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Anonymizing Wi-Fi Device Project Unexpectedly Halted 138

An anonymous reader notes that a project to develop an anonymizing Wi-Fi device has been canceled under mysterious circumstances. The device, called Proxyham, was unveiled a couple weeks ago by Rhino Security Labs. They said it would use low-frequency radio channels to connect a computer to public Wi-Fi hotspots up to 2.5 miles away, thus obscuring a user's actual location. But a few days ago the company announced it would be halting development and canceling a talk about it at Def Con, which would have been followed with a release of schematics and source code. They apologized, but appear to be unable to say anything further.

"In fact, all [the speaker] can say is that the talk is canceled, the ProxyHam source code and documentation will never be made public, and the ProxyHam units developed for Las Vegas have been destroyed. The banner at the top of the Rhino Security website promoting ProxyHam has gone away too. It's almost as if someone were trying to pretend the tool never existed." The CSO article speculates that a government agency killed the project and issued a gag order about it. A post at Hackaday calls this idea absurd and discusses the hardware needed to build a Proxyham. They say using it would be "a violation of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and using encryption over radio violates FCC regulations. That’s illegal, it will get you a few federal charges — but so will blowing up a mailbox with some firecrackers." They add, "What you’re seeing is just the annual network security circus and it’s nothing but a show."
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Anonymizing Wi-Fi Device Project Unexpectedly Halted

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  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @05:41PM (#50112141)

    It is a violation of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and using encryption over radio violates FCC regulations.

    I think they mean that encryption on licensed Ham bands is illegal, since encryption over radio is perfectly legal (otherwise both Bluetooth and Wifi would be illegal).

    • I haven't looked in to it, but the statement "They said it would use low-frequency radio channels to connect a computer to public Wi-Fi hotspots up to 2.5 miles away, thus obscuring a user's actual location." makes me believe it would be using the portion of the amateur radio spectrum that borders the wifi range (as is used by HSMM) and thus encryption is not allowed.

      • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @06:05PM (#50112329)

        Which is presumably why they called it "Proxyham".

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Actually, the 900MHz cards use an ISM band, just like a/b/g/n do.

      • by Forever Wondering ( 2506940 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @06:39PM (#50112575)

        If it were operating on a ham band, the user would need a ham license with the right classification (e.g. the higher the classification [the more difficult the test], the more frequencies you're allowed to use). Ham radio operators would object to their relatively small bands being encroached on.

        More likely, the frequency was some "open" frequency, not assigned to anything or specified as needing no license [like WiFi or baby monitors, wireless [non-cell] phones, etc.]. [Overly] large swatches of radio spectrum are designated for military purposes.

        It can't be encryption alone. Since WiFi hookups use encryption (e.g. ssh/ssl/tls), that isn't the likely objection. Perhaps, this was a knee jerk reaction at some gov't org (e.g. maybe James Comey made the phone call personally :-) that threatened dire consequences that have no [ultimate] legal basis. However, a protracted legal battle would be in the offing. Not something a mere mortal might be willing to opt for.

        • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @07:22PM (#50112885) Homepage

          It can't be encryption alone

          Of course it wasn't.

          Do you really think a bunch of guys in dark suits didn't show up and basically threaten them with jail time?

          As paranoid as is sounds, these days I think it is entirely plausible that a national security letter or somesuch was used to say "if you tell anybody about this, we will put you in a deep dark hole ... whether it's for the rest of your life or marking the end of it is your choice".

          This technology will never see the light of day, unless it's used by some three letter agency full of fascists.

          Welcome to modern reality. Where all that crazy shit from the 80s is now true.

          • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @07:36PM (#50112987)

            Do you really think a bunch of guys in dark suits didn't show up and basically threaten them with jail time?

            Yes.

            As paranoid as is sounds, these days I think it is entirely plausible that a national security letter or somesuch was used to say "if you tell anybody about this, we will put you in a deep dark hole ...

            It is using a commercially available product for the purpose it was designed. If it was that illegal to do, the FCC would have confiscated all of Ubiquity's product and levied a fine for violation of the FCC regulations.

            This technology will never see the light of day,

            You can buy them from more than 200 distributors worldwide [ubnt.com]. The genie is out of the bottle, the horse has left the barn. It's not the full system, but anyone with any technical proficiency in networking can put it together in their sleep almost.

            I have a system with a pair of COTS 5GHz bridge wireless boxes that does exactly the same thing this system is supposed to do. I fear no dark suits telling me to stop.

          • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

            As paranoid as is sounds, these days I think it is entirely plausible that a national security letter or somesuch was used to say "if you tell anybody about this, we will put you in a deep dark hole ... whether it's for the rest of your life or marking the end of it is your choice".

            NSLs are not magic. They are not for making arbitrary legal requests. Even the EFF will tell you that--as well as telling you that NSLs cannot possibly have anything to do with ProxyHam.

          • Of course I thought the dark suits showed up. I said as much here: http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org]

        • maybe they were just bullshitting anyways.

          like, come on, if it dependent on a device that sat near the wifi AP, it was hardly anything magical-special-super-anonymizer device in the first place. all it then was, would have been an unlicensed sort-of-long distance radio data link - which would have a whole other market mind you.

          if they were implying that you could connect to the wifi ap from 2.5 klicks without anything special device near the wifi ap, then they were bullshitting.

          so probably they were bullshi

          • You can easily get that kind of range from 802.11 with the proper antennas, but doing it while moving would be...difficult...

      • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @07:16PM (#50112841)

        I haven't looked in to it, but the statement "They said it would use low-frequency radio channels to connect a computer to public Wi-Fi hotspots up to 2.5 miles away, thus obscuring a user's actual location." makes me believe it would be using the portion of the amateur radio spectrum that borders the wifi range (as is used by HSMM) and thus encryption is not allowed.

        You're right, you haven't looked into it.

        If you click on the link in TFA, you'll wind up looking at a Ubiquity M900 bridge product, which while it uses the 900 MHz band, is NOT an amateur radio device. Amateur radio has nothing to do with the discussion, therefore. And the amateur radio prohibition on encryption to hide content is irrelevant.*

        Nine hundred megahertz is also not "low-frequency". It is in the ULTRA HIGH frequency (UHF) portion of the spectrum. It is lower than the normal 2.4GHz of WiFi, but low it is not.

        It seems pretty clear that this entire fiasco is intended to draw attention to the author or his company. There is nothing illegal about using a license-free wireless bridging device to extend a network connection. There is nothing illegal about connecting to a public WiFi access point using a device within the normal coverage area of that AP, and that's where the connection is being made, no matter how far away the user happens to be. Imagine someone putting a laptop with a wired connection in range of the public WiFi point and accessing that laptop from Lithuania, e.g., to use the WiFi. Would anyone think that was illegal? Or try this one: I have a computer at home with a wireless connection to the public WiFi in the library next door. I put a modem on the system and dial in from a remote location. Am I breaking the law if I do anything remotely over the wireless connection? Of course not.

        There's nothing to see here, it's a waste of time. "ProxyHam" is using COTS gear to do what it was designed to do.

        * the "prohibition on encryption" is not as absolute as some try to claim. The prohibition is on hiding content because the amateur rules have restrictions on what content is legal, and the amateur radio service is mostly self-policing. Other hams have to be able to see your content to know if you're breaking the rules and should be reported. As everett mentions, there is something that used to be called "HSMM" (high speed multimedia), now referred to as "meshnet" or something like that. Users of that system, because it coincides with the license-free 2.4GHz WiFi band, regularly use WEP or WPA as an access control method. Because it is for "access control" and not "hiding the content", the FCC has not acted to shut such systems down.

        The escape clause, so to speak, for that system is that it uses one of a few standard "passwords" that are published on various websites so, in theory, the wireless traffic can be monitored by others but the general public will be kept out.

        • How does using 900Mhz enter into it? Would a yagi not have the range to work going direct to a 802.11 a,b,g,n access point? Or would it just have to exceed the power limits to get across 2.5 miles on those frequencies?
      • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @09:06PM (#50113487)

        Encryption IS allowed on the Ham bands, within certain narrow constraints.
        You can use encryption to protect traffic used to control a system. You can use digital codes that leave the meaning of the message intact.
        Encryption with intent to obscure the meaning of the message is not allowed on the Ham bands. However, that does not mean the technology is not allowed to be built and communicated.

        For the purpose of demonstrating the technology, the demonstrators can get around the encryption rule by publishing the actual message and making the content a matter of public record, Then the purpose of performing the encryption is To make a personal demonstration of the technology to enthusiasts, and it cannot possibly be intended to obscure the meaning of the message, since the actual message content is being published openly and widely for all to see, and you can be clear on the decrypted message not being used for a pecuniary purpose ------ this is assuming that the presenter does not receive payment in exchange for demonstrating their work.

        The technology could be developed and experimented with for demonstration purposes, AND then if you want to use it, you could go purchase a license for some frequency ranges to use with the technology.

      • This [erratasec.com] builds a good case that (a) no NSL or gag order was given, (b) the hardware used is commodity, and therefore the actual build is a matter of tinkering, not invention, and (c) the build is legal* with regard to radio frequency encryption and the computer fraud and abuse act

        *Read the article for more nuance.

        • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

          The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act assertion is absurd. I can not see in any way that this could result in a violation of that. (It could be used as a tool as part of OTHER activities that are violations, but its use in and of itself would not be a violation.)

          However, the "ham" part of the name indicated that it was probably using an amateur radio (ham) service. This service requires operators to be licensed, and has its own rules very different from that of the ISM bands.

          In many cases, ham bands and ISM b

          • However, the "ham" part of the name indicated that it was probably using an amateur radio (ham) service.

            Yeah, I get that the name implies it operates at ham frequencies. However, the articles all say 900 Mhz.

            • Yeah, I get that the name implies it operates at ham frequencies. However, the articles all say 900 Mhz.

              From here [arrl.org], you will see that the 33cm amateur band runs from 902 to 928MHz, with all modes (except "pulse") authorized for all classes of amateur licensee except novice.

              If you want to see what is allocated where, then this chart [google.com] might be handy. Or this table [google.com] may be more readable.

              If the confusion is that you think a reference to "900 MHz" in marketing documents means 900.000 MHz only, then you should know that, in general, a reference like this means "an allocation somewhere around 900 MHz" and not the ex

              • Sure, but around 900Mhz is, inaddition to amatuer and ISM also "private land mobile" certified, which means that the manufacturer could be licensed to produce devices that transmit in that range for a variety of things. The proxyham seems to use this radio module [newegg.com]

                But I admit I know very little about radio waves in general, in licensing, or in practice. I did know not the expect 6 sig-figs on the range though. But yeah, I assumed 900MHz at least id'd which licensed block of freqs it fell within... like 2.

                • Sure, but around 900Mhz is, inaddition to amatuer and ISM also "private land mobile" certified, which means that the manufacturer could be licensed to produce devices that transmit in that range for a variety of things. The proxyham seems to use this radio module

                  No, from the pictures and text in the Hackaday article, it is using this [newegg.com] product, which is an unlicensed bridge. (As is the one you link to.) Manufacturers of products that use licensed allocations do not obtain the licenses, it is the end user who does, or one party to the communications (as is done by cellphone providers to cover the licenses for Part 22 cellphone use.)

                  Manufacturers must have FCC certifications that authorize manufacture and sale of products that meet the technical standards for the in

    • I tuned in to say the same thing. Police departments all over the US use encrypted radios every day. I bought a used Motorola Sabre II on Ebay for use on the Ham bands & it still had the encryption chip installed. I removed it because even if you're not using it it's a heck of a drain on the battery.

      • by nyet ( 19118 )

        The more onerous and stupid the law, the more likely law enforcement gets exemptions from them.

        • by TWX ( 665546 )
          Business band can also encrypt. "Public" bands being used by licenses specifically for public use are not allowed to encrypt specifically because they're public. If you want to be private, you can apply for a license and communicate privately all that you want.

          The entire point of ham radio (and CB for that matter) is to facilitate learning and open communication. If it's encrypted then it's not facilitating open communication.
      • I tuned in to say the same thing. Police departments all over the US use encrypted radios every day. I bought a used Motorola Sabre II on Ebay for use on the Ham bands & it still had the encryption chip installed. I removed it because even if you're not using it it's a heck of a drain on the battery.

        Police departments use LICENSED services which are allowed to encrypt per the terms of their licenses. Hams are allowed encryption too, but under the terms of the band plan and licenses and NEVER to obscure the meaning of the transmission.

        I'm told that for Ham Radio users of the WiFi spectrum (I believe in the USA you can use the lower channels of the WiFi in 802.1G mode with a tech class license), encryption is allowed as long as the encryption key is maintained in your logs, or is publicly available fo

    • by Forever Wondering ( 2506940 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @06:07PM (#50112363)

      As a former ham: RTTY used to be [5 bit] Baudot. Using ASCII was considered encryption [and illegal]. Eventually, things changed and ASCII was allowed.

    • I am not saying that the project has no merit

      What I am saying is that the project was doomed from the very beginning

      The developers of the project may have good intentions unfortunately their approach was totally misguided

      If I were the one who wants to do something like that I would just do it, first , making sure that the thing works as advertised, and only then, I show the thing to the world - with source code, and everything

  • Sure you can.

    Wonder if they bothered to get a Grand Jury to rubberstamp it....

  • Gag orders (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @05:46PM (#50112183)

    Gag orders and national security letters have no place in the Land of the Free.

    This should be too obvious to even be worth saying.

    • Re:Gag orders (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Noryungi ( 70322 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @05:58PM (#50112283) Homepage Journal

      Gag orders and national security letters have no place in the Land of the Free.

      This should be too obvious to even be worth saying.

      Except, of course, you are no longer in the "Land of the Free". Took you a while to realize it, I am afraid.

      As someone wiser than me said: "Freedom of the press is fine, as long as *you* have a printing press".

      The correct thing to do, then, would be to leak schematics and software on the Internet, and let the chips fall were they may. PGP got "opened" exactly in the same way, I expect this project to do the same.

      • The correct thing to do, then, would be to leak schematics and software on the Internet, and let the chips fall were they may. PGP got "opened" exactly in the same way, I expect this project to do the same.

        That was the correct thing to do. Now, "leaking" could get the developer(s) in much more [legal] trouble [they probably had to sign something prohibiting disclosure in any form]. More likely, and better now, would be for a developer not connected with the original group to recreate the design from scratch (ala Brian Benchoff)

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The correct thing to do, then, would be to leak schematics and software on the Internet, and let the chips fall were they may. PGP got "opened" exactly in the same way, I expect this project to do the same.

          That was the correct thing to do. Now, "leaking" could get the developer(s) in much more [legal] trouble [they probably had to sign something prohibiting disclosure in any form]. More likely, and better now, would be for a developer not connected with the original group to recreate the design from scratch (ala Brian Benchoff)

          The joke's on them. I've been building these things and giving them away for years. There are multiple-hundreds of them out there right now. Wouldn't be surprised if their 'project' was a direct ripoff. I built the 1st one years ago to connect to my home router from work 5 miles away to bypass workplace internet filters.

    • People like you make our government officials want to gag.

    • Gag orders and national security letters have no place in the Land of the Free.

      This should be too obvious to even be worth saying.

      This is NOT a gag order... My reading of this is that the device is not legal for sale in the USA by FCC rules. I could go into the reasons why the FCC won't allow this device to be manufactured and sold, but suffice it to say, the technical requirements of the device and the FCC's rules for such things are incompatible at this time. I doubt this situation will change in the future.

      Building a device like this would be allowed, but you couldn't sell it, nor could you operate it apart from the Part 15 rule

      • > This is NOT a gag order...

        What makes you think there is not a strong gag order involved? I've not seen confirmation of that, but it's certainly typical of a small company or isolated developer faced with a gag order.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          because fundamentally it is just a 2.5km radio data link and not a magical anonymizer.

          (it doesn't connect directly to the wifi ap either, due to the wifi ap being able to not receive low freqs)

          it just sounds like a concept they rolled up while high, marketing got involved and it all went downhill from there and they cancelled it to save face.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...and they didn't want to go to jail for a useless gimmick? That, or a squad of Ham operators had a horse head delivered to the developers; you know, to hint at consequences for abusing their bands.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      Yup. The FCC will confiscate equipment and will fine those that abuse, and will probably come down even harder on entities that intentionally do it for commercial purposes.
      • Yup. The FCC will confiscate equipment and will fine those that abuse, and will probably come down even harder on entities that intentionally do it for commercial purposes.

        Where I don't disagree, I have to point out that in the case of one misbehaving ham who's case recently came to a formal end with the FCC, this can take a LONG time. For this guy it took nearly 10 years to get just a portion of the $75K fine entered as a judgment and get his ham radio license yanked. It wasn't because it was hard to catch him breaking the rules as he basically ran an illegal shortwave broadcast operation on the ham bands for most of the day and night... I'm just saying that the FCC isn't

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          Wouldn't that be legal so long as they followed the identification rules and did so every 30 minutes or so? (I think it is 30 minutes, licensing was so very long ago.)

          • No, it's not legal to just broadcast, identification or no... But in this case, the content was obviously NOT ham radio related, but more about a personal business venture or two. Well, at least that's what the FCC finally dinged him for (among other things).

            In this case, the fella was automatically transmitting pre-recorded content at all hours and then couldn't (or wouldn't) prove that he actually had a real life control operator in the loop. Automatic station control is not allowed on the frequencies h

            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              Now I understand. Thanks. I thought there was a human there and that they were just talking and whatnot.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm guessing the ~450Mhz PMR / FRS bands due to the availability of cheap commodity hardware (with the same nominal range) that will cover the various international allocations, and the fact that these radios are generally pretty easy to interface in (i.e. setup parrot repeaters etc) Failing that the VHF ham bands as others had said.

    Either way it was never going to be a goer, even if they chose to disregard the permitted spectrum use, there was never going to be the bandwidth to float this kind of thing, e

  • Almost certainly this is due to it using Ham frequencies and some other crap, and nothing to do with OH NOES TEH NSA.

    It's trivially easy to build a signal boosting reflector out of some aluminum foil and construction paper, or use one of the 8139417234 different cantenna plans on dem innernetz.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. 2.5 miles can happen by accident with 2.4GHz WIFI. You don't need "low-frequencies" to do that.

      Maybe they're thinking VHF frequencies that can propagate well without LOS....?

      Whatever. You use enough bandwidth in "low-frequency" ham bands to move even a fraction of the data typical of WIFI and the hams around you will make you their personal mission in life. And after they've had the FCC crush you with heart stopping Federal fines they'll laugh at you over coffee.

      I suspect someone that was a litt

      • Re:uhhhhh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @08:01PM (#50113129)

        True this....

        I'm one of those hams who would hunt you down for sport. Actually it IS a sport for some hams and we have competitions to see who of us can find hidden transmitters the fastest. We call it "Fox Hunting" and believe me, there are some folks who take this kind of thing very seriously and can find you, on or off the ham bands in pretty short order.

        So, go ahead.... Interfere with the ham bands or some other radio service who knows to ask us for help, let us have some real fun. We'd be happy to find you and report you to the FCC...

    • If it was the radio band they would just say so, and switch to a different one. At such short range there is no reason to use a lower bandwidth frequency that will get you in trouble when there are higher open frequencies to use.
  • So it was probably the gubbmint. Thanks, Obama.
  • As a longtime ARRL license holder I was following this project closely and I have to say...what whoever did and whatever they did to do it pretty much accomplished the equivalent of the Streisand Effect on steroids traveling at the speed of light (radio). 'Disappearing' this project virtually guarantees that almost a quarter-million DIY techies that build things like this from what they find in their garage plus a pound of solder just because they are bored and want to 'chew the carpet' about it on the nex

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Also a HAM here -- but I'm licensed by the FCC, not the ARRL. Around here it's called ragchewing and carpet munching is an...ummm..different thing.

    • I've had a FCC issued license for 30 years and I've used it for a "rag chew" on the local repeater from time to time, but I haven't a clue what "chew the carpet" means or what license the ARRL issues that gets you on a local repeater... Has the XYL been slapping you around too hard lately and you've lost your mind or is this some intentional QRM nonsense?

      73's

      • "chew the carpet?"

        ???

        does it, at least, match the drapes?

        (sorry, had to go there.)

        maybe the OM is doing the snoo snoo with his XYL?

    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      I wouldn't be so sure about that. The most likely reasoning for this device getting nixed was that it was likely relying on Part 97 rules for access to additional frequencies/power levels, and it was hams themselves who went after it. As in "don't put this crap in our band". (Since encryption for the purposes of obfuscation is a no-no for Part 97 operation.)

  • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @06:37PM (#50112559)

    Accessing an open WiFi connection using a repeater would not violate the CFAA -- the connection is open and your device would log on to it. You'd be using it the way it was intended. Of course, The DOJ claims that simply violating terms of service can make you a federal felon, but that's wrong. Read Prof. Orin Kerr's work for more on this

    On the other hand, the FCC allows anyone to use the 900MHz band but tightly regulates what can be done there (for example, no "retransmission of .. signals emanating from ... radio station other than an amateur radio station", which likely does make this idea illegal. See 47 CFR Part 97 [ecfr.gov].

    • On the other hand, the FCC allows anyone to use the 900MHz band but tightly regulates what can be done there (for example, no "retransmission of .. signals emanating from ... radio station other than an amateur radio station",

      If anyone can use the frequency, it is really hard to impose a regulation that applies ONLY to the amateur radio service upon those users. You might have to explain how Ubiquity is managing to sell the 900 MHz device that the article points to if the only data it can "retransmit" is from amateur radio stations.

      This system isn't designed with amateur radio equipment, so Part 97 of the rules are irrelevant.

      • With a name like "proxyHAM", there's a reasonable suspicion that it was indeed operating on an amateur band.
        • With a name like "proxyHAM", there's a reasonable suspicion that it was indeed operating on an amateur band.

          Operating "on an amateur band" is not the same as "operating under the rules of the amateur radio service." The 2.4GHz WiFi allocation in the US is "an amateur band", but when you buy your home router you are not "operating under the rules of the amateur radio service". Similarly, there are overlapping amateur/non-amateur allocations at 900 MHz. And there are a lot of 434 MHz things (lower end of the amateur 70cm band) that aren't operating under the rules of the amateur radio service.

          I didn't need a ham

    • It really doesn't matter what you think the law is. If they can get a judge to go along, a jury to convict you and an appeals court to uphold it you WILL got to jail. The CFAA has allowed far lesser things to put people in jail. The CFAA is so incredibly generic that they can put you in jail for almost anything involving a computer, and it's so technical in nature that you're guaranteed a jury won't understand it which means the government has a major advantage. This is doubly true for the courts, both the

  • Orwell's "memory hole" at work?

  • by Hougaard ( 163563 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @06:57PM (#50112687) Homepage Journal

    So we'll pretend there is a coverup of some sort to "get of jail for free" :)

  • by fred911 ( 83970 ) on Tuesday July 14, 2015 @07:49PM (#50113053)

    It's pretty trivial to make a Yagi from a Pringles can to point at an open AP. Change your MAC id and connect to a TOR node.

      Mission accomplished

  • This would be fairly easy to produce. VHF radios are available cheap (Wouxen, Baofeng). Getting WIFI throughput would be all but impossible due to the necessity of using a much narrower than the 20 MHz channel WIFI uses at 2.4GHz.

    Hams have been transmitting digital packets via radio over much father distances for over two decades. True it was only 1200 baud but I could see much higher speeds with much more modern DSP capabilities.

    More than likely they cancelled this due to potential liability issues.

  • Well they sparked the idea of such a device and gave an overall description on how it works, so I wonder how long it will take for somebody else to make a similar device :) I think government gag orders (or any other suppression methods [and I think this is government work] ) are useless in the long run.
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      It really depends how some parts of the US government react. At this time most interesting people have their phone on them or are sitting at some desktop.
      A person in a chair can be found and logged around the world by staff in another chair timezones away. Onion routing, a VPN or tame crypto failed or malware or...
      One tasked group gets the win, glory and the long term connections globally back to that device connected to a user.
      If this idea of a legal, low power device gets to be used then other trad
  • What's so mysterious about it. They got a national security letter, can't talk about it and they will be hacked this or next week, the plans will be published by wikileaks or Anonymous and you will be able to order a completed product on Aliexpress for $29.95 in 3....2.....1...

  • Might they have been secretly compelled to provide the customer list to the FBI? At this point no doubt the spooks would consider anyone who wanted one as "suspicious". Remember when this was supposed to be a free country? The "home of the brave"? Those were the days, eh?
  • Thanks Minitrue, you always come through! Still waiting on the 10th edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. That would be doublegood!

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