back to article Terrorists 'build secure VoIP over GPRS network'

Terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba has developed its own VoIP network that connects its members over GPRS networks, according to the Times of India. UK and US authorities have both declared Lashkar-e-Taiba a proscribed terror organisation. The group's aims include India ceding sovereignty over Kashmir. Members of the organisation …


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  1. Paw Bokenfohr

    You what??

    "The VoIP network is frustrating India's intelligence community, the report says, because it means they can no longer trace theg roup's members as it is far to spy on than email or commercial VoIP services."

    What's a roup? I'm guessing you mean group.

    "it is far to spy on" - what does this mean?

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: You what??

      Insert the word 'harder' between 'to' and 'spy'. I always type 'wit hhaste' instead of 'with haste' - stupid fingers!

      1. batfastad

        Re: You what??

        > Insert the word 'harder' between 'to' and 'spy'

        "it is far to harder spy on"?

        Ahhh! Yoda's little friend you seek!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's how intelligence works.

    You let slip you have it, the other side will notice and take countermeasures. Publically forcing everybody to bow to your snooping demands does give a bit of a signal there.

    There's some irony here, as various (intelligence!) agencies have shouted from the rooftops for at least a decade (apparently with the aim to warm politicians to the idea that more snooping and blocking and giving more powers and monies to more and ever shadier agencies and such was prudent) that various terrorist organisations were supposedly using all sorts of crypto and "the internet" when it really didn't make sense for them to do so, as at the time the infrastructure and knowledge base wasn't up to it. Now though, the infrastructure is that much better, setting it up is that much easier, the need is that much greater, and all that has helpfully been made clear by those who really rather would others didn't use all that.

    The best antidote for terrorism is to not provide the fertile grounds it needs to grow its ideas in. That is still a people problem. You know, one of those things that cannot be solved by technology alone. Fail to deal with people properly, antagonise them, thwart their intended technology use, and you basically give them more reason to evade your influence. Guess what happened here?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's how intelligence works.

      An excellent analysis.

      However, I'm not convinced that the machinery of state actually has the end goal of ending terrorism, although not from a conspiracy angle. Individually I think that 99.9% of those involved do have the best intentions, but the collective organisational behaviours, as you point out, don't do much in that direction. Take internet monitoring - not going to be of any use against terrorism as this story and your comment illustrates, but the gormless (including most elected representatives) will think it a fabulous tool of defence. Those actually charged with doing it know it will be useless, but they're getting a big budget to do it, more headcount, more offices, more responsibility - who within the relevant intelligence organisation is going to stand up and say "No", effectively turning down a promotion, and being seen to obstruct the will of the politcos? If you're a supplier, and government offer you cash to do something stupid, are you going to walk away, or are you going to take the money and deliver whatever daft scheme has been conceived?

      And for the politcos, it is always far easier to splash yet more unproductive public cash on a "Seen To Be Doing Something" pretend solution, than to take the harder road of dealing with people. Could be India, could be the UK, the US - situation's much the same, lots of S2BDS programmes.

      An interesting thought is that despite usually being half a step ahead of the bureaucrats supposed to be stopping them, the terrorists themselves have a lot of half baked S2BDS schemes - shoe and underpant bombs that don't go off, the failed Glasgow airport and related attacks, the bungled July 21st attacks in London etc. The July 7th attacks in London or the 26/11 Mumbai attacks killed plenty of people, but didn't change anything, so firmly in the S2BDS category. Admittedly 9/11 was a huge sucess in terms of terrorist PR, and presumably the the personal grief of the victims; From an economic point of view the initial impact was merely an insurance loss for various businesses, and a lingering questionmark over whether the originators wanted the outcome in Afghanistan that they've had. I've ignored the terrorist attacks and outcomes in the Middle East and Central Asia, but here, In broad terms the terrorists have been Muslims killing Muslims in Muslim governed countries, with an overlay of tribal, sectarian and power struggles.

      Where the terrorists have really been successful is where their S2BDS efforts have engendered even shiter S2BDS responses from the state that spread the impact upon everybody - so all the passenger data exchanges that do nothing other than destroy any privacy you might have had, harassment of people deemed to be "looking supicious whilst being an ethnic minority without due care and attention", the various halfwit gropers pretending to provide a security check at airports, all this "take your shoes off" bollocks, limitations on liquids (subsequently rescinded, so even the bureaucrats realise that one achieved nothing). Does that make us any safer? No, it merely encourages those so inclined to come up with a different means of delivering an attack, albeit usually centred around the same terrorist tools of the trade.

      Arguably the Abu Qatada fuckup is a classic S2BDS programme: They're no nearer to kicking his arse out of this country, it's costing us more money, and it's useful publicity for his sad arse views, as well as feeding the victimisation feeling of fellow extremists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: S2BDS

        Actually, S2BDS (like the term) is nowadays the approach to corporate security as well. NOTHING in the way of strategic thinking, no, just plodding along on the model "sort-of-threat-anaylsis", get an insufficient budget, buy some kit and set up some processes. That way everyone has the happy feeling of S2BDS without actually paying real attention to the problem. In other words, security people have simply become glorified administrators, with only an amoeba-like challenge-response ability at tactical level.

        No wonder business get hacked all over the place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: S2BDS

          I wanted to claim copyright on S2BDS, but it's a bit tricky as AC.

          But you're right, it's not just a public sector and Terrorist Adversaries Ltd (TAL*) prerogative. In fact, I recently spent a week on an S2BDS project myself, the sole purpose of which was to be seen cooperating with our internal audit department. Not to do anything useful, just to ensure that my MD couldn't be criticised for dragging her heels.

          I agree with your adminstrative view of IT security - luckily for my firm, they operate in a slow moving sector with high barriers to entry, and we do stuff all innovation. Our competitors are similarly hidebound, so the state sponsored intrusions aren't going to find anything useful. Chinese and Russian analysts probably think our IT security is shit hot because they can't find any of the interesting stuff, but actually there is nothing of interest. Possibly that's the best cyber security there is - have nothing worth stealing, put up a token defence, and let the hackers waste their time....

          * Subsquently merged with Executions, Bombs And Numpties plc

        2. Colin Millar

          Re: S2BDS

          Yeah - it's even worse than that. Cos you now have the S2BDS(EE) variant whereby you have to follow like a herd of sheep* what EveryoneElse is doing thus making for a 1 size fits all security hole.

          * actually sheep probably have a lot more independent thought than corpsec typse.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An excellent analysis.

        Why, thank you.

        You have a point, several in fact, plenty of which I've argued before, but there's value in simplicity here. I could go on a bit, but take that tin foil hat with you, you might need it.

        Yes, there's a lot of S2BDS (I think we shall keep the coinage) going on, and as pointed out perhaps war is simply profitable for certain of our "elite" too. The sad thing is that we've made it an effective strategy for our adversaries. Their ineffectuals showed us how ineffectual our measures are yet all that's happening is more of the same make-believe crap. This creates a self-reinforcing mechanism much akin to the one you describe. Something about military-industrial complex transposed onto "security".

        What's really happening yonder and/or exact motives behind various attacks, I don't know. One could surmise that our intelligence analysts don't manage to convey much of that to those who're supposed to act on the intelligence, either.

        Why did "we" end up time and again bombing weddings and funerals? Because various "information sources" were much more interested in moving feuds along a bit than in any greater cause. Same thing with having foreign powers invade several countries and topple the local governments: You can prolong the resulting instability for as long as you manage to stir things up. That this costs a lot of blood, well, Allah'll sort'em out, along with generous remuneration for the bloodiest martyrs for the cause, in the afterlife. The end result is that the taliban is sitting pretty.

        I don't know whether any machinating mad masterminds had this in mind all along. It might be that they simply had a strong desire to stir things up a bit. That they did, and they were indeed ready to make the most of it, if perhaps at a price in blood westerners wouldn't care to contemplate. I don't know if "they" thought about it or whether they simply didn't care. They did go there, however. In speculation, it might not be unlikely that the "Arabian spring" wouldn't have happened without all that, and look how much the islamists have gained by it.

        And it gets worse. We've sent tons of people there, behind thick layers of armour, often of the slapped-on kind. Our boys and girls there look like high-tech scaredy cats compared to the lone insurgent in his robes. Then came the spring and several regimes were toppled by people with makeshift kit; guys with machine guns mounted on office furniture. Our air support enabled this, but don't think for a minute they'll remember that. Of course we couldn't just let them get slaughtered, we had to Do Something. But it didn't buy us much. The office furniture is much more memorable. It makes them look like David against Goliath; a strong, we-fix-it-ourselves image. In the name of Allah.

        Is this what we wanted? I'm quite certain a bunch of what we call extremists and/or terrorists over there are quite chuffed indeed. And it's not something there's any political will left to do much about among, well, let's call them christian countries for now. The USoA counts as that for the purpose. Let's think about that for a minute.

        That's right, we've had another crusade or two and predictably lost. Wonderful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's how intelligence works.

      "The best antidote for terrorism is to not provide the fertile grounds it needs to grow its ideas in"

      That is, of course, assuming that protecting people and ending the threat is the goal. From what I have seen in the years Bush/Blair I have come to believe the main aim of stirring this up repeatedly is to provide as many excuses as possible to buy kit and run a war - a profitable exercise for quite a few people, and the only legal way to convert tax revenue into private equity. This may explain why Tony Blair became Middle East envoy..

      In other words, it won't stop and you shouldn't expect sensible solutions or a honest approach to settling the divisions of hatred. There is a whole apparatus to feed.. God knows what would happen if they ever had to move all that money to sensible things like healthcare and education..

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    where do the prorities lie?

    The same thing is probably happening here but the spooks are working full time on helping out the BPI RIAA MPAA...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do politicos still think that setting up private networks is really hard and needs the recruitment of lots of information technology executives? Your starter for 10: how many ways can you think of to get text or voice from Alice to Bob without it being intercepted by Charlie?

    Anon because, well, my doorbell is broken and I'd hate for anyone to try and open the door :-)

    1. Doctor_Wibble
      Black Helicopters

      >Why do politicos still think that setting up private networks is really hard and needs the recruitment of lots of information technology executives?

      Simple : they are advised by people from (or affiliated with) the big consultancies who are keen to ensure that none of the politicos ever gets the crazy idea that a system can cost less than the countless billions they want to charge.

      I'm wondering if the next things we hear will be along the lines of 'only terrorists set up their own private networks' or 'private networks are used by those with something to hide'. Followed by something hinting that the CCDP is the only thing that can save us.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What is a 'Private Network'?

        "I'm wondering if the next things we hear will be along the lines of 'only terrorists set up their own private networks' or 'private networks are used by those with something to hide'. Followed by something hinting that the CCDP is the only thing that can save us."

        I was also thinking of CCDP. And a question occurs to me: what is a 'private network'?

        There seems to be this idea that there are 'private networks' that are, somehow, 'private' in ways that, say, Skype isn't. Is it 'private' if it's not in the public sector? That would make private sector commercial networks 'private'. Is it 'private' if it's non-commercial? Where would that leave non-commercial, educational networks? Is it 'private' if it isn't open to the general public, but is invitation-only? I suspect it's probably something like that, but I do get the impression that 'private network' is a term that isn't really well understood by those who tend to use it in the kind of way you're concerned about.

        I get the impression that it's also mixed up a bit with notions of officialness and unofficialness, properness and improperness, authorisedness and unauthorisedness. As if a 'private network' somehow lacks the officialness, properness, and/or authorisedness of a 'non-private network'. This could all be part of a sneaky kind of authoritarianism, where we are gradually indoctrinated - and this includes the kind of unwitting self-indoctrination that would be right at home in Orwell's novels - to regard that which lacks the kind of officialness, properness and authorisedness associated with state/commercial approval as somehow illegitimate/non-legal/illegal.

        But what we now call 'the internet' is very much a mass of (often) private networks!

    2. h4rm0ny

      True, yet...

      Many of us here know how to set something like this up right now. Most of the rest of us could hit a few forums and get it working if they wanted to. But none of it is convenient.

      Sod blowing things up. If an organization like this really wanted to piss off the Intelligence community and governments, they spend their time putting together a simple, three click install and set up system for others to set up a similar network. Legal, fewer people dead and inifinitely more hassle for the Intelligence agencies than a bomb in a bin (which they just use to justify bigger budgets anyway).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again..

    .. if having xxx is illegal, only criminals will have xxx..

    I hope that maybe in my lifetime I can see someone in Intelligence actually have the brains to realise that HUMINT is the most important aspect of counter terrorism, not COMINT. Communications is an arms race, with privacy as collateral damage along the way (abuse of law creates its own consequences). If you become deponent on technological measures to fight crime, you basically just end in a never ending race of who has the best toys today. Fantastically good news for equipment suppliers on both end, crap for protecting those innocent people known as tax payers.

    In that context I'm baffled to see missiles being installed in London for the Olympic game. MISSILES? It's very hard to get hold of those and transport them without the police getting wind of it (the Met does a far better job than they are allowed to tell you), so thank you for making that easier - they are already there. All you need to do now is either infiltrate or take over one of those locations and presto - a ready-made terror threat. I'm not sure who came up with that, but I personally will not feel comfortable sitting in a stadium with the knowledge of being in missile range..

    1. Ru

      "HUMINT is the most important aspect of counter terrorism, not COMINT"

      QFT, etc.

      I think all the people actually involved know this already. Problem is, HUMINT is difficult and dangerous, whereas mass automated surveillance is positively safe and trivial... you can see why they'd prefer passive spying. The fact that a serious surveillance program also increases the power and budget of the agencies involved is just a bonus.

      I must confess a certain amount of bafflement that the counterterrorists are so unhappy about the bad guys using a communications system that involves high power radio transmitters with unique IDs using infrastructure to which the government could trivially get access to.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "HUMINT is the most important aspect of counter terrorism, not COMINT"

        The problem is politicians not interested in solving the problem, only SEEN to be doing something. HUMINT tales a lot longer to develop because, yes, it IS hard. But this whole war status is a psychological/social problem, not a technical one so you'll never get it solved with technical means.

        As for your bafflement, GPRS is mobile phone tech. The only bafflement here is that it's not 3G, but I assume that's too unreliable if you don't have enough cells and needs a heck of a lot more power (but you need a seriously good codec to keep bandwidth demands down). If I had to screen out VoIP I'd just start delaying the traffic and throw the odd packets away. Retries work well with normal Internet traffic, but voice traffic needs it all in time to remain comprehensible, so retries with delays would render it unusable without impairing other services. With a bit of luck they'd blame the supplier :).

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: "HUMINT is the most important aspect of counter terrorism, not COMINT"

        The passive surveillance doesn't do *that* much to dissuade the "terrorists" (quote marks for obvious reasons). But it does have a nice chilling effect on the rest of society. You have to be desperate, crazy or vengeful to be a terrorist. None of those motives are particularly susceptible to rational dissuassion. But an awareness that you're being watched, might get caught, will discourage others from lesser rebellions.

        A senior policeman once said on the radio that laws weren't there to stop bad people from doing bad things, but to keep good people from doing bad things. Same principle.

        It's a chilling effect.

    2. Bumpy Cat

      Missiles in London

      The missiles in question are Rapier and HVM, both of which are surface-to-air missiles with relatively small warheads. They are designed to knock a plane out of the sky by damaging/destroying engines and flight surfaces - planes are fragile enough that you don't need a huge warhead to shoot them down.

      - You cannot target a ground target very easily with it

      - Even if you did, it would have less effect than almost any other missile

      - If you have the resources/firepower to overpower a group of soldiers and steal a relatively feeble missile, you may as well just do a Mumbai and shoot lots of people in a train station

      God forbid we have to use these missiles - it's going to be a split-second decision between killing everyone on the plane, and letting the pilot/hijacker kill everyone on the plane and lots of people on the ground. This is an absolute last resort, after jet fighter intercepts and helicopter-mounted snipers have failed.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Missiles in London

        If our intelligence overlords seriously think that there is a credible risk that terroristas have access to fast jets within range to get to Olympic venues, then the whole counter-terrorism effort is worthless.

        Lets put it this way - if those missiles need to be fired, I will be blaming fear-mongering politicos and not any terrorist group.

    3. Blofeld's Cat

      Missiles (was Re: Here we go again..)

      Meanwhile, at an observation point overlookng the Olympics...

      "fsst hello control, 517 here. I just heard a gunshot from the stadium and I can see lots of foreigners terrorist suspects, running away from the scene. Hold on ... one's just passed something to his colleague ... looks like a pipe bomb."

      "fsst Hello 517, control responding. I'm authorising the snipers now..."

      And that was the end of the 4 x 400m relay.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missiles (was Here we go again..)

        I so wish I could upvote that twice!

      2. Ulaavi

        Re: Missiles (was Here we go again..)

        That, Sir, is an Olympic response.

        Wonder if the Javelin and the Hammer throw will still go ahead...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Missiles (was Here we go again..)

          Yeah, probably. Throwing a Javelin at the Hammer (though the friendly fire incidents are traditionally supposed to go the other way around).

        2. Steve Evans

          Re: Missiles (was Here we go again..)

          Yes, but they will both have to be made of rubber for safety reasons.

      3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Missiles (was Here we go again..)

        That is flat out epic - brilliant.

        Where's the keyboard cleaner..

  6. Gordon 10

    How on Earth did they get VOIP working on GPRS

    Sounds like the designers of this software would be far better off working commercially and ploughing the profits into their independence campaign rather than shooting or blowing things up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How on Earth did they get VOIP working on GPRS

      Actually, it's not that hard (I use this stuff too and I had to audit loads of *cough* solutions before I found the 2 that actually worked). Your challenge is getting a sufficiently efficient codec to reduce your bandwidth needs, and forgiving of the odd missing packet. The ones that manage this are proprietary (I personally would use that route to find who has been involved in this). As a matter of fact, the best one even handles sat links but it's not exactly full-duplex at that speed.

      The advantage of low bandwidth is also that you have heaps of processing power left to do proper encryption, the disadvantage is that you cannot afford much in the way of traffic cloaking. I suspect the latter will provide an approach to detect a call in progress, and as it being a "terrorist exclusive" setup means that possession will automagically render you very suspect. No plausible deniability there..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How on Earth did they get VOIP working on GPRS


      1. That always worked over GPRS in 3GPP networks.

      2. An encrypted PTT system from some obscure swiss mobile vendor appeared on the market long before any commercial PTT over a 3GPP network.

      3. It can still be picked up even by ComInt if you can do realtime statistical analysis on the network. A PTT is sent to a relay which sends it to the recipiend (in order to get around NAT & firewall issues). Theoretically, that can be picked out as a statistical analysis. Practically, there is so much data on the network that this analysis is not realistic. Even "great realtime plans" like the most recent UK proposal do not provide enough data to run the analysis (you need actual packet headers off every packet to pick this one up).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How on Earth did they get VOIP working on GPRS

      Why do we believe that the terrorists have got it working? The state security services are busy telling their political chiefs (and evidently the press) that they have, and that will undoubtedly encourage a big fat budget increase, accompanied by more bums on seats, and some control freak legislation.

      Now put yourself in the robes of my hypothetical terrorist, Abu Attatak:

      Do you communicate by plain speech other than face to face? Probably not.

      Does a means of supposedly secure terrorist conference calling represent a big opportunity for the other side if cracked? Yes.

      Does it convey any meaningful operational advantage for the terrorists? Probably not.

      Is said "secure call" technology critically vulnerable to a well placed turncoat in the terrorist rank? Yes.

      If software based is it vulnerable to targeted software attacks or automated detection (Stuxnet style, plus some)? Probably yes.

      Does posession of the software become a neon sign that says "TERRORIST HERE!"? Yep.

      Do cell phones in general work as a good communication tool for terrorists, given the inherent tracking potential (for both originator and receiving call)? Probably not.

      Is it a slight problem that almost every phone OS is now under US control? Possibly.

      So I think you've got several different questions here - has it really been done? Who are the programmers, and who do they really work for? Why would any self respecting terrorist touch this with a bargepole?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How on Earth did they get VOIP working on GPRS

        Mexican drug bandits had an entire national GSM darknet.

        GSM is now an open pwned system for those with a budget over a thousand quid!

        LeT famously had compromised SIMs given to them by indian intelligence HUMINT before the Mumbai attack - but the Pak C&C was still able to have a test attack on Mumbai a week before the real one, The indian navy physical intercept/interdict missed the Thuraya carrying fishing vessel, was the sat-phone GPS trivially spoofed?

        The compromised SIM COMINT during the actual Mumbai attack was fully recorded, useful for politicking and the blame-game afterwards, but even this level of penetration didn't seem to help protect against the outrage itself.

        If you spent the money on 'monitoring' Abu Attatak instead on 'improving resilience' - giving faster response - buy Norwegian police a boat with an engine - get UK Police with local knowledge back on all beats (as good *real* police are the best anti-terrorism tool), then even a darkphone using Abu Attatak attack can be dealt with and life could carry on?

  7. Roger Jenkins


    I heard that one terrorist user had some problems and phoned the help desk. Was right pissed off thet he was connected to a help desk in England and just couldn't understand what was said due to the foreign accent.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. AndrueC Silver badge

    Only GPRS? They're as bad as us over here. Isn't anyone developing true 4G networks yet?

  10. Bernard M. Orwell


    "God forbid we have to use these missiles - it's going to be a split-second decision between killing everyone on the plane, and letting the pilot/hijacker kill everyone on the plane and lots of people on the ground. This is an absolute last resort, after jet fighter intercepts and helicopter-mounted snipers have failed."

    Nah, the choice isn't that. The hypothetical plane would fall on people in either scenario, the question is WHO would it fall on?

    The Rapier missile system is somewhat old (1970's tech). The missile itself, whilst reliable, has a flight time of ~13s at approx 650m/sec.

    Now, I think London is a bit bigger than that, so let's go with the scenario of a plane load of terrorism being aimed at the Dome during the opening ceremony.

    Plane detected, missile fired, where do you think the plane will come down? Yeah, somewhere in central London. In bits. All over the place.

    So, who are those missiles protecting exactly? Well, at least they protect the attendees, you may say, and that's a good thing. So, let's take a look at who those attendees are shall we, as we know its not us mere citizens who have to fight in an auction over the remaining <~30% of the tickets that were not pre-reserved (yeah, we only get to pay for the Olympics with our taxes, we don't get a right to attend it or buy a ticket. Never mind, we can use it to make us feel better about Austerity, eh? Like we did for the Royal Wedding that we also paid for...)

    So, who's going to be the target for the plane? Well, let's see here....oh! It would appear to be a collection of rich people, government cronies, heads of corporations, representatives of foreign powers (including Iran and Syria, no less!) and various other pals of our government.

    Seems we're quite happy to use weapons to protect these people at the expense, both in terms of finance and, potentially the lives, of the citizens of London and, indeed, Britain. (And I've not even *started* on the vile "social policies" being used to "clean up" the image of the area around the games before our foreign "dignitaries" arrive!).

    Boycott the Olympics, I say.

    Rapier Missile Stats:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: KaBoom!

      I upvoted you for the "burn the bigwigs, not the plebs" theme, but to be fair the logic here is a pure numbers game.

      The loss of AA 587 a month after 9/11 suggests that a random air crash in a built up area is most unlikely to cause as much loss of life on the ground as a targeted attack, such as 9/11 itself. For the Olympics, the concern is that you've got 80,000 people in one spot. A "successful" plane crash might get ten percent of those. Now what's the chances of killing 8,000 people on the ground just with a random shower of broken airliner, or even a largely intact one?

  11. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    What do you mean?

    So you mean that the backdoor the plods demanded in Skype is not going to be useful to fight terrorism? Colour me shocked. Well at least we know that it is not going to be used to snoop on ordinary citizen in order to crack down on such a "serious crime" as copyright infringement for example. Right? Right?

  12. Andrew 63

    GPRS can carry video?

    Wow, GPRS which runs at 32kbps can carry video while keeping a VOIP link up? Nice.

  13. AnonymousNow

    Perhaps American citizens can use this technology to protect our communications from an increasingly corrupted, costly, and unaccountable US security state? We now have our own Republican Guard whose only goal is self enrichment. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The NSA's illegal wiretapping of American citizens will be used from everything from insider trading to manipulating the political process and destroying whistle-blowers. Plz review the expose regarding NSA whistle-blower Thomas Drake available at the New Yorker online if you have no clue where this is going.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      The problem is not (only) Republicans: the US President is a Democrat. Over half of US Senators are Democrats, as were over half of the members of the House of Representatives from 2009 - 2010). The NSA plans to capture and analyze US telecommunications have, if anything, accelerated. The current - Democratic - administration initiated Thomas Drake's prosecution.

      The commentary thread here is mostly correct in targeting governments' perceived need to seem to be doing something about threats, no matter that many of the actions are likely to be found ineffective or counterproductive when evaluated rationally. The problem did not begin with George W. Bush and will not end with Barack Obama, and it appears to affect the UK as well.

    2. JohnG

      "Perhaps American citizens can use this technology to protect our communications..."

      AFAIK, anyone who uses a form of encryption that defeats the NSA is likely to win a visit from the Feds.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another State's Hand?

    I doubt a terrorist group (on its own) would have the resources to build such a network. Rather I think it maybe the group's sponsors, the Pakistani secret service the ISI, behind it. If it isn't all a load of BS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another State's Hand?

      It's not BS - the tools are out there. It's not even hard if you have enough bandwidth - the challenge lies in handling low bandwidth/bad reception situations. So I consider this viable.

      However, it's not easy to get everything right so I suspect there is plenty of zero day to ruin these people's day - thankfully.

  15. markoer
    Thumb Down

    I believe they have already catched up?...

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