the question, even just a mile away ain't happening, and hitting one of the repeaters is a chore. I've manned the same post for a couple of years now and find that changing my position by 18 inches is make or break.

    So, point to point simplex would need a lot of testing to find the sweet spots and I'd say getting on a repeater is a non-starter for obvious reasons in our scenario.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
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    Sitting in a hotel bar waiting on my Titos and my two dates for the evening. Some thoughts.

    Communications depend on actual equipment...but more on "what those expected comms" may be. This includes expected answers to inquiries (team and family SOP), as well as planned actions and RV locations in the event of compromised or ineffective communications.

    The burner is a good idea if you have concern over some sort of scrutiny. That could be from any sort of opposition but the more well fu ded they are the more all sorts of comms will be restricted. I am saying a lot without saying too much I hope.

    The value of burners are that they are not tied to you like regular official phone. But if you get on a burner and tell you call to meet you at the Hold Fast bar on 2nd street, those listening will go there and see you. This is where coded words are of value.

    Players all have call signs. Places all have codes. Times also have codes as do actions.

    So, "Hyena...pick up Bruce Lee and the Greek at the docks and meet at the hipster bar." may have meaning to Greg, Ted, Brent and I...an agency stalking us would not know who or where or when.

    The more you are involved in things that someone might consider extra legal or competitive to them...the more care...preemptive care...you need to take.

    There are apps of interest as well. WhatsApp, KIK, and others.

    Rely on discretion and on care in how you communicate more than on tech.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    669
    Using one source to transmit on and another to receive on helps keeps the water muddy for anyone trying to find who what when where.
    Similarly, 2 way radios can be programmed with that in mind. Not foolproof but it's another step.
    Messenger apps, emails, texts, phone calls, HAM, Etc, mix it up if you have too.
    Sharing a email address and then using emails you stored in trash or draft supposedly are more secure to.
    Last edited by psalms23dad; 09-28-2019 at 05:40 PM.
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    “Adversity introduces a man to himself.”

  6. #6
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    An interesting idea if internet access is available would be something along the lines of a Discord server or even just using the direct message feature between a single user or multiple. The connections when logging in are all encrypted. Its available from a webpage, a program you can put on a computer or download the app on a phone. While its possible for the discord admins to go into anything they want unless you draw attention to yourself some how they won't bother. There's hundreds of thousands and likely more. They also have the ability for voice lobbies or direct message voice chats. While the info posted in discord is semi permanent the voice isn't. Another way to think of it is as a ready made encrypted phone call.
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  7. #7
    I use the signal app for texting and proton email. Proton is encrypted and in Switzerland.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    A technique that may be useful is the email dead drop. Kind of a modernized version of putting a note under a park bench. The way it works is you have one email account that a group all has access to. You compose an email and save to drafts. The other member or members can read it by opening the draft file. This method keeps the message from being intercepted because it's never sent. No transmission, no interception. It's simple and cheap. A free email account and a password known to the group.

    I learned this after it came to public light that some jihadis use this method. It's known but still hard to crack because of its simplicity.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    South Shore of Lake Erie
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    To pile on what Taipan typed I just think if one communicates electronically from morse code to ______ app/device and someone is interested in you, that someone can always out-technology you. I think you use electronics/airwaves it just has to be cipher.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Here is a key for the personally funded private citizen. You will not be able to hide your comms from eavesdroppers...but you can hide the meaning of those intercepted comms.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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