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Author Topic: One more reason to become a Ham - Internet/Telecom 'Kill' Switch  (Read 2898 times)

Offline SW-J

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Obama Internet kill switch plan approved by US Senate

By Grant Gross
Published: 11:02 GMT, 25 June 10

A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.

Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the president an Internet "kill switch." Instead, the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause "the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication" in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934, they said ...

...

The bill, introduced earlier this month, would establish a White House Office for Cyberspace Policy and a National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, which would work with private US companies to create cybersecurity requirements for the electrical grid, telecommunications networks and other critical infrastructure.

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And, one of the reasons I support HF Ham radio. Maintaining a repeater that is also capable of being cross-connected to the PSTN and other bands and even to HF also would keep communications going in the even of unforeseen circumstances.

Besides, the cellular networks *do* become 'clogged' during any kind of emergency, including relatively minor events like big fires, ice storms/other local wx events and one of the reasons our local Fox TV network station still maintains their conventional UHF radio network (for chopper and ground ENG ops) - the facilities like cellular (or the 'internet') could fail, or, be cut off in the event of some sort of governmental emergency declaration. I have heard on more than one occasion then Fox ENG (Electronic News Gathering) reporter comment that "I can't get through on cellular".

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o Icom IC-756ProII, ProIII, Alinco DX-70, Kenwood TS-680s
o WinRadio G303e, Degen/Kaito 1103/DE1103, Stoddart NM-25
o 1/2 wave 80m Dipole used with several tuners
o Tuned loops from 2' thru 16' diam. capable of 160m thru 10m

cmradio

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There's always been a "kill switch" - it just wasn't centralized ;)

It used to take up to 10 hours to bring down the net.

Ham radio is indispensible in emergency situations. Too bad it's no longer looked at as a useful tool in many cities.

Peace!

Offline Seamus

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Oh, it's useful all right - in the event of an emergency, when all other means of communications are down, hams everywhere will still have the ability, no matter what, to talk about how their bursitis is acting up again, how those rioters downtown have no respect for their elders, and how much noise is being made all over the band by these "new guys" who can't possibly be real hams because they didn't have to pass a code test.  In bare feet.  In the middle of winter.  Uphill.  BOTH ways!

Having lived in central Texas, where storm spotting is taken seriously, I got my start with "real" skywarn reports, formalized emergency net etiquette, etc.  Now here in South Carolina, I was amazed to hear what counted as a storm spotter's report, given during what was identified as a net: "Well, it was rainin' real good out here a little while ago, and the wind blew down a few sticks in the yard, but it looks like it's done now."  This from someone who had supposedly taken a storm spotting class a week or two earlier.  You'd be able to get better, more accurate information by sticking your finger in the air and guessing than to rely on these guys for accurate emergency traffic.

Of course, aside from issues of cell site saturation, the fact remains that most cell traffic these days (and probably regular landline voice service as well) is handled by the same data backbone that moves regular Internet traffic around.  Or at least that's what I was led to believe when I was working at Ericsson and doing satellite uplink services.  If that's the case, then a "kill switch" thrown in the interest of national security would have the potential ability to stop or impede normal communication routes as well as Internet data traffic.

Gosh, that basket sure has a lot of eggs in it...


Offline SW-J

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There's always been a "kill switch" - it just wasn't centralized ;)

It used to take up to 10 hours to bring down the net.

Ham radio is indispensible in emergency situations. Too bad it's no longer looked at as a useful tool in many cities.

Peace!
If you figure every MSA/BTA (Metropolitan Statistical Area, Basic Trading Area, etc,) has one NOC (Network operations center) for every company's (as there are often more than one 'carrier' in an area):

a) cellular system
b) standard telecom system (phone company switches in an area) and this would also include any Frame Relay other 'leased' point to point circuits they are 'tariffed' to provide,
c) TCP/IP traffic and Internet 'providers'  (local wireless point - point services)
d) LD (Long distance) 'providers' (whose lease large amounts of BW or circuit-time from the big boys)
e) Misc nation-wide services like paging (yes, there are paging services still available, and some are even 2-way data capable) and Satellite Phones (several providers here)

It would, at present, take a 'phone call' to each of these NOC (centers) to initiate shutdown procedures ... in old Motorola/DSC Corporation (Digital Switch Corp) terminology the term would be OOS (Out-Of-Service) the switch, in Ericsson terminology it would be 'block' the switch to cease 'call carrying' ...

Sure, the methodology has existed, it's part of the basic operations in each of telecom's components (switch, DSX, routed, etc.) ... now 'government', seeking ever-more control will formalize the methodology.

In Pakistan they practiced this technique each time Musharraf flew into/out of an airport to suppress the possibility of assassination/the setting off of bombs ingress/egress route; they would 'block' the cellular switches from carrying traffic.

So, the concepts are nothing new; the formalization of this level of control in the land of the free and the home of the brave is though ...

o Icom IC-756ProII, ProIII, Alinco DX-70, Kenwood TS-680s
o WinRadio G303e, Degen/Kaito 1103/DE1103, Stoddart NM-25
o 1/2 wave 80m Dipole used with several tuners
o Tuned loops from 2' thru 16' diam. capable of 160m thru 10m

Offline SW-J

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...
Of course, aside from issues of cell site saturation, the fact remains that most cell traffic these days (and probably regular landline voice service as well) is handled by the same data backbone that moves regular Internet traffic around. 
...

Leased circuits; ranging from true "T1" circuits (T3/DS3 etc) to Frame Relay to some true TCP/IP data pipes ... it depends on the 'internal construct' of the telco carrier one is arranging a circuit with ... legacy systems still have DSX (digital cross connects) back at the bigger switching centers so naturally we're talking T1/DS1 circuit sizes as a minimum and aggregation up from there ... I don't expect cessation of such leased circuits to be affected.

Onto the meat of the subject of "network shutdown": This 'kill' will/should be aimed at the 'consumer' level; your services, the public in general, will have 'services' restricted ... don't expect all law-enforcement to be without, certain 'critical' functions in the community or state will not be without, there will be 'service' available for those with 'clearance' or need as it relates to 'security' ... just not the 'average Joe'.

If they shut *everything* down (internet, telecom incl classic land-line and cellular/PCS services), how are they going to make the 'call' (to all the NOCs) to tell everybody to turn it back up?

A conundrum ...
o Icom IC-756ProII, ProIII, Alinco DX-70, Kenwood TS-680s
o WinRadio G303e, Degen/Kaito 1103/DE1103, Stoddart NM-25
o 1/2 wave 80m Dipole used with several tuners
o Tuned loops from 2' thru 16' diam. capable of 160m thru 10m

Offline Tube Shortwave

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All the spooks have to do is disable the GPS system by shooting down a majority of the birds, and EVERYTHING digital stops.

I work in the radio industry.  GPS antennas are found at every radio installation for syncronizing the system.  If it loses the 10 MHz. sync info, it stops.  No cellular, no internet, no broadband, no power from the substation, nothing.  Except, HF radio!

If you don't already have a working HF radio installation, I highly recommend you get one going ASAP and keep it in ready mode.

Offline SW-J

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...
I work in the radio industry.  GPS antennas are found at every radio installation for syncronizing the system.  If it loses the 10 MHz. sync info, it stops.  No cellular, no internet, no broadband, no power from the substation, nothing.  Except, HF radio!
...
What do you do, roughly ... just finished a stint here with Cisco/BWBU (Broadband Wireless Business Unit, the old Navini startup they in bought late 2007) where we were completing the P4 WiMAX beam-forming basestation that used GPS for system-synchronization and frequency-locking (we did extensive testing of this feature with a couple different vendor's GPS modules as well as pay attention to ultimate phase-noise of the two S-band synthesizers in the product) ... the previous Navini-proprietary over-the-air protocol (for the P3 product line) only used GPS to assure that all basestations were transmitting in/during the TX time slot (a TDD protocol - time division duplexing like WiMAX is) ... loss of GPS would have meant eventual 'wandering' of the TX slot into adjacent basestation's RX timeslots and some degradation of operation ...

I don't know how dependent routers and internet-backbone systems are on GPS, where accurate time and or frequency would intrinsically play a part, but the TCP/IP protocol itself has no requirement for accurate time/time-stamping per se. The generation of accurate clocks for digital transmission on optical links: generally, they have used PLL techniques to lock onto and 'slave' onto the incoming Layer 1 (phys layer) and demodulate that serial data bit stream.

It used to be that Telco systems required accurate timing to prevent phase-slip/loss of synchonization of T1/T3 et al between equipment and adjacent networks they interfaced with, but later technologies don't require the kind of synchronization that a memoryless, phase-synchronized 1.544 MB/s based system did ... even the Ericsson RBS 882 base stations could be 'slaved' (frequency-locked) off a T1 trunk coming in to the cell site ...

o Icom IC-756ProII, ProIII, Alinco DX-70, Kenwood TS-680s
o WinRadio G303e, Degen/Kaito 1103/DE1103, Stoddart NM-25
o 1/2 wave 80m Dipole used with several tuners
o Tuned loops from 2' thru 16' diam. capable of 160m thru 10m

Offline outhouse radio

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That isn't a very good reason to become ham !        BUT   have a nice day !!!

Offline syfr

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That isn't a very good reason to become ham !        BUT   have a nice day !!!

Agreed! But it's also a lot of fun too!
Kiwsdr x 2. TenTec Paragon/NRD535

Offline syfr

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"Oh, it's useful all right - in the event of an emergency, when all other means of communications are down, hams everywhere will still have the ability, no matter what, to talk about how their bursitis"

Sorry that it's that way where you are... it's a hobby after all .... but if Skywarn is not good where you are, join and steer 'em right. If QSO's are boring, make 'em more exciting.  The hobby is as good, or as bad as we are. There's a great Skywarn community here in NC. I've had some great QSOs about pirate radio and numbers stations. Likewise tons of good discussions about restoring Boatanchor stuff and AM in specific. Fun stuff!

It is what we make it...
Kiwsdr x 2. TenTec Paragon/NRD535