Author Topic: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down  (Read 5070 times)

Offline Paul Bonneau

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Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« on: December 09, 2011, 11:07:33 AM »
This might be worth some investigation:

http://anondora.org/free-press/81/get-internet-access-when-your-government-shuts-it-down

Note there is ample precedent for finding different vehicles for this traffic. For example, the protocol used in Fiberchannel is based either on the old SCSI standard, or (if I'm not mistaken) the old IP standard. Fiber optics carries the same old communication methods we used ages ago.
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Offline Bret

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 12:38:46 PM »
First this is stuff that should be arranged ahead of time.  While it is possible to do this after the fact it is much harder.  This is also a subject I have spent the last couple years looking into.  I was taking an approach of anonymous as well as robust in terms of fault tolerance (nodes vanishing forever).  That adds a bit of complexity.


As for fiber if its dark you need more powerful gear to get passed the losses that are inherent.  "Dark fiber" is when the telephone company does not provide any signaling, repeaters or anything else on the fiber.  If it is not dark fiber then you will not have a direct connect from A->B and it wont matter.  This can complicate talking to the person you want to talk to.  Fiber is non-conductive so it does not get the noise that copper can, but a gamma burst will disrupt it (although it will come back when the burst is over, for a nuke detonation that does not melt the fiber that is usually in less than 10 minutes).  There is dark fiber gear that can do 8000km (US to Japan), generally the longer the distance the more expensive and/or slower it will be. 

The wifi solution (which I have equipment to do that, in fact I have 250 watts ERP :D ) is a local solution.  I had thought that it would be nice to have a forum, email system, and a few other things for local networking.  Someone has something for sale, someone needs something, real news so that people do not rely on fear and their imagination for what is going on, etc.  Even VoIP (I have over 90 telephone adapters because I worked in that business) so I could get telephones working via this.

A large scale mesh network will fail.  There are a variety of reasons for this, while they work for cities they will not work for very large areas.  The Daihinia solution they mention has some overhead issues as well that make it ok for local small area stuff but not an entire state even.  I would be surprised if it worked well for a county. 

FidoNet requires routing to be pre-arranged.  Adding and removing nodes, a highly dynamic on the move constantly reconfiguring network will not play well with FidoNet.  Usenet would be a better option as it not only allows for attachments (basically anything you can do in email you can do in usenet) but it supports more network reconfigs without routing from a->b to be fixed.  It still makes it harder to send the message where it needs to go but if you created a group hierarchy that could be arranged.  For example FreeNet.US.WY.Casper.Alice to address it to Alice.  By always using the official 2 letter country codes and whatever is the official short code for a regional division in the area you are in you can segment the messages.  Then you just have to sync when you go "online" and the messages flow and can be distributed by both sides over something like wifi or a more public terminal.


I also have ham radio equipment and you can do internet (or at least IP based networks) via ham radio.  The least you need is a transceiver and a laptop with a sound card, the sound card may be optionally replaced with dedicated hardware to act as a modem.  I have software that works very well with my sound card.  I have even used APRS for text messaging on one of my handhelds that has APRS and a TNC built in.  My bigger ham radio is also battery enabled, with the tuner I have I could go out into a field and use a barbed wire fence as an antenna if I have to.  Transmit, move, transmit, move.  Making it hard for them to isolate me if it comes to that. 

I am also thinking it may not just be the gov that is trying to figure out where I am transmitting from.  My scenarios go from a localized disaster like Japan or Katrina all the way to Mad Max.  To that end I have actively sought options.


Offline Don Wills

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 02:47:35 PM »
When the government shuts down, the electric power grid won't be far behind, thus any sort of communication that depends on physical connections over a long distance (fiber or copper) probably won't last long.

Thus you'll need to understand and use radio to communicate.  Everyone should get their Amateur Radio license (I'm KF7FAE) and learn how to do things as Bret suggested for both local and not-so-local communications.  Prepping without paying attention to communications is like a day in the sunshine without sunblock - you'll get burned!

Offline Old Ironsights

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 06:23:07 PM »
When the government shuts down, the electric power grid won't be far behind, thus any sort of communication that depends on physical connections over a long distance (fiber or copper) probably won't last long.

Thus you'll need to understand and use radio to communicate.  Everyone should get their Amateur Radio license (I'm KF7FAE) and learn how to do things as Bret suggested for both local and not-so-local communications.  Prepping without paying attention to communications is like a day in the sunshine without sunblock - you'll get burned!

Um... Why get a "license" (and get on yet another "list")??  I've got some pretty nice equipment ordered direct from China.  5w 2m handhelds with scan, invert encrypt and 128 programmable channels in the 134 to 176 range for FRN 85+shipping.  :o

An impossible to beat deal... coupled with a codebook and channel shifting it's a win-win for Freedom...  >:D
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Offline Terence

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 08:34:29 PM »
Um... Why get a "license" (and get on yet another "list")??

The prep materials for both ham radio and a private pilots license are excellent formats
to convey knowledge of the subjects (Not that you didn't know this, OI). But, hey, after you've
got the knowledge the license is a personal call.

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Offline sbeckman

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 09:39:17 PM »
mine in bold
This might be worth some investigation:

http://anondora.org/free-press/81/get-internet-access-when-your-government-shuts-it-down

Note there is ample precedent for finding different vehicles for this traffic. For example, the protocol used in Fiberchannel is based either on the old SCSI standard, or (if I'm not mistaken) the old IP standard.

The Fiberchannel protocol for SCSI is one of most popular since it was used for Storage Area Networking.  There are others but they were much less common when I was working with this stuff at a start up a decode or so ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibre_Channel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Fibre_Channel_standards
http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4338




Fiber optics carries the same old communication methods we used ages ago.
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Offline Don Wills

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 09:44:00 PM »
I have both a private pilot's license and a ham radio license.  I got them to gain knowledge and experience in those two fields. I want to know the ins and outs of both for personal enjoyment and just in case...  But I also don't want to end up with a big fine, or on a do not fly list, so I've decided it's worth the risk to get those licenses because there are already plenty of just plain folks with those types of licenses, so I doubt any red flags would show up.  Besides the FAA police are pretty relentless with ramp checks and such, and the FCC police just love to use their fancy direction finding equipment to find lawbreakers so they can justify even fancier toys.

That said, I would never, ever get a license to carry concealed, because I don't trust the bastards.   ;D   To each his own.

(Simply making this post itself probably exposes me to more scrutiny by our overlords than does getting either of those licenses.)

And here's some advice - I would never, ever post on any forum (including this one) that I was possibly breaking some FCC rules or other laws.  The JBTs would love nothing more than to issue a warrant to sift through the logs of this forum to go fishing for lawbreakers conspiring to do all sorts of nasties.  Just my 2 cents.

Offline Bret

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2011, 10:46:50 PM »
Um... Why get a "license" (and get on yet another "list")??  I've got some pretty nice equipment ordered direct from China.  5w 2m handhelds with scan, invert encrypt and 128 programmable channels in the 134 to 176 range for FRN 85+shipping.  :o

Licensing is up to the individual.  The biggest reason to get licensed is so that others will talk to you, so that you can experiment and practice, particularly on HF when you want to go more than 50 miles in range.  The FCC is almost always reactionary, meaning someone has to complain before they investigate anything.  That is not a guarantee just a historical norm.

As for your radio, there are several chinese radios that are fairly well reviewed that are like you described, all sub $100 on ebay direct.  However speech inversion is not encryption at most it is obfuscation.  Do not rely on it for privacy, it is trivial to undo and there are many devices that undo it. 

If you read "radio preschool" at http://radiohax.wikispaces.com you will notice that 2m is going to use groundwave propagation.  With enough altitude it may use space wave, which means it goes direct antenna to antenna and gets slightly more range than surface wave propagation.  This still limits you fairly considerably.  To get hundreds or even thousands of miles you need to go lower and use skywave propagation.  Now you could bounce it off the moon but with 5w out you would need one massive antenna to get enough signal return to matter.

I have done Alaska, Hawaii, 9 Western US states (maybe 11 its hard to know about Montana and Wyoming it could just be no one is there at that time of night) all from northern California on 100w at 80m.  This is a good signal report, every night with a simple NVIS antenna made out of wire.  On more rare occasions I have gotten further range but the 3000 miles I got every single night I think is a good indicator.  Adding an amp and a different antenna will give me more range (hey I happen to have both!)

If you break radio comms down into 3 groups, tactical being the 5 watt handhelds, what you might have on you for inter-team communications during a patrol, a mid range for regional (think NVIS antennas) all the way up to global comms you can see there is a need for different frequencies, radios, methods of contact.  If you look at data protocols like JT44 you can do data at 10-15dB below the weakest intelligible morse/CW signal or about 30dB below the noise floor.  This is data, it is slow due to the ability to resist noise, but it works even if you bounce the signal off the moon blanketing half the planet with your signal.

Similarly a radio net could be done where you have a local city sized area which reports to a county sized area which reports to state, to nation, to world.  Messages are handed off at the best practical place so they only go all the way up if they have to.  This also allows messages to be transported on paper by hand if need be, by fiber if available, etc.  The net can operate regardless of the medium data is transferred.

Offline SunDog

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 10:28:56 AM »
I have done Alaska, Hawaii, 9 Western US states (maybe 11 its hard to know about Montana and Wyoming it could just be no one is there at that time of night) all from northern California on 100w at 80m. 

Sometimes you can do more with less - I just did 32 states and countries with 5 Watts (about half of those with 2.5 W due to my mistaken reading of a power icon) with a 16' vertical antenna, on the recent to-do (ARRL 10m contest). Longest contact was about 6600 miles.

I agree licensing is your choice - but without a license you probably won't get the experience you need to be an effective radio communicator.   

Offline Paul Bonneau

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 11:10:38 PM »
Another good article on mesh networks:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-shadow-web
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Offline Steve C.

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 07:57:47 AM »
When the government shuts down, the electric power grid won't be far behind, thus any sort of communication that depends on physical connections over a long distance (fiber or copper) probably won't last long.

Thus you'll need to understand and use radio to communicate.  Everyone hould get their Amateur Radio license (I'm KF7FAE) and learn how to do things as Bret suggested for both local and not-so-local communications.  Prepping without paying attention to communications is like a day in the sunshine without sunblock - you'll get burned!

If the government goes down & the power goes down I suspect most people's priority will be to. keep their possessions & family safe & secure. That's not to say learning new things isn't good.  :)
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Offline AgoristTeen1994

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2012, 12:40:05 PM »
Bret I have to disagree with your stated opinion that a large-scale mesh network will fail. Project Meshnet which in started on www.reddit.com/r/darknetplan and now has their own site, in addition to two subreddits on reddit, is dedicated to creating a "large-scale mesh network" As I understand it, they're trying to create local meshes at the community level and then connect each community's mesh into one distributed/decentralized network...much like the Diaspora* social network I love so much.
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Offline Don Wills

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 03:35:24 PM »
Bret - the ability to do long distance, night time point-to-point communications will be of minimal utility if the grid goes down.  24/7 security for your local area will become a necessity if the state/national guard is MIA.  Such security will require a very reliable communications network.  For small towns, the copper wire plant may be sufficient, but in a state like Wyoming, an RF network that can span tens to hundreds of miles will be essential.  That's the sweet spot for a UHF based mesh network.  The history of Rhodesia turning into Zimbabwe is instructive.  Here's one story - http://survivalblog.com/2012/02/could-americas-farmers-and-ranchers-face-a-rhodesian-future.html

Offline Paul Bonneau

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 06:12:46 PM »
I read that story too. More confirmation for Ferfal's contention that the place to be is a small town.
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Offline Steve C.

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Re: Get Internet Access When Government Shuts It Down
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 11:54:19 PM »
I read that story too. More confirmation for Ferfal's contention that the place to be is a small town.

Like Newcastle???  ;D
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