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Comment Re:one method (Score 4, Interesting) 319

In 3 letter agency circles the process is called "Traffic Analysis". Even if you use a prepaid SIM you toss away a few minutes later, the first time you reach out to anyone you've ever known, you cease to be unknown. Reach out to 3 or 4 people and it's game over, you're new identity is tossed in the same box as your old identity. Back to square one. The only way to hide from TA is to avoid exposure entirely. One person can keep a secret. Two people, not so much.

Comment Re:Use GPS (Score 3, Informative) 91

No need to turn up the sensitivity at all. SBIRS / STSS has been around since the 70's or 80's - these (optical / IR) satellites search for ballistic missile launches and track those already in progress. Wildfires and a myriad of other heat sources would logically be filtered out since they don't represent a military threat, certainly the NRO would whine about it exposing capability, but it seems to me that the USA already has this technology orbiting the earth already. These 3 letter agencies have taken a lot more than they've given back, maybe it's time to shift focus and put some of this hardware to better use.

Comment Re:Perhaps No Accident? (Score 1) 279

Lathes, CNC cutters, drills, milling machines, and so on, all of this stuff while a tad on the expensive side, is not out of reach. There are also untold numbers of machine shops around the place.

I think this entire incident is more about pure stupidity and lack of common sense. The tools exist for the common human and have done for centuries. The sky isn't falling.

Comment Re:..as little? (Score 3, Informative) 168

Nope, no money for a huge amount of work. This has been a growing industry here in the Philippines for at least the last 5 years. Google "sulit money from home" and you'll get an inkling of how popular it is. Most people get burned, promised a few thousand USD per month, never see a cent, and the only contact info they have is a cellphone number that is no longer in service. The majority of these businesses require an upfront 'starters' fee, usually somewhere around $50 to $100 USD - crazy, feeds and scams off the gullible at both ends. It brings a lot of money in to the country, so it won't stop any time soon.

Comment Re:The first stage is suborbital. (Score 1) 127

Pretty good progress thus far? I'm inclined to add a few 4 letter expletives in amongst those words, that video left me staring in awe. : ) A few days back we had a video about an autonomous quadcopter thing that spent the better part of 10 minutes randomly turning in circles as it wandered through a building mock-up. This thing jumps up a few hundred feet vertically and horizontally away from the pad and then drops back down like a boss, utter perfection from my armchair.

Comment Re:WEP WEP WEP (Score 2) 438

Are you sure your WiFi password is useless? Do you know how far 'close enough' actually is? Think of it this way: A satellite in geosync orbit will transmit a C Band signal somewhere between 10 and 30 watts with a footprint that might cover a 3rd of the earth - that's a distance of 36,000 kilometers give or take. To receive that transmission with decent enough SNR you only need a small dish of about a meter and a half in diameter. Wifi is typically 100mW or less, but with a similar sized directional antenna you would be surprised how many are visible just from the 30th floor of an appartment building, let alone an aircraft at 5,000 feet. (And google war driving while gathering street view images)

YOU might not be of any interest to a 3 letter agency, but that doesn't mean you'll never be a target at some point.

Comment Re:He should just go to America and face the music (Score 1) 205

I'm a former ELINT drone - when I started working for various secret 3 letter agencies I told the psych I wanted to find out if UFO's actually exist, and that I daydream almost constantly - except on work time. I kid you not. (Now it'll be someones job to actually dig through the records and check this :-) I held a TS positive vetted clearance with pretty much every brief that exists within that domain for more than a decade. Some interesting crap goes on in the world for sure, though eventually I quit and moved to Asia. Is there an analogy here? You can pick one if you want, whatever makes you feel good, but I will respectfully say you should dig your head out of the sand and use some logic - what's the difference between whistle blowing with a good conscience about something illegal and whistle blowing with the moral guidance unit turned off? I don't see one myself. Illegal is still illegal if that's what your constitution and laws say.

I have no idea what my point is though. Just thought I'd share that.

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