Author Topic: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?  (Read 32171 times)

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« on: February 24, 2009, 05:59:36 PM »
Probably some of you are already using MURS radios (151 MHz) already.  I own a little electronics design company, and I am thinking of doing some accessories for survivalists using these and other two-way radios that have mike/headset jacks.

So, please chime in and tell me what you think of the product I am thinking of developing in the next few months:

The OPSEC Encrypted radio headset mike for MURS and FRS radio

Features:
- Built into a headset microphone set (similar to wired headsets for cell phones)
- Allows two or more radios using these headsets programmed with the same 16-digit code to communicate with a reasonable expectation of COMPLETE privacy.
- Industrial-strength encryption (not AES, though, so I can export it to other countries)
- 16-digit personalized encryption code, set by plugging the headset into USB port on computer (USB cord and software CD included)
- Internal battery runs >50 hours continuously, charges from USB (or possibly from the radio itself)

Retail price: $59.95

Thoughts and Comments Please.

--Backwoods Engineer
Nichetronix.com and HamHUD.net

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 04:14:33 AM »
A hypothetical here... ;)

Say someone had some 2M mobile gear that was modded to tx out of band & could tx on the frequencies you're suggesting, would it be possible for you put something together that would encrypt ooooh, say a 2M yaesu...ya know, just hypothetically?

I'd be in for the other thing too, BTW. ;)

Offline ejsandstrom

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 06:25:17 AM »
Just my .02

First great idea. I don't even own any radios due to no COMSEC. I would buy these in a heart beat.

Now my suggestion.

First don't build it into a headset. Make it modular. So say if you had a headset in your bike helmet, a throat mic, and maybe one other. Not only that but headsets break and I could have 2 or 3 back ups. If the battery goes dead, you could pull the additional piece out of the mix and still have comms. A secondary piece would also allow a larger battery. My bluetooth is great but it goes dead quick. The USB recharge is great. A small solar panel could recharge it fairly easily.

Second, make it AES. Don't worry about export. I say it for this reason. Say you export to the UK and a guy buys 10 and ships them to Asscrackastan, and they get used by some bad guys to carry out an attack. I would feel like shit. And realistically what are your projected international sales?

Offline The Professor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 02:58:33 PM »
I'd have to agree with the modularity suggestion.

Even if the microphone is waterproof/shockproof, the possibility of it getting damaged is great.

Not to mention, that I, personally, don't much care for headsets.

My commo gear is set up as a throat mic or in-ear mike with remote PTT.  This feels better when you're wearing it a long time and doesn't interfere with my cheek-to-stock weld.

Not to mention, the ability to swap from between a handheld and vehicle-mounted radio would be KILLER!

If you came up with such a contraption, I'd pay twice the price!

The Professor.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 06:52:47 PM »
A hypothetical here... ;)

Say someone had some 2M mobile gear that was modded to tx out of band & could tx on the frequencies you're suggesting, would it be possible for you put something together that would encrypt ooooh, say a 2M yaesu...ya know, just hypothetically?

I'd be in for the other thing too, BTW. ;)

DeltaEchoVictor,

What I'm proposing would work on any 2-way radio with suitable audio jacks, and/or cable adapters.   So, yes, it should work on your out-of-band-TX ham radio.  I have a Kenwood ham radio that also works fine on FRS.

And, while we both know that encryption over amateur radio is illegal, in a TEOTWAKI situation, we might think differently about it. 

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 06:54:57 PM »
Just my .02

First great idea. I don't even own any radios due to no COMSEC. I would buy these in a heart beat.

Now my suggestion.

First don't build it into a headset. Make it modular. So say if you had a headset in your bike helmet, a throat mic, and maybe one other. Not only that but headsets break and I could have 2 or 3 back ups. If the battery goes dead, you could pull the additional piece out of the mix and still have comms. A secondary piece would also allow a larger battery. My bluetooth is great but it goes dead quick. The USB recharge is great. A small solar panel could recharge it fairly easily.

Second, make it AES. Don't worry about export. I say it for this reason. Say you export to the UK and a guy buys 10 and ships them to Asscrackastan, and they get used by some bad guys to carry out an attack. I would feel like shit. And realistically what are your projected international sales?

ejsandstrom,

Thanks for the comments and the encouragement.  I agree about the modular concept, and it would make it even easier for me.  I could offer it packaged with a cheapie headset, but if someone wanted a throat mic or whatever, it work work with that, too.

I will include a second power jack, besides USB, to be able to recharge it from vehicle DC, solar, or whatever.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2009, 06:57:36 PM »
I'd have to agree with the modularity suggestion.

Even if the microphone is waterproof/shockproof, the possibility of it getting damaged is great.

Not to mention, that I, personally, don't much care for headsets.

My commo gear is set up as a throat mic or in-ear mike with remote PTT.  This feels better when you're wearing it a long time and doesn't interfere with my cheek-to-stock weld.

Not to mention, the ability to swap from between a handheld and vehicle-mounted radio would be KILLER!

If you came up with such a contraption, I'd pay twice the price!

The Professor.

Hi Professor,

Modular it is, then.  And you would be able to swap it, given the proper connectors/adapters with a vehicle-mounted radio.

Thanks for the enthusiasm.  Maybe I should consider a higher price :-)  Nah, just kidding.  I know that a lot of survival types have limited budgets, and I want it to be something everyone could use for OPSEC.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2009, 07:04:54 PM »

So, please chime in and tell me what you think of the product I am thinking of developing in the next few months:

The OPSEC Encrypted radio [dongle] for MURS and FRS radio

Okay, guys, thanks for the feedback so far, but I have some more questions:

1.  If the voice was clear, would cell-phone quality audio be acceptable (kind of "digital-sounding")?
2.  Would it be useful to have an "CALL" or "ALERT" button that would "ping" the other stations in your encrypted comm net?
3.  Would it be useful to be able to do encrypted messaging with the other members of your net by plugging the encryption module into the USB port of a laptop?
4.  What kind of battery life is reasonable?
5.  Do you think the USB-rechargable internal battery is a good idea, or should the thing run off something replaceable, like an "AA" cell?
6.  Would it be useful to have button(s) to switch between two (or more) encryption key numbers, to allow for multiple nets or to "kill" compromised radios?

Your thoughts, please, survival mavens...

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2009, 08:37:25 PM »
Okay, guys, thanks for the feedback so far, but I have some more questions:

1.  If the voice was clear, would cell-phone quality audio be acceptable (kind of "digital-sounding")?
2.  Would it be useful to have an "CALL" or "ALERT" button that would "ping" the other stations in your encrypted comm net?
3.  Would it be useful to be able to do encrypted messaging with the other members of your net by plugging the encryption module into the USB port of a laptop?
4.  What kind of battery life is reasonable?
5.  Do you think the USB-rechargable internal battery is a good idea, or should the thing run off something replaceable, like an "AA" cell?
6.  Would it be useful to have button(s) to switch between two (or more) encryption key numbers, to allow for multiple nets or to "kill" compromised radios?

Your thoughts, please, survival mavens...

I know absolutely nothing about radio stuff, but TW (my husband) is interested in getting MURS radios, so I'm gonna have to throw in my 2 cents here.

1. How much more expensive would it be to have better than cell phone quality audio?  Cell phone quality isn't all that great, and I'd like to feel absolutely secure that I understand everything that is being said to me over the radio.

2. Yes, it would be extremely useful (at least for those of us who are used to Nextel type radios) to have a ping button.

3. I'm gonna leave that one alone, because I have absolutely no idea.  My understanding of encryption ends where my GPG program ends. :D

4. I would feel really good knowing that my radio was going to last at least 12 hours at full strength.  That way, I could replace the batteries every night, and again every morning (if it comes to needing the radio to be on constantly)

5. Please please please please PLEASE make it run off of something I can use my Solio to recharge.  If I'm hiking my butt home, because the freeways are too clogged to drive on, and therefore have absolutely no way to use a laptop for very long, I will thank you a thousand times over, when I'm able to recharge the batteries WHILE I'm hiking home.

PS - what's an "in ear mike"?  Is that like what the secret service dudes are always using, with the little coily thingie coming out of their ear?

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2009, 08:44:46 PM »

So, please chime in and tell me what you think of the product I am thinking of developing in the next few months:

The OPSEC Encrypted radio [dongle] for MURS and FRS radio

Okay, guys, thanks for the feedback so far, but I have some more questions:

1.  If the voice was clear, would cell-phone quality audio be acceptable (kind of "digital-sounding")?
2.  Would it be useful to have an "CALL" or "ALERT" button that would "ping" the other stations in your encrypted comm net?
3.  Would it be useful to be able to do encrypted messaging with the other members of your net by plugging the encryption module into the USB port of a laptop?
4.  What kind of battery life is reasonable?
5.  Do you think the USB-rechargable internal battery is a good idea, or should the thing run off something replaceable, like an "AA" cell?
6.  Would it be useful to have button(s) to switch between two (or more) encryption key numbers, to allow for multiple nets or to "kill" compromised radios?

Your thoughts, please, survival mavens...

1.  Yes, it would be fine. 
2.  Yes, pinging would definitely be a plus.
3.  Yes, except I don't have laptop.
4.  Cellphone time length with the option to buy extra batteries.  Obviously longer is better...
5.  External rechargeable, like some HT's currently have with a AA battery module as an add on.  More choices are better...amiright?
6.  Yes, it would be useful to be able to "customize" one's encryption.  Being able to kill a compromised radio would be a big plus as well.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 08:50:08 PM »
Quote
And, while we both know that encryption over amateur radio is illegal, in a TEOTWAKI situation, we might think differently about it.
Exactly.

Since all radios can be modded to tx out of band...hypothetically of course....in an EOTWAWKI situation all bets are off.  One does what one needs to when the end is nigh.  I'm thinking along the lines of predetermined contacts, nets, & what not that one might not want to advertise over the open air & talking on off band predetermined dead(er) frequs might be the way to go.  Much to my delight you're working on the problem it appears. ;)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 05:20:20 AM by DeltaEchoVictor »

Offline docred

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 02:22:17 AM »
The concept of a affordable consumer encryption for radios is pretty appealing.


Offline The Professor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2009, 07:49:14 PM »
Okay, guys, thanks for the feedback so far, but I have some more questions:

1.  If the voice was clear, would cell-phone quality audio be acceptable (kind of "digital-sounding")?

My Answer: Yes.  Absolutely.  For those who argue with this, I might suggest learning how to converse properly over comms.  The military has done it for decades. 

2.  Would it be useful to have an "CALL" or "ALERT" button that would "ping" the other stations in your encrypted comm net?

My Answer: Absolutely.

3.  Would it be useful to be able to do encrypted messaging with the other members of your net by plugging the encryption module into the USB port of a laptop?

My Answer: Hell yes. . .especially if you could also make it work with, say, a Blackberry via the mini-USP Port.  (hint, hint)

4.  What kind of battery life is reasonable?

My Answer : 2-3 hours of talk time would be more than sufficient with, say, double for stand-by.

5.  Do you think the USB-rechargable internal battery is a good idea, or should the thing run off something replaceable, like an "AA" cell?

My answer: How about both?  Offer an adapter that takes common batteries and allows them to be used.

6.  Would it be useful to have button(s) to switch between two (or more) encryption key numbers, to allow for multiple nets or to "kill" compromised radios?

My Answer : Hell yes.

But I would also ask you how you load the keys in.  Having a keyloader would be super, especially for large numbers of encryption units.  Don't make them Clonable (sp?) from one radio to another, though.  Fix it to where you must have a keyloader to set the encryption key for each radio, otherwise you face the risk of someone getting a device and cloning their device to your keys.

Dude, if you're this handy with electronics, we do need to talk.  I have a couple of other ideas for some fun, useful equipment that the preparedness-minded individual may get a use out of!

I will be honest, I am definitely envious of your skills.

The Professor.

Offline ejsandstrom

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2009, 08:25:43 AM »
Okay, guys, thanks for the feedback so far, but I have some more questions:

1.  If the voice was clear, would cell-phone quality audio be acceptable (kind of "digital-sounding")?
2.  Would it be useful to have an "CALL" or "ALERT" button that would "ping" the other stations in your encrypted comm net?
3.  Would it be useful to be able to do encrypted messaging with the other members of your net by plugging the encryption module into the USB port of a laptop?
4.  What kind of battery life is reasonable?
5.  Do you think the USB-rechargable internal battery is a good idea, or should the thing run off something replaceable, like an "AA" cell?
6.  Would it be useful to have button(s) to switch between two (or more) encryption key numbers, to allow for multiple nets or to "kill" compromised radios?

Your thoughts, please, survival mavens...

1. YES
2.YES
3.OH HELL YA
4. No matter how long it is, its never long enough, do your best.
5. Why cant you have both. 2 AA batteries is 3VDC in series dosent a USB put out like 5VDC? It could come with rechargeables, then offer one of those small solar panels that fold up. now you have almost infanate possibilitys for power.
6. YES

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 09:48:39 AM »
Sister Wolf, thanks for your comments and interest.  I'll answer your questions below.

1. How much more expensive would it be to have better than cell phone quality audio?  Cell phone quality isn't all that great, and I'd like to feel absolutely secure that I understand everything that is being said to me over the radio.
Though it pains me to disappoint so gracious a lady, I fear I must do so.  This is a matter of technical limitations of the radio in question, not the module I am proposing.  You see, those radios don't have very much signal bandwidth, and I need extra in order to encrypt and encode your voice.    It really will sound quote good, as I will show you, but let me explain what is going on.

Remember how "on-hold" music through a telephone sounds "tinny"?  That "tinniness" is due to a bandpass filter reducing the available bandwidth.  Since I have to add encryption to the voice signal, that causes it to have more bandwidth.  Therefore, I will use a computer algorithm called a "vocoder" to reduce the bandwidth of the voice, so I still have room to add encryption and other "overhead" data, and it will still fit in the signal bandwidth of the MURS or FRS/GMRS radios.  The vocoder doesn't cause the voice to have "tinniness", it just gives the voice a slightly "digital" quality that is still quite understandable.  All cell phones these days use vocoders.

I can give you an idea of how my module will sound, because I am planning to use the open-source Speex vocoder:
Here are two voice samples BEFORE the vocoder operates on it: http://speex.org/samples/audio/male.wav  http://speex.org/samples/audio/female.wav
Here are the same two voice samples AFTER they have gone through the vocoder and decoder: http://speex.org/samples/audio/male_speex_4.wav http://speex.org/samples/audio/female_speex_4.wav

To my ears, there is very little difference, and the audio is quite clear.

By the way, if a radio user WITHOUT a COMSEC module were to listen to the channel, he/she would hear something similar to this:  http://www.kb9ukd.com/digital/152.33-taxi.wav

That's a 4800-baud QPSK signal, for the techies out there.  My information says that MURS has the bandwidth for this, but FRS/GMRS may only support 2400 baud.  If so, then the voice transmissions over FRS/GRMS may be delayed slightly from "real time", to allow the slower data rate to convey the voice.  Most times, with short transmissions, the delay would only be a second or so, and you really wouldn't notice unless you were standing right next to the sending radio.

4. I would feel really good knowing that my radio was going to last at least 12 hours at full strength.  That way, I could replace the batteries every night, and again every morning (if it comes to needing the radio to be on constantly)

I think the battery life will depend on how much you're transmitting (coding requires more battery power than decoding), and how much the channel is just quiet.  If it is quiet, my device won't pull much power from its battery at all.

5. Please please please please PLEASE make it run off of something I can use my Solio to recharge.  If I'm hiking my butt home, because the freeways are too clogged to drive on, and therefore have absolutely no way to use a laptop for very long, I will thank you a thousand times over, when I'm able to recharge the batteries WHILE I'm hiking home.

Of course!  Solio has a USB port charging connector.  Ah, a thousand thanks from the gracious lady!

PS - what's an "in ear mike"?  Is that like what the secret service dudes are always using, with the little coily thingie coming out of their ear?

To my best understanding, it is a combination mike/speaker that picks up most of the voice through bone conduction, and therefore is less sensitive to outside noise than a regular mike.  Yes, I think the SS uses them.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2009, 09:50:19 AM »
The concept of a affordable consumer encryption for radios is pretty appealing.

Thank you.  Any thoughts on the questions I posted above?

Thanks

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2009, 10:21:38 AM »
3.  Would it be useful to be able to do encrypted messaging with the other members of your net by plugging the encryption module into the USB port of a laptop?
My Answer: Hell yes. . .especially if you could also make it work with, say, a Blackberry via the mini-US Port.  (hint, hint)

Professor,

I'm not sure what kind of application development software is available for the Blackberry.  Also, it's very likely that the Blackberry's USB port is a SLAVE port not a HOST port.  The encryption dongle would require the latter.  Sorry.   One of those "pocket" laptops like the MSI Wind or EEepc would do it, though.

5.  Do you think the USB-rechargable internal battery is a good idea, or should the thing run off something replaceable, like an "AA" cell?

My answer: How about both?  Offer an adapter that takes common batteries and allows them to be used.

This is what I'm thinking, too.   Offer a little battery pack that you can put AAs in, that has a USB jack on it.  Kind of like this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-UNIVERSAL-BATTERY-CHARGER-USB-AA-FOR-CELL-PHONE-DC_W0QQitemZ270331632616QQcmdZViewItemQQptZPDA_Accessories?hash=item270331632616&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A570|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

  And again, the Solio would work: http://store.solio.com/s.nl/it.A/id.80/.f?sc=7&category=109

But I would also ask you how you load the keys in.  Having a keyloader would be super, especially for large numbers of encryption units.  Don't make them Clonable (sp?) from one radio to another, though.  Fix it to where you must have a keyloader to set the encryption key for each radio, otherwise you face the risk of someone getting a device and cloning their device to your keys.
Keyloading would be done in advance, using the USB port and a computer (Windows/Linux/Mac).  A seperate keyloader device might be interesting, and a project to tackle later.  I would like to focus on the COMSEC module itself, and have users use their PCs to load keys.

You'll be able to load multiple sets of encryption keys into the devices, and then one button press would switch to another key set.  You'll not want to say the obvious, "Press button 3" over the air, in the case of a captured radio that you want to kill.  You'd have agreed in advance to names for the encryption key select buttons (I'm thinking 3 buttons, so they might be "Ford", "Chevy", and "GMC"), and you say only the coded name over the air.  That way, someone NOT in your group would not know which button to push.  Also, you could change channels on the radio for additional security.  Once everyone is up on the new net, the leader of the group would announce "stand by" and press the Random Key button (which would be kind of hidden so you don't press accidentally!), which would issue a random shared key over the air (encrypted with the current key) to all the members of the current net.  That way, the captured radio is now completely useless, and COMSEC is maintained.

Dude, if you're this handy with electronics, we do need to talk.  I have a couple of other ideas for some fun, useful equipment that the preparedness-minded individual may get a use out of!

I will be honest, I am definitely envious of your skills.

Thanks.  I've been in electronics design for 24 years, and have spent over half of that in digital radio communication.  And of course, I've been a ham radio operator almost all my life.

Please private-message me to talk about other electronics for prep-minded individuals.  I am wanting to move my business more into that direction.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2009, 10:25:14 AM »
Of course!  Solio has a USB port charging connector.  Ah, a thousand thanks from the gracious lady!

 :D Duh! :D  Thank you one thousand and one times!

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2009, 10:36:05 AM »
2.  Would it be useful to have an "CALL" or "ALERT" button that would "ping" the other stations in your encrypted comm net?
2.  Yes, pinging would definitely be a plus.

I'd like to take the opportunity afforded by your answer, DEV, to expand on this "CALL" button.  People I have talked to about this off the forum (you know, in real life  :)) have been concerned about light and noise discipline.  They were thinking that the CALL button would cause the other COMSEC dongles to blink, buzz, or otherwise make light and noise visible and audible outside the device, which might give away someone's position.

That's not the way I'm thinking this will work.  I'm thinking that on the key-loading software on the PC, there will be a button to record a vocal "friendly name" for that particular dongle, which will get stored in its internal memory.  When the CALL button is pressed, the dongle will send that name over the network as a voice, in addition to an alert tone.

A typical scenario might be something like this:  Say you need to initiate some action in your group without speaking and giving your position away, such as initiating cover on some invading MZBs.  You would reach in and squeeze your "Call" button, and all the other users in the net might hear in their earphones: "Beep! Alert, 'Backwoods Engineer'".  The 'Backwoods Engineer' part would be in my own voice, recorded on the PC when I configured my dongle.

What do you think?

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2009, 08:35:34 PM »
I'd like to take the opportunity afforded by your answer, DEV, to expand on this "CALL" button.  People I have talked to about this off the forum (you know, in real life  :)) have been concerned about light and noise discipline.  They were thinking that the CALL button would cause the other COMSEC dongles to blink, buzz, or otherwise make light and noise visible and audible outside the device, which might give away someone's position.

That's not the way I'm thinking this will work.  I'm thinking that on the key-loading software on the PC, there will be a button to record a vocal "friendly name" for that particular dongle, which will get stored in its internal memory.  When the CALL button is pressed, the dongle will send that name over the network as a voice, in addition to an alert tone.

A typical scenario might be something like this:  Say you need to initiate some action in your group without speaking and giving your position away, such as initiating cover on some invading MZBs.  You would reach in and squeeze your "Call" button, and all the other users in the net might hear in their earphones: "Beep! Alert, 'Backwoods Engineer'".  The 'Backwoods Engineer' part would be in my own voice, recorded on the PC when I configured my dongle.

What do you think?
Nice. 

Maintaining noise discipline would be a major concern & that sounds like an excellent way to overcome the problem.  You could load it with a prerecorded message perhaps...if for example you weren't able to communicate directly for whatever reason.

Offline Master Guns

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2009, 12:35:14 AM »
All, this is Interesting...
But all forget that if your trying to be sneaky and hide your info in a 2 mile radius MAX. Mostly 2 blocks in the city. And if someone is trying to track you they will just DF (Direction Find) you. If your not saying attack attack attack then you dont have to worry just shackel your info when required. (Just use a code sheet.) also Encrypted traffic can be Broken. it is just a Matter of time. Even using Brute Force. Anyone who says it cant, is not in the know of what we do in the military. Noting is secure if the forces come to bear on you. Email, Radio, or Phone all can be compromised given the time and equipment put to the task. Backdoor, or Brute Force it all is used.

If you just use a Code Sheet you will not have an issue. It has worked for years and it is Low Tech (Thus Not cool, but it works.) And it draws no attention if your not trying to sound sneaky. Also you have to know Comm to start. As you have to get the Encrypted signal to the other radio and that is not always easy.

Your not hiding anything with a digital encryption transmission. and if recorded by SOMEONE that wants you and they want to know where your at, you will just be DFed and then your found. When found you will then be compromised. If your found with an encriped radio your then painted with a bad guy brush and your mission has failed.
 Also using this equipment on a public frequency also draws attention. If all has fallen apart then no one is listening or tracking you any way. If you train with your equipment before all falls apart then you risk legal issues now. If you dont train with your equipment then your just thinking it will work when you need it. Not the best thing to do. Humm.

With out Proper Frequency Hopping and Encryption your just kidding your self with gear and not Skill. Using FRS or GMRS MURS etc is a specific set of frequencies. So if all has fallen apart and you have no restrictions now Why use this? Also you have to have all the others you want to have comm with have the same out of band freqs. or all the others on the freq can hear you And doing that now has legal issues to train with now.

No Disrespect here my friends. I know this subject and how and what we do to track radio traffic. Digital or Analog  Encryption just flags it more.
You can use pro words and a simple code sheet passed out to people you have comm with. If you need to be sneaky this is what works.
All the equipment is nothing with out training in Comm. Is it worth the time on equipment that due to Frequency, Power (2 watts max) and Antenna is not what will help you complete your mission. (what ever that is.) 11.25 khz bandwidth  and 20.0 bandwidth is this what you want to use? And if you dont understand  bandwidth then this is also a Moot point.
 
If the world has come to an end then you will not need to have Secure Comm. If things have gone bad and we are fighting the Hun Horsemen An Encrypted Signal just draws attention and causes others to want to know what your saying. They will assume your doing something you should not be and focus on you.

All reading this need to know about communication. but understanding a Simple Shackle Process and how to use this and when, is the Key.
In a Post Apocalyptic world they will just hear encrypted traffic and drop a bomb on it.

This does not mean dont be prepared, so I applaud you all for thinking outside the box. But this process will not be what will bring you success in what your trying to do.
Survive, Prepare and pass the knowledge on to the next generation.

Hide as one tree in the forest. You will not have issues.
Sent with respect to all.


Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2009, 05:12:17 AM »
I don't think any of us have forgotten anything.  If we had, we wouldn't be here discussing options. ::)

All due respect Gunny, we aren't talking about running around playing spy with our encrypted communications.  We're talking about offering the basic civilian radio operator a basic option to tx in an emergency to those they may have to coordinate with to evacuate or take action to get out of harms way.  I don't believe any of us are kidding ourselves about how "secure" radio comms are.  Any HAM that's been involved in a fox hunt knows about direction finding.

That being said, even the FCC says that in an emergency all bets are off as far as communicating goes.  If I can pick up my 5W 2M HT or get on my 2M mobile in my Jeep & ping my wife to give her a heads up via basic encryption, I'm going to do it.  I doubt there will be military or police prowling the streets with the gear to DF me.  In an extended SHTF scenario that may be different but just over the past two years in my area we've had record floods, records high winds & record ice...ya know what, there was nobody on our streets.  Not for several days & when someone finally showed up, it was FEMA.  They brought bottled water, food & cots to sleep on, not DFing gear to make sure we were obeying the FCC's radio requirements.

I don't disagree with anything you've said but I think you may be reading a little more into our idea than our intentions (at least mine).  I'll let the others speak for themselves on the matter.  One more option is just that in my mind...one more option.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2009, 10:58:27 AM »
Hi Gunny Sgt,

I'd like to address your objections to my digital voice encryption module idea, line by line.  But first, let me say this:  I think the scenarios in which I'm envisioning this voice encryption module to be useful are different than what you are suggesting.  It's been my experience as a ham radio operator that most people don't understand radio technology, and treat it like "magic".  I think that goes double for criminals and gangs, who are most likely to be our opponents in any tactical situation, much more likely than a radio-technology-savvy government.

All, this is Interesting...
But all forget that if your trying to be sneaky and hide your info in a 2 mile radius MAX. Mostly 2 blocks in the city.

That applies to FRS, but NOT to MURS.  With an external antenna on my car and at home, we can communicate 3 miles easily-- I just did it this last weekend.

And if someone is trying to track you they will just DF (Direction Find) you.

I made the point above, but will make it again: ham radio operators like me, and government types understand DFing, but criminals, gangbangers, and foreign terrorists usually don't.


If your not saying attack attack attack then you dont have to worry just shackel your info when required. (Just use a code sheet.)

Pre-arranged codes are not always possible, or usable.  All survivalists aren't ex-military, like you. My wife won't use a codebook, especially in the stress of a bug-out situation.  It just isn't going to happen.  And I don't want anybody listening in, knowing where we're going to stop to fuel up out of our jerry cans.  It's much easier for her to just talk, knowing nobody can possibly decode what she is saying. 

Plus, I'm trying to make a little money here, pal.  I'm not a notebook seller, I'm an electronics designer.

also Encrypted traffic can be Broken. it is just a Matter of time. Even using Brute Force. Anyone who says it cant, is not in the know of what we do in the military.

I invite you to try to break it.  I will pay $1000 to the person who can break this encryption without having plaintext or private key access.  Not going to happen.  I will use AES128, the same encryption used for credit card transactions.  I used to work for a military contractor and work on encrypted systems, so I know my encryption.     Nowadays, I design meter reading systems that incorporate AES128 encryption.  The electric and gas utilities think that's good enough for your billing data.

If somebody really wants to get paranoid, we can use AES256, which the NSA has approved for encrypting top-secret data.  I used to design radar digitizers to sell to the NSA.   Good enough for the NSA, good enough for me.

Noting is secure if the forces come to bear on you. Email, Radio, or Phone all can be compromised given the time and equipment put to the task. Backdoor, or Brute Force it all is used.

Again, what forces are going to come to bear?  For the scenarios I am outlining here, it's plenty secure.  I'm not talking about using these voice encryption devices to outwit the Federal government (although that could be done, in conjunction with a spread-spectrum radio).

If you just use a Code Sheet you will not have an issue. It has worked for years and it is Low Tech (Thus Not cool, but it works.) And it draws no attention if your not trying to sound sneaky.

As I laid out before, a) I am trying to make a salable product here, and b) code sheets don't cover everything, and c)  regular people just like to "talk" and know they can't be overheard.

Also you have to know Comm to start. As you have to get the Encrypted signal to the other radio and that is not always easy.

You don't have to know Comm.  That's the point of an electronic device to do this.  And why is it not easy?  As long as all the people in my family have these voice encryption modules, and they are all loaded with the same key, and connected to their MURS radios, it's as easy as pie.  Nobody can decode what we are saying.


Your not hiding anything with a digital encryption transmission. and if recorded by SOMEONE that wants you and they want to know where your at, you will just be DFed and then your found. When found you will then be compromised. If your found with an encriped radio your then painted with a bad guy brush and your mission has failed.

On the contrary, I'm hiding EVERYTHING with digital encryption: my identity, the identity of my group, my intentions, my plans, my status, my strategy, my tactics, everything.   Everything, EXCEPT for my DFed position, and what criminal/MZB/gangbanger is going to have the equipment or know-how to acquire my DFed position?

And who is going to think it's an encrypted radio?  It's a piece of junk $79.95 MURS radio, with an unidentified black box hooked to it.

Also using this equipment on a public frequency also draws attention.

Digital data is perfectly legal on MURS.  Without special equipment, it just sounds like the "buzz" of a pager signal.  So what if it attracts attention?   They are paying attention to the wrong thing.

If all has fallen apart then no one is listening or tracking you any way.

I agree, and you're making my point!

If you train with your equipment before all falls apart then you risk legal issues now.

NOT AT ALL.  As I said, digital data is perfectly legal on MURS (47 CFR Part 95.1307 (a)).  And there is nothing in the rules prohibiting encryption (there is in ham radio, except during emergencies).

With out Proper Frequency Hopping and Encryption your just kidding your self with gear and not Skill. Using FRS or GMRS MURS etc is a specific set of frequencies. So if all has fallen apart and you have no restrictions now Why use this? Also you have to have all the others you want to have comm with have the same out of band freqs. or all the others on the freq can hear you And doing that now has legal issues to train with now.

Again, there are no legal issues with using digital voice encryption on MURS.

I have been working in Low-Probability of Intercept (LPI) spread-spectrum systems for years.  I have designed both Direct-Sequence and Frequency Hopping systems.  I understand that non-spread-spectrum systems can be DF'd, and even SS systems can be DF'd at short ranges.  And I am telling you: criminals, gangbangers, and MZB's understand NONE of this.

I do agree that in a TEOTWAWKI situation, we can use any freq we please. 

No Disrespect here my friends. I know this subject and how and what we do to track radio traffic. Digital or Analog  Encryption just flags it more.

None taken.  It's just you are coming to it from a military perspective, not a citizens' perspective.  I believe a digital voice encryption module for MURS and other radios would be extremely useful for the survival-minded individual, and many agree.  If you disagree, that's fine, but the reasons you have cited are not valid reasons to avoid digital voice encryption in a typical civilian survival scenario.

All the equipment is nothing with out training in Comm. Is it worth the time on equipment that due to Frequency, Power (2 watts max) and Antenna is not what will help you complete your mission. (what ever that is.) 11.25 khz bandwidth  and 20.0 bandwidth is this what you want to use? And if you dont understand  bandwidth then this is also a Moot point.

Don't understand bandwidth?  After 24 years in radio and electronics engineering, I think I know what I'm doing here.  And 2 watts max and an UNRESTRICTED antenna will go a long way; I know from experience.   20 kHz bandwidth is enough for 5-kHz deviation FM modulated by a QPSK modem driven by an AES128-encrypted bitstream from the Speex vocoder at 2 or 3 kbits per sec.  I know--I've measured it.  And I even posted samples to show people how it would sound.  Why are you trying to poo-poo this?
 
If the world has come to an end then you will not need to have Secure Comm. If things have gone bad and we are fighting the Hun Horsemen An Encrypted Signal just draws attention and causes others to want to know what your saying. They will assume your doing something you should not be and focus on you.

Nonsense.  I want secure comms ANYTIME, during TEOTWAWKI or not, Hun Horsemen or gangbangers.  I don't want them to know what I am planning, what I am preparing, where I am going, or what my status is.

In a Post Apocalyptic world they will just hear encrypted traffic and drop a bomb on it.

HAHAHA!  Who do you think is going to KNOW it's encrypted traffic in a Post Apocalyptic world?  How will they have access to my frame formats and protocol?  How are they going to have my private key in order to decode it to start with?   

Gunny, come on, be reasonable.  I doubt criminals, gangbangers, and MZBs are going to have close air support, to be able to "drop a bomb on" anything, much less my MURS radio.

This does not mean dont be prepared, so I applaud you all for thinking outside the box. But this process will not be what will bring you success in what your trying to do.

Thanks.  You'll see.

Offline Master Guns

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2009, 02:25:57 PM »
Backwoods Eng:
I love that your trying to help others on the forum and are doing your part to support others with communications.

I have been a HAM for a LONG time too And all who are seeing what is coming should become a HAM and become involved with local communications support systems. So they can increase there ability to have communication and Survive (what ever happens).

I also have 2 tours of duty at the NSA. Yes Military people work there not just Engineers. This is why I say all this.

We all have an opinion. I have mine and it is based on this subject and the use of High Tech and NO Tech, to deal with finding out what others are doing and to prevent others from knowing about things.

All need to listen to Jacks show number 148 as it shares the foundational issues of a Comm Plan and the Documents needed to increase ones ability to Survive.
(He did a great job at simplifying the planning required to increase survival.)
He has it lined out great and Basic so under stress you can get done what you need.

I am just trying to bring up that the efforts to encrypt voice radio traffic will bring scrutiny from a government on one end and if your using encryption to protect your radio traffic from a gangbanger with a walmart radio, (as that is what they will have). I don’t think a Gangbanger with a Kenwood TH F6A and Him Scanning the FRS, GMRS, MURS or Ham Bands to seek out radio traffic on your position or what route your taking is a threat. Thou you can go to that extreme but it is not the best use assets for most. This is why I say to not use FRS, GMRS and MURS and CB for more then basic unsecure comm. Many people rely on equipment and not knowledge. So who are you trying to protect your radio traffic from? A Rhetorical Question as I understand what your trying to do in concept.

People who rely of gadgets will often have more issues then the person with a map, compass and a pocket knife “The Basics”. That is my overarching point. The Basics are better then all the High Tech stuff when it comes to survival.

I have NIPR, SIPR and JWICS on my desk and Satellite Radio Comm and a Sat Phone in my bag. But as I look back on all my experience and tools and look at what has worked and NOT worked in my 31 years of doing this, brings me to have the opinion that I do. Just a bit of experience in this subject.

I will retire in a few months so I am just saying that radio encryption is not all it is made out to be, due to so many factors like Radio Frequency Spectrum, Antenna Theory and Radio Wave propagation to just say a few. As you clearly know, so much more comes into play when we use a radio then just talking into a device, Many think that if they add a device to a radio (of any type) that will take care of the many issues effecting communications. Adding an additional device (without the knowledge to discern what is working and what is not.)  Adds an additional level of trouble shooting.

Also Adding the possibilities of stations transmitting in the CLEAR who's equipment is not working also adds confusion to who is COVERED (Encrypted) and who is not. (That is all depending if you can even hear uncovered Stations. If the person then does not know how to fall back to “Meet at Rally Point Bravo” then what has been achieved? Again a Rhetorical Question only to make the point of how a Comm plan is required and works in a survival situation. Again Jacks show #148 hits all the required points on this issue.

In Survival, Low Tech is often a better way to go then increased encryption, equipment and tools.

I have not tried to address things line by line as I am not trying to prove you wrong at all.
Many will not read all we are sharing as they don’t want to read all the details. But the ones that are looking to understand how to use comm and read this so to use Correctly the things they can, so to survive “What ever”, will not embrace technology or device over the foundational skill like in Jacks 148 show.

I have my opinion and it is a very valid opinion based on what I know about this subject. I will just say, I never said a Gangbanger will have CAS. I was clearly addressing that as some feel, if civil disturbance came up or even civil war. In that (extreme) case then CAS is what any group standing up for independence would have brought against them. Just one end of the extreme ends of the scale I brought it up so to address that far end of the scale. More for the Tin Foil hat guys (God love them as they saw all this years ago, ha ha).

In survival, we can do all the high tech stuff, but for most people, it will not achieve more survival (In my opinion). I am not here to debate it, Just here to share my opinion.
This is why I come here, to share opinion and guide the people who are thinking about survival and are people who are like minded and want to grow in the ability to survive. If things get bad, or even if they don’t…

I recognize it is just my opinion, but I have a bit of practical application on all this in real life. I am not an Engineer at all and I know all things can be built, and all things can be used. I just don’t think more can be added to a radio (that is already not understood by most) and that an added device will be an asset for local 3 mile range communication. (If one can consistently establish comm. At that distance in ALL situations.) (Murphys Law will always be in effect). Few even know the difference between FRS and MURS. Knowing the diffrence is more important (In my Opinion) then to have an added device that they FEEL will increase security and thus survival.

I do think if a HAM who uses data like PSK32, Amtor, RTTY, ETC and had a totally secure data program that he was going to use in an Emergency or after things SHTF (So not to promote violating the Law before that) Data encryption may have a very limited application, so it could be used correctly and increase his survivability if monitoring would be a threat. That maybe a thing a person could have in his bag of tricks but to add it to a basic user can add more trouble then it brings to a survival situation. And as I tell all. "Nothing is Secure, Nothing at all". The people who say they are Secure, Well, they don’t know. (Not trying to be rude just totally honest).

My experience is, unless you have written the encryption code yourself and it has not been tampered with, you will have "other things in it, that will make it not as secure as you think" Again just my experience. Nothing is secure. But if you think it is, OK.

So as Jack says so well... "It is just one mans opinion." This is mine.

I admire all your efforts and will support your right to do any and all endeavors like this. I am not an in the box thinker at all. So I like to hear the technical opinion. I just know many on here are not a Technician and would look at any tool as the answer to Security and Survival when it is an added device that can break, go bad and not keep secure what they think is.

Murphy’s Law loves Technology and will attack equipment when you rely on it the most.
Low Tech is Better under stress and in survival. (Just my opinion).
God Bless and
Semper Fi.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2009, 12:30:30 PM »
Master Gunny,

If I may interject another viewpoint:

I believe having comms that have even a modest level of encryption ability might prove valuable in a survival situation.

And, while I feel that many of your points are valid, some may not be necessarily applicable.

Yes, I realize that the boys in Virginia, DC and Huachuca can break about 99.997% of all encryption methods.  I also realize that the majority of hams in my area can do RDF and do so on a frequent basis.

However, even in a protracted survival scenario, the average gangbanger or even HAM operator may not be able to break my voice comms.

And, I would suggest that the SIGINT boys will probably not want to involve themselves with the likes of me, my wife, and my neighbors having an encrypted system for neighborhood watch.

Now, while I'm sure that all amateur radio operators in this country are nice, stable and upstanding citizens who would never break a law, even when things get bad and their families are starving, you may find someone who has both the ability and equipment to listen in on even advanced communication systems.

Having a basic, secured commo system for a "neighborhood watch" (such as the one in "Lights Out") may prove beneficial.  Real-time examples of such a neighborhood watch program have popped up in the past in the aftermaths of several hurricanes.  A group of families have banded together to protect their homes and businesses from looters, etc.

Yes, there's always the option of using codes, etc.  But directing an internal defense in the clear over a CB, FRS or similar system while trying to read a funnybook and decoding on the fly while taking incoming is rather difficult.  Additionally, codes are great for situations where you can foresee everything and memorize all the codes.  But if a situation pops up that you didn't foresee, having somewhat secure comms may prove beneficial.

Generally, cryptographers, RDF, etc. are not available on the company, or smaller, level in the military, unless you're part of a special operations group.  And I can guarantee that city, county and state law enforcement doesn't have anyone dedicated to this task, either.

But, if you have either a SIGINT group in your area hunting you down, or a SpecOps team doing the same, for that matter, then I would suggest you have a greater problem on your hands.

I, for one, would welcome even a simple encryption unit.  I won't go too much into our comms system, but we do have compact, rugged systems that have, literally, thousands of frequencies available on which to communicate.

Yes, changing your frequency often does help.  But having the ability to suddenly switch to speech that can't be understood by the average person, or even an accomplished amateur, for even a sentence or two may prove beneficial.  And, if this capability comes in a compact and lightweight unit, then great. . I can add an extra pound to my kit, and would do so gladly for the additional benefit.

And don't dismiss the possibility of coming across some technically-savvy criminals.  A nearby city has had many problems in the upper-scale neighborhoods with crooks roaming the streets in vehicles outfitted with scanners and other electronics to capture garage door signals, signals from security cams, etc.  A couple of years ago, one local TV station did a special report on "nannycams" where they drove through a neighborhood with equipment costing less than $300 and actually was able to look into peoples' homes to determine if they were home or not (and what they were doing if they were home).

I have a hard time believing that criminals with such knowledge and experience would change their ways in a survival situation.

I do agree with you that one should not rely upon high-tech as their only option.

Any wise person who is preparing should set up some standard operating procedures.   If Secured Commo doesn't work, go unsecured and encoded.  If the radio doesn't work, have a plan in place that you can follow that others in your group knows.

My family has a rather extensive communications plan, put together over 20 years of preparing.

It incorporates, email, faxes, cell phones, Instant Messaging, radio communications and even written/marking techniques as well as the US mail.

But, ultimately, it boils down to having a plan in place to begin with and, if the capabilities are there, maximizing the benefit of alternate communications.

Just my opinions, worth exactly what you paid for them.

The Professor




Offline Ragzilla

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2009, 02:30:13 PM »
I think it's cool just from a "tech/nerd" point of view.

Offline Master Guns

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #26 on: March 05, 2009, 02:48:50 PM »
Ragzilla:
Yes it is. the Geek in me likes it too.
But the HALO Jumpmater in me worry about the down sides in a real life survival situation.

Professor,
I agree that when you have Communications Knowledge having a "Data mode" could help a technical person be more secure, if monitoring is a threat. I just think that many people could, in wanting to Survive, embrace something that has more a down side then benefit.

Risk VS Gain. And the Risk to not having comm is present already with radios, and adding to that radio with a NON Embedded, hard wired device can give a False Sense of Security. All can debate a technical point or say well just plug the jack in securely. But we are talking about the average person and trying to share and help others with Comm on a Public Forum.

I promote helping others with Comm on a Public Forum as many have limited Comm Knowledge. We just have to know that many reading this can be swayed to do things that they think will help them survive when it increases the potential for less comm. A Simple Connector Issue can happen. How many Hams have has an intermittent open in a Hand Mike on a Hand held? All, if they use the gear all the time or are new to HAM Radio.

In teaching Firearms I find people are drawn to Gadgets and the Whistles and Bells and not the Foundational Basics. This is true in Comm also.

In doing a Real Threat Analysis and Risk VS Gain, anyone who does not see an increased risk to added technology and devices and thinks that that risk is worth running an encryption mode on a Net is just not informed on Net Operations and how things can go wrong.

I am not saying it cant be done at all. (I have a Secure Sleeve in my Iridium Phone.) But even that device ADDS to a Technical Ability a User MUST have so to Assure Comm. (And it is almost as Simple as it gets, but still Trained people have issues.)

I just want all to increase alls ability to Survive and Limit the Possible Technical Glitches that happen in real life survival situations.

People who are not technicians should know the Risk VS Gain in adding a device that would encrypt a local Voice Net and with all I know about Comm I wanted others reading this Post to know there is more to it all then just plugging in a BOX and POOF all your troubles go away and you have Secure and Solid Comm.

I AM NOT SAYING THIS WAS TYPED by anyone, But the a Reader could draw this conclusion very easy and that is a Bad thing.

As I said about Firearms. It is not the Lights, Lasers or Scopes you have, it is better to have a Simple Functional Weapon and KNOW HOW TO USE IT. What it will do and what it will not. Capabilities and Limitations of us all is the Key. Not that a Light is bad but if not used right it can be a real RISK.

My Only reason for all this is to have people survive. I want to help them not add ANY more Risk to the Comm Plan or Weapon System.

Sadly many who dont know technical issues read a post and dont see all that can go wrong in the Quest for Security and Survival.

Simple is Better, under stress.
Risk VS Gain can be debated like this but all have to see the negative to "Survival Comm" when you make it more then simple an basic.

As you say so well, If the Big Boys are looking for you then they will find you and you have bigger issues. I think all know that, but a Person reading a post may think things are secure when they aren’t. So now that all know that point it is good. Nothing is Secure.

Encryption is so misunderstood by most and thought to do more then it does, that I just think for most, Simple is better. It can be done but you add many issues to your Comm Plan.

When we add a device to your equipment Murphy will attack you and thou many can trouble shoot under stress and quickly fix, adjust, remove an encryption device. It too can become a thing that could increase confusion.

I ask this: Thou some could use it correctly and have secure comm. Can you see that a Simple Connector Issue or a device not working for what ever issue, Murphy, what ever, could limit the average person using it? I could go on about how a simple device can add to the lack of Comm. Power, Connectors, etc etc. A Small issue can cause a real problem.

My Point is not that an experienced CommO cant use this tool. But what is the Risk VS Gain and what does a real Treat Analysis reveal.

Thus Encrypting local Comm (In my Opinion) could add to the LACK of Ability to have Comm with the Common User.

As I said before if a CommO wanted to have a Program to increase a Comm paths security That May have an application, as he can address the issues that may come up and if using Long Haul Comm that is exposed to more people who may "monitor info" That can be a thing to think about.

But I think for "Tactical Comm", within a Local Area, the average user or reader of a post, could worry about encryption and not the Foundation of Communications. Thus be misguided.

I am not into feeling secure; I am into Surviving and setting others up for Success under stress.

Risk VS Gain and Real Treat Analysis in my opinion does not justify the increased risk to solid radio comm.

I hope all see the points and increased issues when building a Comm Plan. (If all where Technicians then I would not worry as much.) But I know how Important Comm is and how easy it can not work, and then people get hurt.

I hope all can see what I am trying to say. Maybe I am to much a Grunt.

Semper Fi !!


Offline doublehelix

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2009, 03:08:03 PM »
A speech inversion speaker-mic like you are describing, were used extensively
by insurgents in Bosnia with good effect in the civil war there.

It was a Taiwanese made speaker-microphone, pretty small,  with an earphone jack that plugged into
a VHF Icom ham radio modified for out of frequency band use.

The electronics were in the microphone.

In New Orleans after Katrina, NOPD used FRS radios with built in speech inversion, taken from WalMart, when
their police trunking network went down and they couldn't charge batteries.  Stick one guy on the
hotel roof to relay.  Benefit was they were also able to listen in to the local gangs who were using
unencrypted FRS radios to coordinate.

But I agree with Gunny.

Mr. Murphy says the most important time you need it, the battery cell will die.

I use Motorola's built in encryption capability in my commercial radios, which are used primarily for bug-out comms.

My bonafides...

20 year FCC commercial license holder (First Class, then later GROL with microwave and ship endorsements) and a ham.

YMMV

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2009, 10:02:16 PM »
A speech inversion speaker-mic like you are describing, were used extensively
by insurgents in Bosnia with good effect in the civil war there.

The unit I am proposing is NOT speech inversion (spectral inversion), but a digital vocoder combined with real AES (credit-card-over-the-internet-type) encryption.  Regardless of what Gunny says, this is not going to be broken.

It was a Taiwanese made speaker-microphone, pretty small,  with an earphone jack that plugged into
a VHF Icom ham radio modified for out of frequency band use.
The electronics were in the microphone.

I was originally thinking I would put it in the headset, but a lot of people started asking for a module, so I said OK.

In New Orleans after Katrina, NOPD used FRS radios with built in speech inversion, taken from WalMart, when
their police trunking network went down and they couldn't charge batteries.  Stick one guy on the
hotel roof to relay.  Benefit was they were also able to listen in to the local gangs who were using
unencrypted FRS radios to coordinate.

Interesting.  People using my encrypted voice module would be able to do the same--remove the module from the speaker mike jack, and unencrypted voice can be heard.

But I agree with Gunny.
Mr. Murphy says the most important time you need it, the battery cell will die.

Too bad.  Maybe I need to peddle my wares elsewhere; sounds like the naysayers are piling on here.
Batteries die and need to be charged in radios, too; I guess people forget that.

Sorry, Gunny and doublehelix; I'll have encrypted voice before, during, and after TEOTWAWKI, and you guys won't.

I use Motorola's built in encryption capability in my commercial radios, which are used primarily for bug-out comms.
My bonafides...
20 year FCC commercial license holder (First Class, then later GROL with microwave and ship endorsements) and a ham.
YMMV

So, you get to play with the expensive encrypted toys, but you don't want others to be able to have encrypted voice comms?  Sorry, but I smell a rat.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Encrypted MURS Voice Communications?
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2009, 10:06:37 PM »
Professor, a couple points:

Yes, I realize that the boys in Virginia, DC and Huachuca can break about 99.997% of all encryption methods.  I also realize that the majority of hams in my area can do RDF and do so on a frequent basis.
However, even in a protracted survival scenario, the average gangbanger or even HAM operator may not be able to break my voice comms.
And, I would suggest that the SIGINT boys will probably not want to involve themselves with the likes of me, my wife, and my neighbors having an encrypted system for neighborhood watch.

I tried to tell Gunny all that, but he doesn't buy it.

Having a basic, secured commo system for a "neighborhood watch" (such as the one in "Lights Out") may prove beneficial.  Real-time examples of such a neighborhood watch program have popped up in the past in the aftermaths of several hurricanes.  A group of families have banded together to protect their homes and businesses from looters, etc.

Funny you should mention David Crawford's novel-- I came up with the idea for this while reading "Lights Out"!