Dear A.P. – Encrypt your telephones.

Well, not what I’d intended. I’d intended to get back to “International Affairs” as they relate to word stability and economic outlook, and back to some stock trading (now that I have a secure method of using my stock trading account again… yes, I’d largely backed off of on-line trading until I had a solution to the Java vulnerability). But things didn’t work out that way.

Seems that Dear Leader and / or Dear Leader’s Minions decided that “contact tracing” the entire Associated Press was ‘a good thing’ for “security” (and, one presumes “for the children“…) Why? Because someone in Government was suspected of leaking. So the right to privacy (the foundation, BTW, of Roe v. Wade) gets thrown under the buss if an Agency suspects their own government of talking to the press? Well excuse me, but that’s the PURPOSE of a Free Press. To be an outlet for Regular Folks to undermine the foundations of tyranny. If the leak is valid, it is a positive feature for the strength and health of a democracy. If the leak is invalid, then both the leaker and the press agent end up looking the fool and the press agent is likely to “leak” themselves about just who lied… Untidy? Unpleasant? Certainly. Reality is like that.

So our government has decided that Freedom Of The Press is only at the pleasure of unnamed government agents and agencies.

At least, at last, the Press Corp has shown a tiny bit of spine and is actually asking some non-lap-dog questions. Perhaps they will eventually generalize to the I.R.S. being used as a political tool of oppression of dissent and the use of the Military as a political chess piece (with the death of Diplomatic Corp folks as a consequence) to create a political narrative. Heck, they might even start to ask about Gun Walking to Mexico and the recent “push” in some overly liberal media of stories pro-gun-restriction saying that most of the guns used in criminal acts in Mexico come from the U.S.A. – leaving out the furnishing and pushing of those guns in a government run Gun Walking operation… The stink is so strong from all of those, collectively, to wake up even the most numb brown nose in the White House Press Corp. The question now being “for how long?” will they stay awakened.

Perhaps even Congress will realize that if THEY want to talk to the Press, they too will end up in a report on the desk of the Administration… (Anyone who thinks that the ‘contact tracing’ was neatly focused only on a D.O.D. related leak doesn’t know how this works. You map ALL contacts. Then search that space for who is likely to be the path of most interest. By necessity, ALL contacts are identified and assessed as to likely purpose and effect.) So Dear Congress: You make the laws. How about restoring some of the Right To Privacy for We The People, and remember that you are part of We The People; especially when a “contact trace” is being run on the Press.

Technical Solutions

So now I find myself forced to look into technical solutions to telephony interception and contact tracing. Not what I wanted to do today at all. I run in “phases”. Interest then rotates back to other things. I’ve done several technical posts in a row now, and I’m getting a bit jaded on the whole Tech Thing and my “novelty seeking” need is starting to push at me… yet I’m being herded by circumstances into more Tech. So please, bear with me for a bit longer. I promise to get back to “other things” soon.

First off, you need an encrypted phone. There are many ways to do that. Skype does encryption (though now that it’s owned by Microsoft, I’d be a bit worried about government asking for ‘back doors’ to be inserted…) so one quick thing to do is swap to some Skype based communications until you get a better solution in place. Realize that sending a ‘tweet’ or an open email saying ‘call me on Skype’ is itself a ‘contact trace’, so the “set up” of the contact must be done by other more discrete methods (to be worked out in another posting, but ‘burner’ email, encrypted, is a good first option). For now, just presume that you slipped someone a card with a Skype address on it and / or another anonymous contact point.

Eventually, there’s a need to get a more “appliance” like solution. I’ll be doing an article on “public key encrypted email” at some future point. This does not hide the ‘contact trace’ but does let you send a private message. So setting up a disposable email account, using the contacts public key to send an encrypted text with YOUR contact info and public key, and then “burning” that email account; that lets you communicate the ‘request for contact’ in a darned hard to find / track method. (Provided the recipient is at all careful to not save that message in clear text…) Once you have a private “contact me here” message, then what?

You could use something like Skype on a computer “not your own” (where the Dongle Pi comes into play again… so I need to look for Skype like software on the Pi…) and preferably from a public WiFi access point. If not doing that, is there a regular telephone like solution?

Well, to start with, use an encrypted phone. Even if the “contact trace” says the two of you talked, it says nothing about what was discussed. Encrypting the communications makes a ‘tap’ fairly useless. Now the Agency has to break into the equipment and crack the system to get to the clear form communications. I’m presently searching for encrypted phone solutions on Linux (and will be looking for a Raspberry Pi encrypted phone solution – it does have and audio jack) but until that’s done; or for folks more interested in commercial products, there are such systems commercially available. This one caught my eye as it is “open source” (which means that Agencies can’t lean on the vendor to insert a hidden back door into the code).

Encrypted Telephone

Welcome to the End of the Telecommunications Interception Age.

Trustworthy Voice Encryption

The Encrypted Telephone VoIP comes with full source code available for independent review. Finally, you can perform an independent assessment to ensure that you can rely on strong encryption without any backdoors in the communications device that you entrust your security to.

The Encrypted Telephone VoIP enables you to put the trust where it belongs – in a trustworthy, open and scientific verification process.

GSMK CryptoPhone technology is based on well-researched algorithms for both encryption and voice processing. It features the strongest encryption available combined with key lengths that provide peace of mind today and in the future.

Telephone IP Network Interface

Gigabit Ethernet IEEE 802.3 10/100/1000 BaseT with RJ45 plug
Compatible with Inmarsat BGAN satellite terminals
Optional IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN support

Voice Encryption

Secure voice over IP communication on any IP network
strongest and most secure algorithms
available today – AES256 and Twofish
4096 bit Diffie-Hellman key exchange with SHA256 hash function
readout-hash based key authentication
256 bit effective key length
encryption key is destroyed as soon as the call ends

Device Protection

Encrypted storage system for contacts protects confidential data against unauthorized access hardened Linux operating system with security optimized components and communication stacks protects device against outside attacks GSMK CryptoPhones are the only secure phones on the market with full source code available for independent security assessments.
They contain no proprietary or secret encryption, no backdoors, no key-escrow, no centralized or operator-owned key generation, and require no key registration.


Fully compatible with all GSMK CryptoPhone IP mobile, satellite and fixed-line encryption products
IP PBX integration with virtual extensions

There’s even folks in Germany offering such products, so you don’t need to worry about “U.S. Export Restrictions” on cryptography:

GSMK introduces new groundbreaking secure mobile phone

Launch of trailblazing Android-based secure mobile phone at the world’s largest information technology trade show

I’ve not “vetted” the product, especially for ‘contact tracing’ security, but they look like they’ve done their homework:

• All GSMK Cryptophone products are interoperable with each other

• Secure mobile telephone calls can be established on any number of mobile networks (including roaming and cross border connections)

• The use of the Thuraya satellite network allows secure calls from areas without GSM coverage or when the user does not want to be visible on the local GSM network

Not sure what that Thurays satellite network might be, but being able to keep off the GSM network means that your information is kept out of the general Telco / provider network. GSM Global System for Mobile phones signalling method is commonly used on phones outside the USA, but also from some USA based carriers. I’ve had GSM phones in California and they work well. Other CDMA methods are more common in the USA; while TDMA is the old “gargling underwater” signalling method on early AT&T services that is now deprecated / obsolete. But it looks like a system worth exploring.

It looks like the Australians can pick up a solution as well:

SMK Cryptophone 400

The GSMK CryptoPhone 400 is a secure IP mobile phone for secure voice over IP communication on any network – GSM, 3G or WLAN.

The CryptoPhone 400 gives you the flexibility to conduct secure voice over IP calls using either GSM, 3G/UMTS, or wireless local area networks.
This unmatched flexibility combined with:

secure messaging
a hardened operating system
encrypted storage for your confidential contacts
messages and notes provides you with 360-degree protection in a sleek
elegant package including a brillant 3.2-inch TFTLCD high-resolution touch screen

Quad-band GSM
Dual-band UMTSHSDPA / WCDMA with HSUPA support
IEEE 802.11 b/g Wireless LAN
Voice & SMS encryption
Secure storage
Hardened WM 6.5 operating system
Standby: Up to 360 hours
Secure talk time: Up to 5 hours

Note: Available to Australian & New Zealand Purchasers only.

That ability to work over a WiFi link is a nice touch. Lets you drop into Starbucks for that call that’s not going to show on the corporate LAN…

I’ll leave the rest of the search for a Commercial Solution to folks who have a real need. I’m going to be putting some “mindshare” on finding an open source roll-your-own solution for those of us who do not have $Million I.T. budgets and corporate staff to provide the solution. I figure A.P. has a Director of I.T. (or perhaps even Chief Information Officer) who can work out a solution for them. (If not, I’m available… “chiefio” came from that job role in my past…)

So no, not a “how to roll your own” in this posting. This is just the “line in the sand” marker. The notice that: If you do not presently have a ‘contact trace’ proof and ‘tap proof’ telephony solution, the time to start selecting one is now.

Since GSMK is open source, it ought to be portable to most any Linux device. It also looks like some folks are already using the Raspberry Pi in telephony applications:

Raspberry Pi Runs a Mobile Phone Network In Cambridge

The £25 Raspberry Pi becomes a GSM base station
On December 21, 2012 by Max Smolaks

Engineers from PA Consulting Group have managed to create a GSM base station based on the tiny Linux-powered computer Raspberry Pi and some open source software, running their own mobile phone network in a sealed room.

Operating a mobile network usually requires an expensive GSM base station and other infrastructure, but Cambridge-based PA conducted this experiment to highlight the hidden value of cheap, off-the-shelf solutions, keeping the system tucked indoors to avoid encroaching on licensed spectrum belonging to mobile operators.
Now, it turns out the tiny computer can also successfully route voice and SMS traffic through a GSM network. PA hooked up the Raspberry Pi to a radio interface and,

using two pieces of open source software (OpenBTS and FreeSWITCH), made it perform the same functions as a 30-foot cellphone tower.

The wireless experts had to tweak the software by hand, as well as code-optimise the signal processing. Once this was done, the new network was capable of connecting mobile phones at PA labs. The consultancy tested the device in a special facility, to ensure no laws on frequency spectrum were broken.

“This proves what can be achieved through low-cost off the shelf-systems. Just imagine the other possibilities that other such low cost technologies could inspire across other sectors and industries,” commented Frazer Bennett, a technology expert at PA.

You can see a short video explaining how the consultancy created its private network below:

So this also means that a private company, say A.P., can set up their own GSM access point inside their building. Now all calls to / from that point, go through their Linux and they can choose what data gets out about who is talking to whom. It would take a bit of work, but essentially one could add the equivalent of NAT Network Address Translation to that phone switch such that the actual originating phone ID is hidden. Furthermore, the call can be routed out to the internet and on to a ‘relay’ to mask point of origin, and then back to The Congressman on his / her Skype account. Now the “contact trace” just shows a call originating from Vidalia Washington (or wherever the relay is planted) and nothing about the individual or their actual location. The “contact trace” is broken.

No, don’t know if anyone has such services set up yet. Yes, they WILL come into existence… In theory, anyone could make such an Onion Router like service for internet based telephone calls.

So that’s where I’m “Digging Here!”. Looking for what it takes to capture and secure both the content (via encryption) and the contact trace (via re-routing / IP masking).

Anyone else with ideas / information, this is a giant “Dig Here!!”.

I think a whole lot of reporters are about to get an education in encrypted email, telephony, and contact tracing… If you work for A.P. (or any other news agency) I suggest a phone call to your I.T. department asking about the availability of encrypted phones and contact trace proof telephony solutions. It’s going to be a busy day in the news room, and you don’t need Big Brother with a bug in your ear…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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63 Responses to Dear A.P. – Encrypt your telephones.

  1. Amen brotha!!! I’d just go buy a throw-away phone but I like the way you think d–0.o–b Peace!!!

  2. philjourdan says:

    Couple of points to make. Encryption only works if both sides have it. News organizations are generally calling people on the fly, so no guarantees the other side will have it.

    Second, it does introduce latency into the streams. Now on a solid line with less than maximum traffic, that will not be a lot, so it may be hardly noticeable. But then again, it may be noticeable and make talking awkward. Calling your neighbor, or even across town is usually not a big deal. Calling the other side of the country or the world (I once talked to a friend in India – there was a slight delay and it was noticeable) is problematic.

    The best solution is to put the criminals in jail. But I am not sure they have enough room for this entire administration.

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting thing to dig up… Someone has been experimenting with using GSM phones to make ISDN connections bypassing the Telco.internet connection.

    GSM mobile phones can in principle make ISDN connections and can thus subserve internet connections via conventional Information Service Providers (ISP) or send and receive faxes.

    So having an ISDN “modem” at some random locations, plus some phone hacks, ought to let you make an ISDN connection to that remote location, then originate your “traffic” from there. Not exactly a high speed link ( often near 9600 baud for FAX use); but would allow your phone to NOT show that traffic on the Telco logs, but instead to show it originating in some far off ISDN site. Perhaps even other countries.

    Not sure how to use it for “best effect”, but it is and interesting hack…

    The link lists known working hardware…

    Brochure on the German phone:

    Click to access CP_IP-19-Brochure_web.pdf

    A bit out of date (2008) but lists some of the state of the art then on encryption in Voice over IP:

    A corporate type solution that captures cell phone traffic and lets you route it over IP or GSM as desired, with originating phone number mapped to the PBX (phone switch) setting rather than your cell phone:

    Looks like the iPhone (and some others) have increasingly got built in VoIP features.

    Looks like “There’s an App for that!”:

    Acrobits Softphone is a VoIP client which uses Session Initiation Protocol, developed by Acrobits, a software development company based in Prague, Czech Republic. Acrobits Softphone is the leading SIP Client on the App Store, featuring push notifications and the G.729 Annex A audio codec, backgrounding, Google Voice integration and encrytped calls through ZRTP
    Acrobits Softphone for Android was released in Feb 2011, followed by Android Groundwire in Apr 2012. Android apps are now on par with their iOS counterparts, with the exception of video calls which are not yet supported on Android.
    Secure Calls

    Acrobits Softphone supports encrypted voice and video calls using the standard SRTP protocol. It is able to encrypt media packets with the AES-128, AES-192 or AES-256 ciphers and authenticate them using either 32-bit or 80-bit HMAC-SHA1 algorithm.

    For key exchange, Acrobits Softphone offers support for SDES and ZRTP protocols.


    The SDES protocol transmits the encryption keys in plain text inside SIP+SDP messages. This key exchange protocol is therefore pretty much useless for most users, unless they have a complete control over the SIP signalling system to ensure that the TLS transport protocol is used all the way from the originating to the receiving device. Even if a SIP provider guarantees usage of TLS everywhere in his infrastructure, the provider itself is still able to see the encryption keys in plain text, because its SIP proxies must decrypt the SIP+SDP messages in order to route them forward.


    To address the above shortcomings of the SDES protocol, Phil Zimmermann devised a military grade key exchange protocol, ZRTP, which is built on ideas from public-key cryptography. Using ZRTP, two devices can securely exchange encryption keys even over an inherently insecure communication channel. Moreover, by employing human brains to compare short authentication strings (SAS) spoken by the other party, ZRTP severely reduces the probability of a successful man in the middle attack, which requires a single shot guess of the correct SAS out of 65536 possibilities. The whole point of SAS is that one human being compares and confirms spoken words of another human being whom the first recognizes (e.g. by voice) as the intended remote party. Any other usage of SAS is meaningless.

    Acrobits Softphone supports the following algorithms employed by ZRTP:

    SRTP Cipher:

    AES1 (AES with 128-bit key)
    AES2 (AES with 192-bit key)
    AES3 (AES with 256-bit key)

    SRTP Authentication:

    HS32 (HMAC-SHA1 32-bit)
    HS80 (HMAC-SHA1 80-bit)

    ZRTP Hash:

    S256 (SHA-2 256-bit)

    Key Agreement:

    DH3k (Finite Field Diffie-Hellman with 3072-bit Prime)
    DH2k (Finite Field Diffie-Hellman with 2048-bit Prime)
    Prsh (Pre Shared Mode)
    Mult (Multi Stream Mode)

    Short Authentication Strings:

    B32 (Base32, Four Letters and Digits)
    B256 (Base256, Two English Words)

    So looks like it’s already available as a softphone IP phone on Android and iPhone. Just need to set up some routing / contact masking and you’re “good to go”. So hand your contact a preconfigured iPhone and spend time at the WiFi hot spots… Need a protocol / how to write up to assure folks know how to set up the secured / non-telco carrier phone calls…

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    While I agree in principle, often a “half a loaf” solution is needed while time passes for things to mature…

    In practice, a 30 second contact is easily dismissed as “Yes, they called. I blew them off.” while an hour long phone call record is hard to explain. So a “cold call” of 30 seconds, with a “please call me on Skype at …” or please use this softphone app on your iPhone to call me at “…” then that hour call “disappears”… That’s just a whole lot more secure.

    So the news agency can continue to do “initial contact” in the clear. But “who was turned” into a “source” can be hidden. That’s a valuable “1/2 a loaf”…

  5. Ian W says:

    Using any comms system gives something away. Just the fact that only these three people from the department called this set of numbers, is a clue; as is a flurry of phone calls to one or more non-standard locations. Suddenly finding that the communications out to a difficult to trace number are encrypted is a ‘dig here’ for the spooks. Read John LeCarre and start using non-tech approaches. It is the initial contact that is difficult, after that the number of options for message passing are immense. If you put your bins out after 6pm then check for a message. Perhaps just show a nice twitpic of the snow and use some steganography and a non-follower can browse your posts knowing the picture to look for and read your message. Have drifts and drifts of high res pictures exchanged over social networking and you can keep the spooks tied up for hours or years, you can even have everyone in the AP press corps exchanging pictures and video with their own thousands strong band of followers.

    The point is now nobody trusts the administration NOT to hack into their private conversations – everyone can start playing silly games increasing the spook’s workload by unimaginable orders of magnitude going after the phone is guaranteed not to be productive – maybe. Mix old methods – lights in window to indicate where/when to look – with new methods Picasa or Facebook – with old encoding methods use the numbers in the google groups of one users picture from the comments of a second user to decode the picture from third user in the Facebook wall of a fourth user. All of a sudden the administration has made things a lot worse than if it had gone through the formal subpoena route. Sure its a little more complicated – but the techies don’t do non-techie concepts too well so will spend hours chasing techie when the information protocol was LeCarre instead,

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W:

    There is room for both.

    Frankly, part of my “interest” here is just that the more folks move to encryption and non POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) methods, it moves ever more traffic into the “need to wade through it to spot the suspicious contact” bucket and swamps the search.

    Even just moving some of the calls to IP based suddenly means your Telco guy also has to be talking to your ISP guy and you get to wade through all the IP traffic that ALSO includes all those stego pictures and other stuff.

    FWIW, one of my favorite sayings is “Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tape”. So I’m fond of “old school” solutions too.

    With that said, if the typical congressman and reporter just start using an encrypting softphone for calls to the spouse, or their home office (with or without a call redirector sending it on out the POTS there…) that just muddies up all the contact information all that much more.

    Realize, too, that the A.P. has their phone records taken. Just moving phone calls to IP based softphones takes them out of that record grab…

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like there’s a VoIP “softphone” for the Raspberry Pi already:

    Includes the Asterix PBX (phone switch) software along with applications layers for:

    Instant Messaging
    Fax Server
    Video Conferencing

    Now that “Dongle Pi” can also become a “softphone” and those disposible MAC dongles take with them any identification you didn’t already scrub from the system… So a “burner” phone any time you want one. Nice.

    No idea on now complex it is to configure or how to establish transient “identity” (yet…)

    Looks like any “Dongle Pi” can also be one of those routing points:
    “We have tested up to 10 concurrent calls without transcoding”

    So the PBX function can handle 10 calls at once…

    Looks like they don’t do the USB Microphone route, but just let you connect your own phone to the R.Pi as the PBX:

    “AIUI, the VoIP functionality is that of a PBX. You require separate IP phone(s) which are connected by ethernet or Wi-Fi. This distribution doesn’t provide a softphone running on the RPi itself. Hence audio I/O on the RPi is irrelevant.”

    OK, I can live with that. So the actual SoftPhone is on my Android or iPhone, it connects to the “Phone Switch” that is the R.Pi and that, then, routes the calls. Now anyone trying to trace it back will find it originates at some random IP number (as you have coffee at different places, or stop by the airport, or… )

  8. Kent Gatewood says:

    I was thinking about the reporter end of the system. The reporter is known, and a judge can be used to break the reporter.

    If the IT dept could generate contact information with passwords in a sealed letter, the reporter could give out several hundred letters to possible sources without knowing who had what password.

    The letter could be sent into the reporter by the/a source with the password included which could be authenticated by IT.

    The letter could be transcribed and then destroyed.

    This probably appropriate to the 18 century.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Kent Gatewood:

    Just need “public key encryption”.. You make a ‘key pair’. One is private, only you know it. The other is handed out freely. Now anyone who wants to send you a message encrypts it with YOUR public key. Only you can decrypt it using your private key… Works great.

    So all you really need to is put your “public key” on the bottom of any email / snail mail you send out announcing things like, oh, the local high school football game ;-)

  10. R. de Haan says:

    Voip encryption:

  11. Trent says:

    Disclaimer: I sell CryptoPhones.

    Just just thought I’d mention that while so many secure cell phone solutions have traditionally been clunky out of date devices that usually don’t look like a phone you’d enjoy using, GSMK have just released an Android version, the CryptoPhone 500, that uses the Samsung Galaxy S3 as the base hardware.

    I just wish some more user-friendly webmail encryption solutions were available. I’ve been using Mailvelope which works well with Gmail, but then I’m stuck if I need to access those emails using my iPhone when I’m away from the laptop.

    I think Public Key Encryption is definitely the answer, but it confuses so many people. Until someone makes a seamless solution to replace the Gmail ‘SEND’ button with a ‘SEND & ENCRYPT’ alternative, the adoption of secure email will remain slow.

  12. adolfogiurfa says:

    In the good old days our communications were naturally encrypted: They were ANALOGICAL!….
    Those were the days my friend we thought they´d never end…”

  13. punmaster says:

    Second, it does introduce latency into the streams.

    Some of us may find out what we actually are, then. Better latent than never, I always say.

  14. R. de Haan says:

    I have some journalist friends and they explained to me they work with encrypted communication tools all the time. If they get in touch with a valuable contact they even provide an encrypted phone for two way secure communication. One of them operating in the crime scene told me encrypted phones for third parties topped his expense budget because almost none of his contacts returned the phone. He was amazed he was allowed to maintain this practice for such a long time even in times of budget reductions. The phones they us by the way come from Nokia which is bad news really because……

    A lesson to be learned from this: try to have a phone and separate encryption tools. You can’t trust any commercial company.

  15. jim2 says:

    The worst that happens here is that the Press tends with care their corner of the Constitution but let’s the other bits slide down the drain of Socialism. Wouldn’t put it past them.

  16. Kent Gatewood says:

    Are corporations required to keep their emails? If yes, is sending emails that aren’t kept a crime?

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    An interesting product here:

    UK prices in pounds with 49 or without 41 VAT. It’s a box that lets you plug in plain old telephone wire, then do VIOP if you like as well. So it is the device that hooks dial lines to networks.

    These folks have if for $59 US.

    Add an Asterisk PBX (private branch exchange) on a R.Pi to it, with a wireless port for WiFi to your Android or iPhone, and you’ve got your choice of routing calls via IP / net to other such devices, or routing out to the Telco over the POTS PSTN (Plain Old Telephone System, Public Switched Telephone Network). So with one of these, and a R.Pi as WiFi Hot Spot, you would need to know how to configure things, but could use it to make PSTN or VoIP calls as desired. (You could also have your own voicemail not subject to others listening in, along with extensions and all sorts of things ;-)

    An Android or iPhone can act as a ‘soft phone’ to the R.Pi over WiFi, and you are pretty much set. Now when at home you can route from the cell phone out your own land line, or over the internet, as desired. (Same thing from some hotel rooms or even the odd conference room with an open ethernet spigot in it.) Since there are MANY VoIP service providers who let you originate PSTN calls through them (like Vonage and even Google – though Google requires you ‘validate’ with a land line on set-up so they can tag who / where you are…) it lets you appear to make your call from places where you are not… and hides your cell phone use from your cell phone calling records as you didn’t make a call via their service…

    There are other similar products, but what I noticed about this one was that it has both FXS and FXO ports (regular land line and the telephone itself protocols)

    Meaning it can have a phone plugged into it (the FXS port) or a telco line (the FXO port). That implies it can sit between a regular phone and the POTS and have ethernet plugged in and let you choose POTS or VoIP. Nice.

    Grandstream Handytone HT503 Analog Adapter

    The HandyTone 503 is the next generation of powerful, affordable, high quality and manageable IP telephony ATA/IAD for residential users and road-warriors. Its compact size, excellent voice quality, packed feature functionality and best-in-class price-performance point enable consumers to maximize the power of IP voice and data connectivity.

    ATA is Analog Telephony Adapter
    IAD is Internet Access Device
    SIP is Session Initiation Protocol, an IP Telephone way of getting calls started.

    The HandyTone 503 is based on SIP standard and interoperable with most 3rd party SIP compliant devices and software. It features 1 FXS telephone port, 1 FXO PSTN line port, dual 10M/100Mbps network ports, port status and message waiting LED, and a base stand for vertical positioning.

    Grandstream HandyTone HT-503 Analog Telephone Adapter with 1 FXS Telephone Port & 1 FXO PSTN Line Port

    IP connectivity for any phone and fax
    Hop-on/Hop-off calling
    Web management for easy configuration and installation
    Offers traditional and advanced telephony features
    Portable and compact for use at home or on the road

    Grandstream HandyTone HT-503 Features

    1 FXS telephone port (RJ11), 1 FXO PSTN line port (RJ11) with power-outage life line support
    Up to 2 SIP account profiles, SIP over TCP/TLS, SRTP

    TCP Transmission Control Protocol is the network protocol over which IP traffic flows.
    TLS Transport Layer Security, a follow on improvement of SSL Secure Socket Layer
    SRTP Secure Real Time Transport Protocol. An encrypted layer to carry phone calls over IP.
    NAT Network Address Translation – lets your side have a different IP number than the other side of the router, a modest security feature.

    Dual 10/100 Mbps network ports (RJ45) with integrated high performance NAT router
    Status LED for power, telephone, PSTN line, network, and message waiting indication
    Advanced telephony features
    o Caller ID from both IP and PSTN
    o Call waiting, 3-way conference with IP and/or PSTN
    o Remote call origination and termination from/to PSTN
    o Hop-on and hop-off calling
    o Transfer to OR forward to IP or PSTN
    o Do not disturb
    o Message waiting indication
    o Multi-language voice prompts
    o Flexible dial plan, direct IP calling
    Comprehensive voice codecs
    Secure and automated provisioning using HTTP/HTTPS/Telnet/TFTP
    Symmetric and asymmetric voice codec/RTP in any call sessions
    T.38 Fax
    SIP over TCP/TLS

    RTP is Real Time Protocol, a non-encrypted telephone protocol.
    HTTP and HTTPS are open and secure Hyper Text protocols seen on web pages while TFTP is a Trivial File Transfer Protocol used to control some network devices.

    A voice codec is a way of encoding voice sounds into digital signals.

    So while you don’t NEED any R.Pi with this or any PBX functions, just a POTS phone to plug into it, having a R.Pi dongle on your laptop would let you use wireless to it so your Android or iPhone handset could be used. (any WiFi access point could likely be used, they just cost more than a R.Pi ;-) In the long run, it would be nice to build this feature set into a R.Pi board clip on; but the cost of the hardware is likely more than the cost of this box.

    It looks like a very easy way to put VoIP features onto an old POTS phone you have.

    There are similar devices for about $10 less, but they looked a bit more limited.

    To me, the cost is remarkably low and were I a journalist, I’d likely have one for use in various hotel rooms of the world. Partly just to cut back on the cell phone bill, and partly so that any attempt to contact trace based on the cell phone would miss all the calls made over the hotel WiFi… (presuming that the interface is able to cope with the sporadic ‘click accept to join’ nags.. another place where having it route through a R.Pi as PBX might be of benefit…)

    Frankly, it looks interesting just for home use. Some calls via PSTN, some via VoIP, some via the Cell service, some… Just moving the VoIP off of the M.S. Windows PC and onto the cell phone via WiFi would be nice. Then taking that hour long call from the out of state friend who uses minutes like crazy, and saying “just a minute, let me call you back” and flipping over to the VoIP would save some too… Oh Dear, I think I feel another project coming on ;-)

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    @Kent Gatewood:

    It depends on what country / jurisdiction and some particulars about the company. In general, it comes under “SarBox” Sarbanes Oxley.

    That applies to public traded companies. So the local donut shop need not keep email, but GE does. (An odd quirk is asking if a company like AOL needs to keep client email… a bit less clear but folks expect “no”, yet it usually is kept anyway). So when in doubt, set up your own email server…

    If you are subject to SarBox and do NOT keep the email for the mandated years, you have harsh penalties including prison for executives.

    In response to the perception that stricter financial governance laws are needed, SOX-type laws have been subsequently enacted in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Israel, India, South Africa, and Turkey.
    Section 802(a) of the SOX, 18 U.S.C. § 1519 states:

    “ Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

    So delete those emails and go to prison for 20 years… Personally, I’d never take a company public under those terms and would just stay private. As of now, the number of public traded US companies is about 1/2 what it was when SarbOx passed, so I’m not the only one…

    IIRC, your lawyer has to keep things 7 years… but most folks its just 5… but it’s been a while since I looked that up…


    One hopes they are a bit more aware than that…

    @R. de Haan:

    That’s why I’m so interested in Linux / open source solutions and suspect of the likes of MicroSoft (OS and Skype) or Google “Hoover up all information and monetize it” free stuff…

    If you are a telco, you exist at the whim of government. Don’t EVER expect them to say “no” to a “request” for access from Government. Think Nokia can sell any handsets without that nice little F.C.C. sticker on it?…

    Linux and “roll your own” is your friend.


    Groooann…. ;-)

  19. R. de Haan says:

    “There’s even folks in Germany offering such products” Excuse me? The Germans build the first computer and during the second world war they had the enigma encryption machine, and rockets, and flying wings and the helicopter, and the first jet bomber bomber jet and the first ballistic missile and………… Some are still surprised they lost the war (LOL)

  20. Petrossa says:

    In Europe they are way ahead of this. First of all you can’t buy a throw away phone without a valid piece of identity, second there is law in the making which stipulates that you can be ordered to give your encryption key/password with severe penalties for refusing.
    Also ISP’s are obligated to retain up to 2 years of logs on your line, same for telephone providers.
    As things are developing now in the US i wouldn’t count on that kind of system not arriving sooner rather than later.

  21. Lurking Meggie says:

    With regards to Skype, perhaps you should take a look at this:

  22. R. de Haan says:

    @ Pertossa
    Yes, you would think so from a distance. However you still can buy a mobile phone without identity papers and no encryption key or questions asked asked . This goes at least for the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Spain…. I know the UK has much more stringent laws and France thinks your your adress book in your computer or phone is public information at least according to a recent article in “Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten: Anyhow, every mobile phone, lap top, pad etc, today also is a tracking device, a listening device and remote camera/video.
    Some smart phones even track positions with the main battery and card removed. Hell the police even has put bluetooth antenna’s along the roads to measure your car speed… thank you very much. And of course all devices today carry RF chips. Nope, for those who love their freedom and privacy, don’t carry this stuff with you if you don’t need to. Just dump it.
    Now one of the reasons I think the EU isn’t going to make it is the fact that ever more crazy and with crazy I mean REALLY CRAZY directives and regulations are made up by the 40.000 over paid assistant apparatchiks before the transfer of national powers is finished. One of those CRAZY NEW RULES is described here:

    Just translate with google translate.

    Now if these kind of measurer don’t trigger a run at the gates to leave the EU my name is Schmidt.

    Nice blog by the way Petrossa and nice to find out your a “Francofile”. I’ve spend many summers in France but the last time I passed through driving from Madrid to Luxemburg I was a kind of shocked how the nice villages along the N20 had changed. In fact everything was closed and when we found a restaurant that was open it had an Algerian in it cooking…… no French Cuisine!

  23. Bloke down the pub says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    14 May 2013 at 10:36 pm

    OK, I can live with that. So the actual SoftPhone is on my Android or iPhone, it connects to the “Phone Switch” that is the R.Pi and that, then, routes the calls. Now anyone trying to trace it back will find it originates at some random IP number (as you have coffee at different places, or stop by the airport, or… )
    In the UK there are so many cctvs that face recognition could probably pick out who had been at the different locations when the calls were made. Maybe there’s still need for a good old fashioned false moustache.

  24. Bloke down the pub says:

    It should be mentioned that in the UK, if you relied on the msm, you’d have no clue that The Dear Leader wasn’t loved by everybody. There’s no mention of Benghazi, guns to Mexico, or the IRS. And we think the North Koreans are kept in the dark!

  25. philjourdan says:

    @Punmaster – there is a lot of truth in that pun!

  26. philjourdan says:

    @Kent Gatewood – “Are corporations required to keep their emails? If yes, is sending emails that aren’t kept a crime?”

    I suppose if you are involved with government work, they have contract stipulations that require it. However, one company I worked for had a policy (they did not have any contracts with the Feds) which stated that no email was to be stored on the servers (they used POP). Period. They even had Daemons that would wipe old mail every month. So if you did not POP it, you lost it.

    That indicates to me that the way the law is written, you are not legally bound to keep it. However if you DO keep it, then it must be made available in times of law suits or FOIA requests. In other words, you cannot change the policy when you get the Subpoena.

  27. philjourdan says:

    @E.M.Smith says: 15 May 2013 at 6:20 am

    Should have read further before answering Kent. That explains the policy. They were not subject to SOX.

  28. philjourdan says:

    @R. de Haan – And do not forget that GERMANS were also responsible for the space race. The US got its share and the old USSR got its share.

  29. R. de Haan says:

    philjourdan says:
    15 May 2013 at 2:48 pm
    @R. de Haan – And do not forget that GERMANS were also responsible for the space race. The US got its share and the old USSR got its share.”

    Tell me about it. I have spend entire nights watching the moon landing and I was one of those kids with a big map of the moon at the wall and the emblems of all the Apollo Missions you could collect at a fuel station. I even had Apollo Saturn rocket kit from Airfix, a really impressive model when it was finished. In fact I still have it. I really like the pragmatic approach of technology and working discipline of the German people but I detest their lack of political awareness which continues to make them vulnerable for any propaganda. Unfortunately.
    But there is some hope if you read the comments and articles at Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten. The Anti Eurpean attitude here is relative new but as critical as can be.

  30. R. de Haan says:

    Hey Phil what’s up with Sanityfirst? we can’t have enough of that these days.

  31. Zeke says:

    I wonder what the WH thought was leaked? The last time I recall AP was in the news it was for a tweet that said the WH had been attacked. It got buried by the later attacks on April 15th, tax day, and in Waco TX.

    Bogus AP tweet sends financial markets on wild ride

    By Steve Johnson
    Posted: 04/23/2013
    How a phony tweet and computer trades sank stocks

    “In the latest evidence of social media’s power and its vulnerability to potentially catastrophic cyber attacks, the financial markets were whipsawed Tuesday by a bogus Associated Press tweet sent out by hackers claiming the White House had been hit by explosions, and President Barack Obama had been injured.

    The false report caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop 144 points between 10:07 a.m. and 10:09 a.m. Crude oil prices also briefly tumbled while U.S. Treasuries and gold futures temporarily spiked. Within minutes, however, AP disclosed that the tweet was erroneous, and the markets returned to normal, with the Dow eventually rising 152 points for the day — or about 1 percent — to close at 14,719.”

  32. Zeke says:

    I am sorry, my dates are incorrect. The tweet that the WH had been attacked came 8 days after the terrorist attacks, not before.

    “Within minutes, other AP employees were warning that the message was a fake issued by a hacked who had gain illegal access to their account. Minutes after that, Twitter suspended the account, though retweets of the message seemed to live on. AP also reported its mobile twitter account was hacked and would also be suspended.”

  33. I share your concern for the protection of individual privacy and liberty, E.M.Smith.

    I am convinced that our political leaders are now running scared. They are as dangerous and unpredictable as any other cornered animal.

    Out of fear and loathing that humans might misuse the energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug 6 and 9, 1945, world leaders
    a.) Formed the United Nations on Oct 24, 1945,
    b.) Agreed to end national boundaries and national wars, and
    c.) Destroyed the integrity of national governments and scientific research programs in an unsuccessful effort to conceal information on the source of energy that sustains our lives.

    In short, society and its leaders in a “mell of a hess”, like rats trapped on a sinking ship.

    With deep regrets,
    – Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  34. Gail Combs says:

    Oliver K. Manuel says:
    ….I am convinced that our political leaders are now running scared. They are as dangerous and unpredictable as any other cornered animal…..
    I will agree with you there. It is the reason the Second Amendment is always under attack. The reason the US govenment is stockpiling amno. It is the reason JP Morgan bought up all the important newspapers in 1917 and the banks have owned the media (and Congress ) ever since. It is the reason the First Amendment of the United States Constitution has been ‘REPEALED’ through ordinances and why the G8 and NATO protests were met with a boat load of new ordinances. Not to mention Trained marksmen [who] will be watching NATO/G8 dignitaries, protesters

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    ACLU Report: When can government require a permit to protest?

    … government can require a permit as a condition of protest on public property. For example, government often can require a permit for parades in the streets, given the impact on vehicle traffic. Likewise, government often can require a permit for large protests in public parks and plazas, in order to ensure fairness among the various groups seeking to use the site….

    Thus, in the Chicago ordinance requiring permit applications 15 days before a parade, and notice to the City five days before a sidewalk demonstration that would impede pedestrian traffic, there is an exemption for spontaneous responses to current events.

    The First Amendment limits the kinds of permit fees and other financial burdens that government can impose on protesters…..

    When Chicago law requires a permit to protest, and the First Amendment does not excuse the absence of a permit, protesters without a permit might be arrested or prosecuted. First, the charges cannot exceed the actual cost to government to regulate speech in the site. Second, government cannot charge protesters more when additional police are needed to control opponents of the protesters – that would be a kind of a “heckler’s veto.” Third, government cannot use an insurance requirement to bar a protest by a group that unsuccessfully attempted to obtain insurance. Fourth, there must be an exception for groups that cannot afford to pay the charges. For example, in the Chicago ordinance requiring certain parade organizers to obtain $1,000,000 in insurance, there is an exception where this would be “so financially burdensome that it would preclude” the application.

    So since the words are “Congress shall make no law” the government has the towns and states make the laws restricting freedom of expression. Note the words: The city of Chicago has finally awarded Chicago groups seeking to organize a demonstration during an upcoming NATO/G8 meeting a permit, but the city now claims the parameters of the permit awarded depend on the federal government. Additionally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed two ordinances that will come up for a vote in the City Council, which would place significant restrictions on First Amendment activities.

    I guess it is ONLY Congress that isn’t allowed to muzzle American citizens every other part of the bureaucracy can.

    MORE: ACLU Report: When else can government regulate the time, place, and manner of protest?

  35. Speed says:

    Related …
    Strongbox is a new way for you to share information, messages, and files with our writers and editors and is designed to provide you with a greater degree of anonymity and security than afforded by conventional e-mail.

    via The Verge
    The New Yorker launches Strongbox, an anonymous inbox developed by Aaron Swartz

  36. R. de Haan says:

    Gail Combs says:
    15 May 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Now mark names like Emanuell and never give them a vote ever again.
    These kind of hacks only support the globalist agenda nothing more nothing less.

  37. omanuel says:

    Gail Combs, R. de Haan, et al.,

    World leaders and their scientific advisors are in a “mell of a hess”, like rats trapped on a sinking ship, for deciding in 1945 to hide the source of energy in the core of the Sun that is the Destroyer, Creator and Preserver of all atoms, lives and worlds in the solar system.

    That source of energy is recorded for all to see as rest masses of the ~3,000 different types of atoms that comprise the entire visible universe.

    Every type of atom is simply a unique combination of different forms of one fundamental particle: The neutron (n), in the core of the Sun, and its expanded form, the hydrogen atom (H-1), that is discharged from the top of the Sun ‘s atmosphere.

  38. omanuel says:

    The most stable combination of neutrons (n) and hydrogen atoms (H-1) is iron-56.

    That combination of 30 (n) with 26 (H-1) is the most abundant atom in the material that exists between the tiny , dense solar core of neutrons (n) and the huge, diffuse solar atmosphere of hydrogen (H-1).

  39. R. de Haan says:

    MUST SEE: Great speech by Rubio about our Third World President and his culture of hard ball politics and intimidation;

  40. Ian W says:

    “Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tape”

    A long time ago doing system acceptance testing I was transferring a new build from the developers site to the operational site. The transfer was set up on what was for those times very fast lines. I took 3 3300ft tapes and drove the 18 miles to the site. And yes you are correct, the motorway bandwidth was significantly higher.

  41. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Omanuel: That is why it is considered “sacred” and the Khabba stone at The Mecca it is a magnetite aerolite (FeO+Fe2O3 in a permanent redox reaction) . That is why Ying and Yang are at 90º apart, always; the Pythagorean triangle: sine + cosine going from 0 to 1 and from 1 to 0, dancing the dance of eternal love along the axis of a solar system, along the axis of DNA, a Birkeland current to the Apex, and from the highest density of vibrations, at the center of the most holy Sun Absolute, at the center of the Galaxy and from there developing the Fibonacci Spiral, extending its arms to embrace the whole space…following the ascending and descending octaves.

  42. omanuel says:

    @ adolfogiurfa

    Thank you for the comment. The scientific community is finally awakening to reality and abandoning theoretical model of neutron stars as “dead embers” of stars that were formerly heated by fusion:

    Last week astronomers and nuclear physicists from around the world attended a five day symposium on neutron stars:

    The announcement included this “artist impression” of the source of energy that measurements have recently revealed at the core of the Sun [1] and the Crab Nebula [2].

    This shows why climate scientists couldn’t find a link between CO2 and global climate warming.

    With kind regards,
    – Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    [1] I. G. Usoskin, et al., “The AD775 cosmic event revisited: The Sun is to blame,” A&A Letters 552, L3 (2013):;

    [2] A.A. Abdo, et al., “Gamma-ray flares from the Crab Nebula,” Science 331, 739-742 (2011):

  43. R. de Haan says:

    @Oliver, some idea’s need time. And now the elite have started to play with f fire in their own house, things will change.

    I disagree with this remark you’ve made: This shows why climate scientists couldn’t find a link between CO2 and global climate warming.



  44. omanuel says:

    @R. de Haan: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch !

    The natural evolution of human understanding of the Sun was halted in 1946 by publication of two papers [1] that became the foundation of the

    A. SSM (Standard Solar Model) of hydrogen-filled stars heated by H-fusion, and the
    B. BBM (Big Bang Model) of sudden creation of H from nothing at the birth of the universe when time, t = 0.

    Although Fred Hoyle himself [2] acknowledged in his 1994 autobiography that the two papers [1] were unanimously adopted without debate or discussion – See pp. 153-154 of [reference 2] – these two consensus models are still taught as scientific facts in the best-funded academic and research institutions today.

    [1] Fred Hoyle, “The chemical composition of the stars,” Monthly Notices Royal Astronomical Society 106, 255-259 (1946); “The synthesis of elements from hydrogen,” ibid., 343-383 (1946)

    [2] Fred Hoyle, Home Is Where the Wind Blows (University Science Books, 441 pages, 1994) Read Hoyle’s description of a meeting with Sir Eddington in 1940: on pages 153-154: “We both believed that the Sun was made mostly of iron, two parts iron to one part of hydrogen, more or less. The spectrum of sunlight, chock-a-block with lines of iron, had made this belief seem natural to astronomers for more than fifty years.” . . . [p. 153],

    “The high-iron solution continued to reign supreme in the interim (at any rate, in the astronomical circles to which I was privy) until after the Second World War,” . . .“when I was able to show, to my surprise, that the high-hydrogen, low iron solution was to be preferred for the interiors as well as for the atmospheres.” [pp. 153-154]

    “My paper on the matter confounded a doctrine of (Raymond) Lyttleton, who used to say there are three stages in the acceptance by the world of a new idea.
    _ a. The idea is nonsense.
    _ b. Somebody thought of it before you did.
    _ c. We believed it all the time.
    This matter of the high-hydrogen solution was the only occasion, in my experience, when the first and second of these stages were missing.”
    [p. 154].

  45. R. de Haan says:

    Sorry vor the capitals, I didn’t notice I had Caps Lock on.

    Just for the record and I regard this as an extremely worrying development, even if we win the argument that the entire concept of AGW is a fraud, and we will, there are still masses of people who do think we are with too many people on the planet, who believe they have to live in a sustainable manner whatever that means and who think capitalism and economic growth is a bad idea. We now have this cult of living with a small footprint or what some call a nihilist life style because there is still some deep rooted feeling of guild. The reality is that any system even a sustainable one, what ever it means has to be maintained. It needs money from profits to be maintained and that is only possible if there is growth. Now the only system I know of that really works is a capitalist and free system with a well informed (not brainwashed) middle class that creates jobs, opportunities and prosperity. We thought for a moment that this was going to work but then the State and the Multi’s started to screw up matters as they grabbed too much money and got greedy, and probably because they have been brainwashed too. Just for the record I think we have to do things in an efficient manner. That’s more than enough. If we do matters in an efficient manner we work for the optimum under all circumstances and that buy’s quality time, time to enjoy life and the fantastic world we live in and spend that money. Governments and Corporates are now joining up to execute an agenda (Agenda 21, sustainable development. Well, the reality is that this is a schoolbook case of corporatism and corporatism = fascism and fascism is something we can’t tolerate on any level. Now if we have people who are disappointed about the fact that climate is not a problem, fascism is and we better move our ass to do something about it before we’re boxed in. As matters look today we have plenty of energy, plenty of food and plenty of resources to make a nice life for every man or women on the planet, even if our numbers double.
    The USA , the core of the “Agenda”, is also the country with the best cards for now because we have a growing population and sufficient resources for centuries. In fact the US is the example why the Centralists are wrong we must convince them that they indeed are wrong. The hardest challenge IMO is how we help our radical Islamic friends to see the light without blowing themselves up and how to keep our hotheaded Asians )India and Pakistan) from using the bomb. Now if we do some serious science again and forget about the past “lost” decade the world will be at our feet. Sounds a bit merry but I really think there is hardly any problem we can’t solve and we certainly don’t have to cull 7.5 billion people to save a planet that doesn’t need saving.
    It’s an insane proposition.

  46. R. de Haan says:

    Oeps..Russian Navy comes to Cyprus to see where all the money went: Encryption, we need encryption.

  47. omanuel says:

    Fred Hoyle was extremely clever at getting information past Big Brother’s censors. His autobiography, Home Is Where the Wind Blows, that belies the very foundation of:

    1. SSM (Standard Solar Model) of hydrogen-filled stars heated by H-fusion, and
    2. BBM (Big Bang Model) of first-cause creation of H from nothing at time, t = 0

    Was published on April Fools Day 1994 (University Science Books, 441 pages, published on April 1, 1994):

    Fred Hoyle was probably the scientist that warned George Orwell a new tyrannical government was already rising in 1946. That was the year Orwell, although dying of tuberculosis, moved from London to the Scottish Isle of Jura to start writing his warning to the public, “Nineteen-Eighty Four (1984)” [1].

    [1] George Owrell (Eric Arthur Blair), Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) (Secker and Warburg, London, 8 June 1949).

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    @Lurking Meggie:

    Well that’s rather disturbing… It pretty much proves that MicroSoft is listening in on the “private” side of things in Skype. (Part of why I stopped using it as soon as M.S. bought them was my general distrust of M.S. and other large corps that the USGvt can lean on…)

    Nice to no my instincts were right. Sad to know my instincts were right…

    If you plan to send a truly private message, encrypt it with public key encryption in a dedicated applications and THEN move it via removable media to a machine with connectivity to the internet. At that point, send it through your vendor supplied “safe and private encrypted” link… you will be exposed to a “contact trace” but not much else.

    @R. de Haan:

    Over 500 customers you need a Privacy Officer? Ok…


    Cool phone.

    @Bloke Down The Pub:

    Just a bit of artfully applied make-up… just try to pass a law banning makeup ;-)

    Paint on some extra false eyes and move the eyebrows, wear big dark glasses and add some putty to the nose… then some Buck Teeth under the lips to pump them out… long hair over the ears. Pretty much done. ;-)


    Someone was leaking things about a Yemen planned attack:

    The May 7, 2012, AP story that disclosed details of the CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bomb plot occurred around the one-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Osama bin Laden.

    The plot was significant both because of its seriousness and also because the White House previously had told the public it had “no credible information that terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, are plotting attacks in the U.S. to coincide with the (May 2) anniversary of bin Laden’s death.”

    The AP delayed reporting the story at the request of government officials who said it would jeopardize national security. Once officials said those concerns were allayed, the AP disclosed the plot, though the Obama administration continued to request that the story be held until the administration could make an official announcement.

    The May 7 story was written by reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman with contributions from reporters Kimberly Dozier, Eileen Sullivan and Alan Fram. They and their editor, Ted Bridis, were among the journalists whose April-May 2012 phone records were seized by the government.

    Gets to the problem of “sources and methods”. Only thing that surprises me is that they are doing this via the legal system. Three Letter Agencies with “sources and methods” leak problems can get mighty cranky… (as such leaks can indicate who to kill for the bad guys…)

    @Ian W:

    Nice! On one occasion I was dispatched by air to copy a tape and return… other times “sneaker net” with a couple of VHS tapes (of digital data) moved a lot damn fast…

    @Gail & Oliver:

    I suspect you are correct. Unfortunately it is a fundamental truth that you only get to keep the freedoms and rights you are willing to make a fuss over; and few people these days are willing or able to make a fuss…


    Nice.. but I’d still only deposit things that were public key encrypted, and made on a dedicated clean machine (none of that identifying crap M.S. sticks in every doc…) and then delivered from an anonymised system… but then I’m a Systems Admin at heart and they ARE out to get the Sys Admin ;-)

    @Oliver & Adolfo:

    There’s definitely something odd going on with the sun and neutrons and ‘action at a distance’. Then there’s that odd fact that Silver chemistry proceeds differently under a full moon than not… ( have to find a reference to that…)

    There’s some big elephant in the room that just isn’t being seen by physics as we know it…


    Interesting connection and interesting book…

    @R. de Haan:

    It pains me to say it, but I really think the Slavic peoples are the key to a solution. They seem to have their head on straight these days… “Go Russia Go!” is hard for this child of the Cold War to say…

  49. R. de Haan says:

    @omanuel says:
    16 May 2013 at 8:46 pm
    @R. de Haan: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch !

    I won’t Olivier. I know your points of view, I have visited your websites, read your scientific publications and know the history as you explained it many times.

    I am not blind and see what’s going on, I read the treaties, the attempted treaties, the piles and piles of climate hubris and I’ve read almost any book on history, human civilization warfare, economics, meteorology etc. etc. One thing is for sure, we are witnessing the biggest theft in history bit the people at the top are not too smart and they are cowards. Now that could be a problem when matters escalate. However if any steps are made in the direction of a big scale siege or a forced shift it won’t happen in the US but in Europe. Now if that happens we pull the ripcord and make our own plans. For now, apart from the financial crises which is escalating. I only see positive developments. The environmentalists are dead ib the water and the Obama Administration is digging it’s own political grave. After this nobody wants to hear about dirty oil or sustainability or whatever they mean by that and even the most loyal lefties are fed up with Obama. Know what this means. The entire club of centralists including the current primeminister of Australia was counting on Obama to become the first Global President. I tell you it’s not going to happen

  50. R. de Haan says:

    @ E. M @R. de Haan:

    It pains me to say it, but I really think the Slavic peoples are the key to a solution. They seem to have their head on straight these days… “Go Russia Go!” is hard for this child of the Cold War to say…”

    It’s a country E.M and you can say whatever you want, especially at your own blog but nothing has changed in the slavic regions. The majority still follow the red book and I don’t trust the Russians for a single dime. Nobody in Europe is going to learn Russian under force and we won’t make a voluntary holiday in Siberia. As matters go as they go the most extreme escalation between Russia and Europe will be a pillow fight in an elderly home. Look at the demographics of Russia and Europe….. What you see is Florida but only a little bigger and nastier weather.

  51. omanuel says:

    @ E. M, R. de Haan, adolfogiurfa, et al.:

    We definitely live in interesting times. I have no idea how all this will unfold, but I suspect world leaders are now struggling to stay in power, just one more day!

    That might explain the desperate actions currently coming to light on the Obama administration.

    Maybe they don’t want to stay in power as much as they want to stay out of prison.

  52. R. de Haan says:

    Fat chance, on that level they all use encrypted phones and an army of people they can kick around and blame for their crimes.

  53. J Martin says:

    So delete those emails and go to prison for 20 years… Personally, I’d never take a company public under those terms and would just stay private. As of now, the number of public traded US companies is about 1/2 what it was when SarbOx passed, so I’m not the only one…

    Just a loophole which government will one day close. I’m only surprised the law hasn’t been changed yet, it can only be a matter of time before all businesses, regardless of size, ownership or self employed etc etc will be required to keep copies of all emails, all correspondence for at least 7 years.

    R de Haan. European demographics. The first country to experience the shift to a Muslim majority will be Russia, their army will be majority Muslim within 5 years followed by the bulk of the population 15 years later, 20 years after that, the Russian Muslim population could vote themselves into power. So Russia will return to a form of absolutism and democracy in Russia will be at an end.

    Many other European countries will follow some 10 to 20 years later, France, UK, Germany, and others.

    After the London bombings a survey of Muslim attitudes in the UK (and EU ?) was undertaken, I can’t remember by whom, university, or newspaper, or government, but amongst the questions asked one response stood out, namely that the Muslim population wanted to see Sharia law imposed in the UK, and this result held regardless of age or of what generation they were, ie. even if they had been born in the UK, brought up in the UK, no matter how assimilated they appeared to be, they placed their religious preconceptions above all other considerations. This is true of all European countries, and no country has yet been able to assimilate a Muslim population or culture, since their religion contains a system of politics and law, sharia law, after all, what does assimilation mean ? it essentially means converting them from their religion to western values. How do you do that ? In the USA that would even be against the constitution which guarantees religious freedom. So the US constitution contains within it the seeds of it’s own destruction.

    I suspect that most people brought up within a Western liberal culture would view Sharia law as something from the middle ages and a regressive step indeed.

    I have just come back from a trip to France, one of the things I did there was to visit a couple of war cemeteries, it proved to be an unexpectedly moving experience, I saw at Vimy a large and impressive Canadian monument to the over 11,000 Canadians missing, and one could see why, the fields and woods around it were the most astonishing grass covered moonscape, the result of thousands of explosions, it is hard to see how anyone in that area could have survived, and I guess for the most part very few did. At other sites nearby I also saw French and British and German graves. I stood by the side of one seemingly endless cemetery and started to count crosses in a line and then the number of lines and before long gave up, as I realised I was looking at thousands.

    I worry that this is a past that will return to Europe once more, from the absolutist government of the past, The Third Reich, to a future absolutist government under sharia Law. Violence has rumbled on within Muslim countries for 60 years or more now and seems to be escalating. If cooling arrives at a pace that catches out our warmist governments with the consequence that middle east countries suffer food shortages then we likely see further growth in extremism.

    Within the liberalist Western World today there seems to be a tendency to take democracy for granted and to assume that it will not be overturned from within. Any suggestion that a muslim population might pose a threat to Western values is often conveniently dismissed by incorrectly labelling such concerns as racist or xenophobic.

    Such concerns are perhaps 70 years away. There may be many options for those future generations to find a peaceful solution, but ignoring the impending reality is not one of them.

  54. adolfogiurfa says:

    @All: It´s an Era ending, that of a Monarch, a President or a Dictator, or a few having the God like power of meddling in other peoples´ affairs and freedom, a pathological situation, which can be represented by the lady president of a big south american country who has been accused of stealing 15 billion dollars while she is actually suffering from a deadly cancer…How can anybody explain that? two thousand years after some guy with a monstrous narcissistic trauma sacrificed himself to “save us” leaving a trace of millions of “casualties” and “collateral damage” in those two thousand years. Better we get rid of any kind of saviors and “illuminati”, humans or not humans, self entitled for “improving” our lives.
    I am just reading a book which describes how humanity fell in this “patriarchal” trap when, for example, the Celt culture was erased from Europe. We do not need any self empowered intermediaries between us and nature. (John Lamb Lash´s book: “Not in HIS image”).

  55. adolfogiurfa says:

    @All:It´s an Era ending, that of a Monarch, a President or a Dictator, or a few having the God like power of meddling in other peoples´ affairs and freedom, a pathological situation, which can be represented by the lady president of a big south american country who has been accused of stealing 15 billion dollars while she is actually suffering from a deadly cancer…How can anybody explain that? two thousand years after some guy with a monstrous narcissistic trauma sacrificed himself to “save us” leaving a trace of millions of “casualties” and “collateral damage” in those two thousand years. Better we get rid of any kind of saviors and “illuminati”, humans or not humans, self entitled for “improving” our lives.
    I am just reading a book which describes how humanity fell in this “patriarchal” trap when, for example, the Celt culture was erased from Europe. We do not need any self empowered intermediaries between us and nature. (John Lamb Lash´s book: “Not in HIS image”).

  56. punmaster says:

    But you can’t get rid of the Illuminati. Their control reaches everywhere, every replacement of the group is perfectly willing to take the reins of control, and those who might stop them will accept wealth or power to look the other way. The general trend is concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands until there will be only one or two hands with control.

    two thousand years after some guy with a monstrous narcissistic trauma sacrificed himself to “save us” . . .
    He didn’t call anyone to take control of the world and rule in His name, “improving” all lives in the process. The wrong done in His name is inexcusable. It does prove that The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?, though.

  57. adolfogiurfa says:

    @punmaster: We are part of nature as a whole, there are not any “illuminati” of any kind, if there are some those are people with fear of living, that´s the only explanation: They need power, money, money again and more power just because they feel deeply insecure. We should realize that if we had such an “enemy” before us it would not be a matter of helping them in their desperate need and call for somebody ending their fear but , condescendingly, just wait and watch their unavoidable decomposition.

  58. omanuel says:

    I suspect you are right, adolfogiurfa.

    Fear is the basic problem, in world leaders and in ordinary members of society. See:

  59. adolfogiurfa says:

    @omanuel: You are right: Something happened in the 50´s….but that´s another issue. Dig into this youtube channel:

  60. punmaster says:

    My comments on the Illuminati are generally sarcasm. However, while there may not be any single power, there certainly are those willing to take the place of the fallen in the effort to control the masses. Lenin to Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, Hugo Chavez, George Soros and the
    band working for him in the United States today, are all on the same page for the same result. The EU is the creation of these folks, as is the United Nations. Part of the problem is that they are not concerned about the time frame. Most of their opposition does not have the same determination.

    Efforts like the Pi security and access to the ‘net for news and communication may make the battle easier.

  61. Ian W says:

    No need for anything clever get government level encryption and hidden originator/recipient from a simple $5 android app.

    Any readers working with AP know where to go ;-)

    Of course as was pointed out by Douglas Hofstadter with his message in a bottle analogy – Eve will know that you are sending something you don’t want her to see just by the fact your phone is making an encrypted call. So perhaps it would pay to have multiple fake calls to make things a little more awkward. For those who are whistle blowers – use the App on a throw away pay as you go phone. :-)

  62. Pingback: Speaking of ways around net censorship… | Musings from the Chiefio

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