Leverage operational complexities to enhance communications OPSEC

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    • #97461
      CommsPrepper
      Participant

        Think outside the box and look at other modes of operations for communications. FCC regulations prohibit codes and encryption on all radio services available to civilians (preppers). This said, there are options other than traditional FM voice operations that can thwart the efforts of bad-actors an opportunists that would exploit bad situations to victimize good folks. Just a thought – CommsPrepper

      • #97462
        Anonymous
        Inactive

          I will say that before this I was totally unaware of packet radio. This could be interesting as a means to send files between networks in the case of a grid-down scenario, though I’d still be concerned that I don’t know how secure that would be.

        • #97463
          trailman
          Participant

            I will say that before this I was totally unaware of packet radio. This could be interesting as a means to send files between networks in the case of a grid-down scenario, though I’d still be concerned that I don’t know how secure that would be.

            While the FCC prohibits encryption on the radio I don’t think they prohibit encrypted material. A file is a file.

          • #97464
            Mike Q
            Participant

              I’ve been given to understand the old Nextel phones, specifically the i355’s are encrypted while using the 2-way function. It apparently was built into the phones themselves… Since you won’t use the network like you used to be able to you can still use the walky talky function for about 1/2 mile radius. Should work for intersquad comms…

              Assuming what I’ve been told is true, and I have no reason to doubt the source, then since the phone was standard 8-10 years ago and passed FCC reg’s then there shouldn’t be a problem owning a few of them…

            • #97465
              CommsPrepper
              Participant

                I will say that before this I was totally unaware of packet radio. This could be interesting as a means to send files between networks in the case of a grid-down scenario, though I’d still be concerned that I don’t know how secure that would be.

                While the FCC prohibits encryption on the radio I don’t think they prohibit encrypted material. A file is a file.

                No encryption is permitted in the Amateur radio service.

              • #97466
                trailman
                Participant

                  Not to belabor the point but what is the difference between sending a text file full of gibberish and a file that has been encrypted with a PGP key?

                • #97467
                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                  Moderator

                    …what is the difference between…

                    For the most part nothing but an arbitrary law.

                    The government fears everyone else’s secrets. but expects us to not be concerned with theirs. :unsure:

                    So in the meantime it is prudent follow the FCC rules.

                    Remembering too that there is a portion of the Amateur Radio community that lives for catching others that violate FCC rules.

                  • #97468
                    trailman
                    Participant

                      yeah I getcha

                    • #97469
                      CommsPrepper
                      Participant

                        Here is a link that can provide perspective: https://transition.fcc.gov/eb/AmateurActions/Welcome.html

                      • #97470
                        Anonymous
                        Inactive

                          So basically if one were to use this to transfer files in a grid-down scenario, only send nonsensitive material that won’t compromise security (think software tools, manuals, and the like) over packet radio, encrypted files only in a WROL situation?

                          (Though from an intelligence standpoint, if someone is monitoring packet radio traffic they could glean information of value from what they observe being transmitted, which would require some type of risk mitigation in itself.)

                        • #97471
                          trailman
                          Participant

                            Interesting
                            Reading through some of those they can’t PROVE who made the transmissions yet the station owner was fined. And yes I realize you are responsible for the station yet it smacks of redlight and speed cameras.

                          • #97472
                            Ronin42
                            Participant

                              I’m very new to ham, and have a basic grasp of rules (enough to pass the FCC tests). That being said..
                              Would it be a good idea to set up a pre exsisting encryption, or code phrase book. Keeping said “code book” mothballed until its time to use it?
                              For example, if two ham prepped groups working together a head of time, were to establish a sop for post event. Working outside the medium of radio until time deemed necessary to use the encryption key or codes pre-established.
                              Is there any value to that idea, or perhaps issues to consider?

                            • #97473
                              Virgil Kane
                              Participant

                                A few words in a simple greeting letter can be an encrypted code between friends.

                              • #97474
                                CommsPrepper
                                Participant

                                  Ham Radio aside – http://www.gpg4usb.org is worth looking at.

                                • #97475
                                  SeanT
                                  Keymaster

                                    GPG Tutorial

                                    PKI (public key infrastructure)is not super difficult to understand but you should read a bit about how it works, how and where you store keys, how to ‘find’ someone’s public key, etc.

                                    The single most important thing to understand is that you NEED to not lose your private key.

                                  • #97476
                                    Ronald Beal
                                    Participant

                                      I’ve been given to understand the old Nextel phones, specifically the i355’s are encrypted while using the 2-way function. It apparently was built into the phones themselves…

                                      The i355’s function almost the same as Motorolar DTR series of radios. They are not encrypted, but instead use a digital frequency hopping spread spectrum method (FHSS). They sort of work like the U.S. Army SINCGARS frequency hopping radios. Essentially the radio changes frequencies eleven times per second. They can not be listened in on by regular scanners. They can be intercepted by someone with advanced capabilities, as long as they know to look for them.
                                      i355’s and DTRs work on different frequency bands, but fundamentally, the only difference is the cost, and future use. i355s are no longer made, but they are compatible with lots of Motorola professional accessories. They can be had for cheap. DTRs are still being made, and will be for the forseeable future. They do cost a bit more than used i355s.
                                      Both would do well as secure squad coms against all but the most capable of threats.

                                    • #97477
                                      Virgil Kane
                                      Participant

                                        Do these Netel phones operate on a frequency legal for us peasants?

                                      • #97478
                                        Ronald Beal
                                        Participant

                                          Do these Netel phones operate on a frequency legal for us peasants?

                                          Yes, FCC ISM band (part 15)
                                          Same rules as DTR radios, cordless phones, wifi, etc.

                                        • #97479
                                          D Close
                                          Moderator

                                            Would it be a good idea to set up a pre exsisting encryption, or code phrase book. Keeping said “code book” mothballed until its time to use it?

                                            Ask Mr. Beal…he published an excellent little book on Signals in 2015. I highly recommend it. He covers dryad encryption and all that takes some practice. I recommend using that with the Zello app or similar in the meantime to stay legal and still practice using radio.

                                          • #97480
                                            jmj
                                            Participant

                                              As a general note, should things get bad enough to have to use encrypted coms between squad members, I think one would have bigger worries than the FCC. Just sayin’ but until then, don’t even push it.

                                              Ask Mr. Beal…he published an excellent little book on Signals in 2015. I highly recommend it.

                                              What book would this be?

                                            • #97481
                                              D Close
                                              Moderator

                                                Here is the Signals book pdf

                                              • #97482
                                                Ronald Beal
                                                Participant

                                                  Comprehensive link here (With additional material)

                                                  http://citizenmilitem.com/?page_id=176
                                                  Also some basic software links on the site.

                                                  Volume 2 is under way, (Although much slower than I prefer… sometimes life just gets in the way)

                                                  What book would this be?

                                                • #97483
                                                  D Close
                                                  Moderator

                                                    Thank you!!

                                                  • #97484
                                                    Groundwork
                                                    Participant

                                                      @Ronald Beal

                                                      Your Signals book is an excellent resource; thank you for your generosity in sharing it freely. For many of us here at MVT forums, it should be considered required reading! :good:

                                                      @D Close

                                                      Thank you for bringing Mr. Beal’s book to our attention.

                                                    • #97485
                                                      zeerf
                                                      Participant

                                                        @Ronald Beal

                                                        Your Signals book is an excellent resource; thank you for your generosity in sharing it freely. For many of us here at MVT forums, it should be considered required reading!

                                                        agreed!

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