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Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 1) 131

We implement it as a chip that intercepts the serial bus to the VFO chip, and disallows certain frequencies. On FCC-certified equipment we might have to make that chip and the VFO chip physically difficult to get at by potting them or something. This first unit is test-equipment and does not have the limitation.

My main interest in this SDR project would be as part of a home-brew RF/digital test/research bench for a variety of mobile cell-based equipment and development of new types of devices for new uses.

How does a company like Harris Corp. get away with manufacturing/selling Stingrays for use in the US, and can this project possibly use the same technical exceptions used by Harris Corp. to negate the requirement to artificially cripple it?


Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 1) 131

The receiver has a block on certain cellular frequencies in the 800MHz band. This is the only restriction. The radio can tune to any frequency between 50MHz-1000MHz, otherwise.

Is this block implemented in software or hardware? Could it theoretically be bypassed/removed by someone technically oriented?



Lawmakers Seek Information On Funding For Climate Change Critics 383

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept. writes: John Schwartz reports at the NY Times that prominent members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate are demanding information from universities, companies and trade groups about funding for scientists who publicly dispute widely held views on the causes and risks of climate change. In letters sent to seven universities, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat who is the ranking member of the House committee on natural resources, sent detailed requests to the academic employers of scientists who had testified before Congress about climate change. "My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships." Grijalva asked for each university's policies on financial disclosure and the amount and sources of outside funding for each scholar, "communications regarding the funding" and "all drafts" of testimony. Meanwhile Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. sent 100 letters to fossil fuel companies, trade groups and other organizations asking about their funding of climate research and advocacy asking for responses by April 3. "Corporate special interests shouldn't be able to secretly peddle the best junk science money can buy," said Senator Markey, denouncing what he called "denial-for-hire operations."

The letters come after evidence emerged over the weekend that Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, had failed to disclose the industry funding for his academic work. The documents also included correspondence between Dr. Soon and the companies who funded his work in which he referred to his papers and testimony as "deliverables." Soon accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work. "What it shows is the continuation of a long-term campaign by specific fossil-fuel companies and interests to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change," says Kert Davies.

Comment: Re:GNUradio? (Score 1) 131

This is meant to be an entire FCC type-approved transceiver with spurious emissions low enough to amplify to the full legal limit for the band.

Does being FCC Type approved mean there are certain frequency bands that are verboten? In other words, is the coverage continuous from 50mHz - 1gHz or are there required gaps?

I know that communications receivers capable of covering the cellphone bands were made illegal to sell in the US a while back. Just wondering how SDR will deal with such legislation going forward.

This may be a real concern where a SDR may cover bands where things like cellphones and police/military/air communications live and are heavily regulated and some portions restricted from even reception by unauthorized persons. Aren't many trunked police/fire/EMS radio systems in the 800mHz band, or is that dated? It's been a long time since I held an amateur radio license.


Comment: Re:But this isn't net neutrality at all... (Score 1) 592

by BlueStrat (#49126609) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Of course, we don't fully what the rules will do since they have been acting in secrecy!

They will be published when they are finalized.

We have to give the government the power to regulate the internet before we can know what they'll do to the internet.

Wait, this sounds sickeningly-familiar....

Oh well. I'm sure it'll be fine.

After all, it's only the same FCC that has pursued a "wardrobe malfunction" for nearly 8 years, pushed for the Fairness Doctrine, and whose "Diversity Czar" Mark Lloyd was quoted as admiring the way Chavez seized control of radio/TV/media and placed them under State control.

I'm sure porn and less mainstream media outlets, political blogs, forums, etc that the government may dislike will have nothing at all to fear. /s (for the clueless)



Gemalto: NSA and GCHQ Probably Hacked Us, But Didn't Get SIM Encryption Keys 97

Posted by Soulskill
from the hand-in-the-encrypted-cookie-jar dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Last week The Intercept published a report saying agents from the NSA and GCHQ penetrated the internal computer network of Gemalto, the world's largest maker of SIM cards. Gemalto has done an internal investigation, and surprisingly decided to post its results publicly. The findings themselves are a bit surprising, too: Gemalto says it has "reasonable grounds to believe that an operation by NSA and GCHQ probably happened."

They say the two agencies were trying to intercept encryption keys that were being exchanged between mobile operators and the companies (like Gemalto) who supplied them with SIM cards. The company said it had noticed several security incidents in 2010 and 2011 that fit the descriptions in The Intercept's documents. Gemalto had no idea who was behind them until now. They add, "These intrusions only affected the outer parts of our networks – our office networks — which are in contact with the outside world. The SIM encryption keys and other customer data in general, are not stored on these networks." They claim proper use of encryption and isolation of different networks prevented attackers from getting the information they were after.

Comment: Re:Facts not in evidence (Score 1) 406

by BlueStrat (#49122793) Attached to: NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

Your (and my, and any individual citizen's) personal interpretation of the Constitution is not the measure. It is the interpretation and implementation by our three branches of government.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Government's job is to secure and protect the rights of the people. The government can decide/declare anything it wants, but if the overwhelming majority of people refuse to comply there is actually very little it can do, and it risks being abolished and replaced/restored.

So how about you consider the alternative: one where you don't assume that everyone working at every/any level of government, e.g., NSA, doesn't have the worst motivations and is actually trying to do their best to honorably, legally, and Constitutionally, protect our nation and its people instead of the opposite. How about that?

Sorry, but that boat sailed with all the lawlessness and abuses that have been revealed regarding domestic data/comm interception/storage, the widespread use of parallel construction, and the mass compromise of encryption schemes.

History proves over and over that the biggest danger to life and liberty is and has always been one's own government. The kind of "trust" you advocate for in this context would be foolish.


Comment: Re:Why is the government scared to talk about thes (Score 1) 241

by BlueStrat (#49114365) Attached to: In Florida, Secrecy Around Stingray Leads To Plea Bargain For a Robber

Why is the federal government (and its agencies) so scared to allow state and local law enforcement agencies to reveal the use of these devices?

Well, you could find out by assembling your own "stingray" piecemeal using some of the test equipment in the links below, and use it to monitor/record police/DHS/NSA and wait to see what charges they decide to prosecute you for if you're arrested, and then take the government to court for the same charges.



Although your chances of getting the same 'justice' system that is complicit in these criminal acts by those in government to turn around and prosecute these same criminals are slim at best.


Comment: Re:How do Climate Change Believers Profit? (Score 1) 438

by BlueStrat (#49104719) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests

Hmm, what industries could profit from climate change true believers?

How about governments, those who run them, and those tied to and who profit from government? They gain ever more power & control over ever-wider-ranging areas of life and have another excuse to squeeze the marks for more of their wealth.


The Almighty Buck

How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests 438

Posted by timothy
from the note-that-doesn't-mean-he's-wrong dept.
Lasrick writes Elected officials who want to block the EPA and legislation on climate change frequently refer to a handful of scientists who dispute anthropogenic climate change. One of scientists they quote most often is Wei-Hock Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun's energy can largely explain recent global warming. Newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon has made a fortune from corporate interests. 'He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work.' The Koch Brothers are cited as a source of Dr. Soon's funding.

Comment: Re:The Constitution is Clear - Tenth Amendment (Score 1) 78

by BlueStrat (#49095661) Attached to: When It Comes To Spy Gear, Many Police Ignore Public Records Laws

Alternate idea: an amendment that makes it a felony for government officials/reps/etc. to violate or aid/abet the violation of the constitutional rights of one or more people.

Warrantless mass surveillance already violates the 4th Amendment and multiple laws.

What effect will another law have when the existing laws are ignored? Existing laws against these ongoing abuses have already, and continue to be, flaunted by those in government.

The digital Panopticon, if it is going to exist, needs to be universal in that citizens may not be denied the right and ability to use it to keep tabs on those in government.


Comment: Re:The Constitution is Clear - Tenth Amendment (Score 2) 78

by BlueStrat (#49093161) Attached to: When It Comes To Spy Gear, Many Police Ignore Public Records Laws

How quaint. The Feds haven't taken the Constitution seriously for generations.

Maybe it's time for a "Digital Second Amendment".

Whatever technological means the government may use to monitor/surveil/track/datamine individuals without a warrant may also be used to monitor/surveill/track/datamine those in government both while on and off the government clock by otherwise law-abiding people.


Comment: Re:Just a piece of paper. (Score 1) 78

by BlueStrat (#49093133) Attached to: When It Comes To Spy Gear, Many Police Ignore Public Records Laws

They don't want us to be able to keep anything at all secret. And they want to keep all their stuff secret.

That could change.

It's not like the hardware is not available.





Comment: Re:Time to go back to land lines and cash. (Score 4, Insightful) 192

by BlueStrat (#49091889) Attached to: How NSA Spies Stole the Keys To the Encryption Castle

At what point do we start putting these criminals away? They have broken every law on the books.

One of the most insidious effects of this sort of Panopticon-level data collection & analysis is that it works as well against prosecutors, judges, AGs, and even SCOTUS justices, as it does some CEO or key IT admin somewhere they're interested in compromising.

Parallel construction is blind, therefor the current US justice system no longer is. Along with every other government agency, bureau, department, etc, all the way down.

Total Information = Total Control

The US Government is under the control of those who control that information. Even if the target is squeaky-clean, they are perfectly capable of planting things like kiddie-porn or any other convenient data on a hard drive such that it would stand up to the type/depth of forensics used in the typical criminal trial.

Threatening to leak damaging private information, especially when it involves an elected official right before a(n) (re)election, works without even involving the justice system or making a public scene.


Comment: Re: Papers, Comrade (Score 1) 116

by BlueStrat (#49089565) Attached to: The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Bill

As you can see, the majority of the population supports this. Who are you to tell the people what's best for them?

Well let's see, he appears to be somebody who advocates for political and ideological changes by informing his fellows about what the government is up to and what the consequences may well be, thereby instilling fear in the public over government intrusions into their privacy and more.

A textbook terrorist using mass fear to accomplish his goals is what he appears to be (at least that's how the government press release will describe him after he's been detained for 'enhanced interrogation'.).


Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal--if you don't use your thumbs. -- Tom Lehrer