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Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet 180

concertina226 (2447056) writes "Online hacktivist collective Anonymous has announced that it is working on a new tool called Airchat which could allow people to communicate without the need for a phone or an internet connection — using radio waves instead. Anonymous, the amorphous group best known for attacking high profile targets like Sony and the CIA in recent years, said on the project's Github page: 'Airchat is a free communication tool [that] doesn't need internet infrastructure [or] a cell phone network. Instead it relies on any available radio link or device capable of transmitting audio.' Despite the Airchat system being highly involved and too complex for most people in its current form, Anonymous says it has so far used it to play interactive chess games with people at 180 miles away; share pictures and even established encrypted low bandwidth digital voice chats. In order to get Airchat to work, you will need to have a handheld radio transceiver, a laptop running either Windows, Mac OS X or Linux, and be able to install and run several pieces of complex software." And to cleanse yourself of the ads with autoplaying sound, you can visit the GitHub page itself.
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Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet

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  • Packet radio is done every single day on HF on up. With APRS, you can get messages from one coast to the other and back again without any internet or phone connection.

    If you DO have an Internet connection, [] even shows you where all of the beacons, digipeaters, and stations are at a given time, and allows you to see all of the packets that are sent.

  • Re:Licensing (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:33AM (#46832737)
    Just an FYI - maybe for future use. But 'ham' is not an acronym like NSA or FBI - it's never written in all caps. Correct usage would be Ham, ham or even Amateur Radio. Also, you are correct on the radio location implications. Finding a fixed station is trivial. Even a low power station. Finding a moving station only slightly more difficult, but eminently doable even with minimal resources. Just takes equipment actually designed for that purpose and in this century instead of simplistically body nulling an HT as you'd attempt at a Hamfest fox hunt or Field Day exercise. But, to give credit - even that archaic method is surprisingly useful.
  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:41AM (#46832813) Journal
    It's a great idea, I'll accept that, it's also not new - this has existed in some commercial form one way or the other (various calculators could communicate images & chat freely via the airwaves, Nintendo DS could also seek players within a certain range to do some picto-chatting or game with each other). Radio Amateurs have done this since the 80s, me too... I did it with a Commodore 64 + a home made 1-transistor modem and a walkie talkie, worked like a charm, but's good to see the kids of today doing something else than chatting on the internet.

    1). You may want to check with the laws of your country, transmitting on most bands are illegal and could potentially disturb or disrupt ambulance communication, police or other important communications. Becoming a licensed Radio Amateur the legal way, is a good step in the right direction.

    2). There are existing options you can use to chat & send files via radio today, Ham Radio enthusiasts knows all about this, visit your local (ARRL or equal ham-radio club in your neck of the woods).

    3). If you want to chat worldwide, you could get a shortwave radio - or satellite antenna with the appropriate transceiver and a packet modem, with this - you can chat digitally, send pictures, send files as long as you have a radio amateur license to do so. Basically you need this to operate on the bands, in most countries you can listen in on radio amateurs communicating via packet-radio without a license, but you DO NEED A LICENSE TO TRANSMIT.

    There are many more things you can do, there are a lot of commercially available radios, digital radios and much more. And none of them require the internet.
  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @10:54AM (#46832927)

    Armature Extra here, how can I help you get licensed? It's not that hard and these days you don't even need to learn Morse code like I had too. Entry level license requires only basic understanding of Ohms Law and Power calculations, a little about RF safety and some basic things about the rules (like what privileges your license gives you, who the FCC and ITU are.)

    Great hobby with lots of interesting things to look at. We do community service like weather spotting for the NWS, event and emergency communications. Don't like talking on the radio? There are lots of computer based things to play with, Digital modes like PSK, packet or HSMM stuff. We have software defined radios you can build and program too. I'll bet we can find something of interest for you to play with.

    Don't like taking tests? Well, what if I told you all the questions and the correct answers are published in advance and the test is multiple choice. 35 questions are asked and you only need 26 right. You can practice online (usually for free) and know almost for sure if you will pass or not before taking the test. Tests are likely given regularly and very close to you, no matter where you live and cost $15 for as many as you can take and pass. Pass all three to get your Extra and enjoy the full set of Armature privileges available. If you pass, your license will be good for life as long as you keep requesting renewal every 10 years (renewals are currently free if you file yourself online).

    Go ahead.. Take a look!

  • by ElectraFlarefire ( 698915 ) on Thursday April 24, 2014 @11:50AM (#46833317) Journal

    Considering the current generation of geeks is developing all the software defined radios used by Amateurs and with digital modes becoming a whole new area to play with, there's a lot of younger people involved.
    The older people have the contacts in government departments to get things done, the younger have the equipment to do a lot of the tracking all automatically.
    I know this from helping a group deal with some people being abusive on some bands in my area. They now have no radio gear and a few thousand dollar fine that gets remarkably large if they ever do it again..

    That being said, if they stay off the used areas and are courteous to other users of the spectrum.. THEN no-one will care enough.. You can get away with a lot, if your discrete and do it somewhere no-one cares.

Some people carve careers, others chisel them.