Anonymous Transcends the Internet; Takes to the Air

May 06, 2014

New tool supports encrypted communication over Ham radio.

Reports say the ultra-secret hacker group has developed a meansfor communicating over encrypted radio connections. A new tool called AirChat, created by a developer who claims Anonymous affiliation, encrypts communication over radio waves. The system requires a  handheld radio transceiver attached to a Windows, Mac OS, or Linux system running the AirChat software. 

As a communication medium, AirChat is a throwback to the modem era, in which digital data is encoded and transmitted over an audio connection. The real innovation is the prospect of secrecy and the fact that it works without any form of wired connection. The system can simply access any unused frequency, making it difficult for government or industry to even know where and when to start spying, and if they did happen to pick up the signal, the message would be unreadable due to strong encryption. According to the developer, a user who does not have a suitable transceiver could still receive a transmission from a pirate FM station using a conventional FM radio.
The developers believe this technology could one day allow users to communicate for free without the need for Internet access, a phone line, or the mobile phone network, all of which are subject to industry and government control. Transmission rates are slow by modern standards, meaning that this medium is best for transmitting text-based messages and documents.
AirChat is still in development but appears to be performing well in tests. According to early reports, the software is rather complex at this point and is not something that a non-technical user could easily implement.  

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