How To Get Your Message Out When your Government Turns Off the Internet

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Bruce Sutherland - How To Get Your Message Out When Your Government Turns Off The Internet How would you communicate with the world if your government turned off the Internet? Sound far-fetched? It isn't. It already happened in Egypt and Lybia and the US Congress is working on laws that would allow it to do the same. In this talk we'll explore how to get short messages out of the country via Email and Twitter in the event of a national Internet outage. Remember, data wants to be free. Bruce Sutherland is a network systems architect and software developer with Domex Computer Services Inc, based in Melbourne Beach, FL. Bruce has worked in the industry for over 20 years and has recently been working on building and hardening web-based applications. He has been an amateur radio operator since 2003 and enjoys making contacts worldwide via amateur radio satellite and on the traditional HF bands.

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so welcome to my talk I'm Bruce Sutherland and the my talk is how to get your message up when your government turns off the internet this is inspired by the events in the Middle East earlier this year and seemed to be continuing we're basically in Egypt the government decided they're not going to completely turn off the internet but they're going to block the DNS servers which for all intents and purposes disabled it for the people that wanted to use it so a little bit about myself then in information systems feel for 20-plus years and designed and implemented network since arc net was was standard and I wanted to see a show of hands like can't really see anything up here anyways a long time ago early 80s and I've been writing code professionally for 15-plus years everything from visual basic to see to python perl PHP you name it been a licensed ham operator for eight-plus years and really enjoy that and I prefer UNIX type operating systems over Microsoft anything for obvious reasons
so a little bit about ham radio it's old tech basically and typically to get the the distance out of ham radio you need to pretty skilled operators on either end with good setups high power good receivers good transmitters good antennas and the the people on either end usually need to know what they're doing or else bad things can happen so this is an example of a station you would need to you know transmit long distances or communicate over long distances you need a pretty sensitive transceiver that you know this one pictured here cost about six thousand dollars and it's got all kinds of digital signal processing capabilities to eliminate noise and Static and and things like that typically you need good atmospheric conditions to get distance out of this kind of system but with with enough power and the right antennas you can also do it it also works but again you can even know what you're doing the amplifier pictured here which costs about four thousand dollars will give you a maximum output of 1500 watts which is kind of what you need to talk from say somewhere like pretty much half way around the world like the Middle East to say the middle of the United States I've heard plenty of conversations and the guys usually say what they're using and let this is what they're using this amplifier requires a 220 volt outlet and a high amperage breaker in your panel to be able to get that that limit also another thing that's very important is the antenna and any radio system this one pictured is a little complicated it's that's not really what's required but something of that magnitude is what you're going to need and that could cost upwards of ten thousand dollars so like I said before you kind of need to know what you're doing with this because you could if you don't know what you're doing and do something wrong you could disrupt communications and other services commercial services things like that and and or electrocute yourself cook your eyeballs which is actually in the ham radio license manual and or annoy your neighbors at the very least
so the equipment we're going to use to do this this operation consists of a small handheld radio with an output of about five watts of power sounds doesn't sound like a lot but that's really all we need to do what we're going to do and a small handheld antenna
here's a picture of me demonstrating the proper proper use of the equipment so a
little bit about obtaining a ham radio license it's really easy for the technicians license which is the first one that you have to get basically anybody with half brain can do it I think most kids in school should be taught to do with it I mean they're learning the same things anyway and then they may as well go ahead and take this it's like I said it's very easy to do for the things we're going to do in this talk technicians licenses all you need it allows you to to legally transmit on the frequencies we're going to need to use and the the test is basically a 35 question test out of a pool of 400 questions but the questions and the answers to the questions are freely available and they're usually in the back of the study guides that you buy if you go to onto Amazon or somewhere like that and just type in ham radio license exam or a study guide you'll you'll see the appropriate books and that's the recommended method to actually learn the material study from it things like that you can memorize the test by going to websites where you can basically they'll ask you questions over and over and over until you get them right so you're basically memorizing the test and they'll present all 400 in that pool to you so once you get ready to take that you can go to the a double RL org website and that'll give you times and locations for the test and I recommend that before you go to take this test contact the location first because sometimes it'll be listed but they won't be doing it at that time for some reason so that's a good idea now once you take your test and pass it the paperwork has to be submitted to the FCC because they have to assign you a call sign and once that is submitted it takes about two weeks from from what I remember and then what they're going to do is they're going to post it up on their website up on their their database there and once it's in there you can start transmitting here you're good to go you will get a paper certificate or a license that you need to post in your station stuff like that but you don't have to wait for that to come in to start using it so the technology that
we're going to use for this is going to be in the VHF band which is 144 megahertz between 144 140 eight megahertz and we're going to use a system called automatic packet reporting system or a PRS and what it is basically is a digital system that is transported over a x.25 protocol which is a it's amateur radio version of x.25 protocol runs at about 1,200 bod and is good for the short messages we're going to be sending a PRS only has I think three or four different types of packets that can be sent one of which is a beacon and one of which is a message the message is what we're concerned about because that's where what we're going to be transmitting our message in the antenna that I showed in the previous slide is not really necessary but it's it's a good idea to have that you'll get more range out of it you'll be able to you'll have more time to send your message if you use that kind of antenna but it's not 100% required you could use the whip that comes with the radio itself and let's see air and then the other thing we're going to use is an amateur radio satellite to do this job reason being because basically when satellites are orbiting depending on what their altitude is they have a really large footprint and the one we're going to primarily be using is the International Space Station which is a 2500 my lip print so if you're talking about somewhere in the Middle East there's plenty of countries in range you know from the hot spot to somewhere that's not in a hot spot so a little bit about
a PRS is developed in the late 80s by Bob Byrne Inga he's works at the Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland his first developed on an apple to computer and later on an IBM PC when it came out and it's designed this protocol is designed to share your GPS position an ID which is your call sign among a large number of local stations and what that what that's good for is if you're running an event like say a race like a marathon or something like that you would have stations like you know water stations medical stations various organizers all being stations on this network and with the appropriate equipment you could put all these or plot all these on a map and as they move around you would see them moving around on the map so it's good for for tracking assets and things like that for an event so the other thing that's necessary is is what's called a digi Peter which is basically a repeater station that reads in all the or listens for all the traffic and then repeats it back out let's see these are usually located up on a tower somewhere on a mountain in our case it's going to be a satellite and that's good for larger events like for instance a like a car race where everything is all spread out and you have a lot more stations and things like a lot more assets to track to see where everything is another thing we're going to use is called an eye gate and what that is is it's a it's a link between the radio parsh part of this network and the Internet aprs doesn't use TCP IP like I said he is a extra 25 and the I gate does the translation between the two basically and there happens to be one on the International Space Station which is good for us so other necessary
infrastructure twitter if you remember back in Egypt everybody is trying to send messages out to Twitter and and Facebook and that was seemed to be the main the main outlet for for information coming out of that region to the point where the US government asked Twitter to not do service not perform service on their on their system systems so that this information could keep flowing so basically what we're going to do is we're going to be sending a message from a ham radio to Twitter directly and of course that requires an eye gate like I just explained in it that in another country obviously a country where you're not being affected or not your Internet's not being shut down and I'll show you some graphics in about you know over the Middle East where within that twenty five hundred mile radius or distance there are a lot of countries if you if you look at a tripoli in Libya or any any of the cities in Egypt right across the Mediterranean or a lot of other countries that you know or democratic countries basically and typically this is not going to happen and there are a lot of I gates over there as well and so when I was preparing this talk I went looking for a PRS to Twitter gateways and I found two but neither of them worked they had websites and everything explaining what to do but they just I couldn't get him to work at all so basically I wrote my own and that's you can read about that at ham radio tweets com also the the Twitter account is ham radio tweets at ham rated tweets
so here's a graphic showing that the system basically out of the system where you have the handheld radio transmitting your message up to the satellite the satellite then turns around and repeats it back to earth in that twenty five hundred mile area and is usually picked up by an eye gate or didja peter combin combination and once the I gate gets it it goes on on the internet where my gateway listens out for that message and sends it to Twitter to to that account on Twitter there were other there was one other service out there that you had to enter your Twitter information and you could post to your own account but again that didn't work and i'm not sure why there was no explanation i just couldn't get it to work at all so the
set up to send to Twitter on your radio on your handheld radio you set the frequency to 145 out 8 25 megahertz that is the specific frequency that the the space station uses for their APR sdg Peter in the radio there is a field called digi path and it's basically like routing information for this protocol you can have multiple stations in that digi path but to use the space station you have to use eres as the first one and so you should enter that in there to compose your message basically you you send a message to TW ITR which is the the name that my gateway is looking out for on the internet if you wanted to send a message to a specific other station you would enter their call sign in that field and then of course your message the next thing you do is basically you have to wait and I'll go into more detail about this in a minute but you have to wait till that you and I gate or in the satellites footprint once you send your message and the I get picks it up you're good to go one bad thing is you don't really get any acknowledgement that your message went through or got through but i'll tell you a technique in a second of how to do that so a good way to do that is when the satellites coming over when satellite comes up over the horizon basically send out the the what's called a beacon and that's a certain type of packet that i mentioned before that's part of a PRS and that basically just broadcasts your call sign and your position information your gps position information now that could be good or bad because you know obviously if that's being monitored by the government that's shutting down the internet you don't want them to find you you don't have to use GPS coordinates for that you can put your own coordinates in so you know and you can have that be on the other side of the globe if you want they'll just never know there are other ways to be detected but you know that's that's one way to avoid that and so basically you send up beacons until you hear the satellite reply or send that send your same beacon back to you that's when you know everything's set up the satellites in the right position it can hear you you're ready to go and once you hear that your beacon come back you send your message out and that's a good way that's I find that works pretty much one hundred percent of the time to get your ear your message sent so as far as the
ham radio satellites you can use like I mentioned the International Space Station is the best one because it's a stable platform in that it's manned usually all the time they have a lot of power and let supply of power up there and if anything goes wrong and something needs to be rebooted they can do that there's somebody up there to do that so there are other ones that I'll mention they're cut they're a little bit unusable at this juncture but PC sat is an old older satellite that was created by the Navy the Navy School in Annapolis and that's kind of its last legs the batteries are shot it only works in the daylight it doesn't have a lot of power to transmit with and so you have to have things really set up correctly have your antenna pointed directly at that thing to get it to work I've tried it maybe 30 times and only got it to work twice so it's really not usable but I figured I mention it because basically that's one of the only other satellites up there that does this job there was another one launched by the Chinese called hope one but they can't seem to get it working and that's unfortunate because it's got of a lot of different radio equipment on it that does different things that are kind of neat including this function of being a digit Peter and like I said they can't seem to get it working so basically you can track it and you can listen for it all it does is it transmits its call sign in in Morse code so if you hear that you found it but that's about all you can do with it there was another one called era set that was supposed to be launched earlier this year but for some reason to get got kept bidding getting put on the back burner and I was officially launched in march got struck off the schedule they basically what they have to do is go on a spacewalk hold it outside and then release it into space that was set to go in july i think july or early august like August's no i think it was July late July and I was watching this live the spacewalk live when this was going on and they were all ready to release it the the Russian cosmonaut was standing outside the space station holding on to the space station with one hand and with the satellite in its in his other hand waiting for the the word to go to release it and I noticed something on the screen there's two antennas sticking out of this thing because it uses two different bands the VHF in the UHF band there was no uhf antenna on it which is bad bad you release something like that and it basically becomes space junk you can't use it so anyway they realize that at the last minute thankfully pulled it back in and it got least I think two days ago so it's orbiting now and supposedly working I haven't tried to contact it since I've been here but you can also go to am set MC org they have a really nice matrix of all the satellites that do different functions radio functions amateur radio functions and they tell you which ones are up or down or intermittent so you can get a good idea of what's up there and what to use or what to try to use and they usually have the individual satellites usually have their own website that explains what frequency they're on how to use them how to set your digi path things like that so
satellite pass prediction this is kind of important because to be effective you kind of need to have the satellite has to be in the right place you need to be ready for it and things like that a really good site for this is n 2 y.o calm it's basically they have pretty provide prediction tables and also a real-time representation of where the gay given satellite that you're looking for is and they plot it on a Google map and then they show you the tracks for I think two orbits so that's really helpful they also give you like I said prediction tables that you can actually have it notify you via SMS or email when this things about to come over the horizon now that's of course not going to help you when the government turns off your internet but to practice and to get used to this that's a great tool to use I use it all the time another one is called SAT scape it's a java based locally installed piece of software and in my opinion it talks a good game but it doesn't work real well I missed many many satellite passes using that piece of software so I don't really recommend it but it's you know it's good to try something else out and see how it works another thing you can do is go to the am set website and there are prediction past prediction tools on there that you can basically choose your satellite choose the dates and it'll give you a printout of 50 the next 50 passes which would be good to take with you into this region that you're going that you want to send this message from so also n 2 y.o will give you up to five days of passes so basically right before you leave print this out and you should be good here's an example of a
prediction table from n 2 y.o if you look in the columns you'll see at the very top start max altitude and end the start well it starts with the date and time and that's obviously I mean you need to know when the date and time is but the start they give you an azimuth which is basically a heading a compass heading and that's that's the compass setting that it's going to come over the horizon on the if you look under the max altitude section under elevation that's the elevation that it's going to be at its highest point so basically the first listing there is a three degree elevation that's not a good pass very it's very rare you're going to be able to use that unless you're on top of a really tall building or a mountain or near the ocean if it's coming over the horizon there a better pass would be that second row which is a 55-degree pass and so basically you you kind of need to have an accurate watch or a clock and a compass if you're if you want to be really on dead on with this thing if not you can kind of estimate and do it by ear because you'll be able to hear those packets coming in over the radio once you hear it and the more you do this the more you get used to it so you'll know what a good a good sounding packet sounds like so once you start hearing that and it starts coming in pretty clearly which is not hard with this the space station because of the power I mentioned earlier you just start transmitting your beacon and then once you hear years transmit your message and you should be good so here's another
graphic from n2y oh this is let me go back to the other graphic real quick
if you look at the check boxes they're under see where it says map there's a bunch of check boxes basically this graphic is if you check all those boxes
and and map them this is what you get and you'll see that that circle the footprint of the satellite I have it centered over Las Vegas right now so you can kind of see what kind of range you'll get the flat part up at the top of the circle is because the curvature of the earth in case you're wondering but you'll see the range I mean you can get up into Canada with this in fact I I'm from Florida Central Florida and I routinely get packets coming in from Canada Mexico at Cuba even from Florida
so some use cases we'll start with Libya go to Egypt and then the USA Syria in the USA USA was kind of a that's an
example of a u.s. a use case so the problem with that is in Mexico they're not a lot of I gates I think there's two that I found and you'll see a graphic later on with another website where you can actually track and locate stations using a PRS and that's actually pretty neat to see especially as in Greece you know there's a lot of islands around Greece and so a lot of fairies going around all those fairies and watercraft of a certain size are required to use a PRS for tracking so it's kind of neat to see that but anyway to go on with the with the United States use case Mexico like I found two I gates there your best bet is probably like Vancouver area up in British Columbia there and that's assuming that the entire United States is off the internet which I don't know what will have to happen for that too to take place but you never know
so here's Libya the center there is over Tripoli and you can see how many countries if you look up north you can see how many countries are covered either partially or entirely by this footprint and countries like Spain France Turkey Greece they all have tons and tons of I gates so you have plenty of opportunity to use this kind of system and from this area Libya typically doesn't have a lot of population most of it's on the coast I think to two or three major cities the rest of its desert so there's really nothing there and really there's nothing down into Africa either so your best cases is that northern the northern western european countries so just off
the coast of libya is the island of malta and there's actually an eye gate on malta 1i gate but north of that is italy and there are ton of I gates there another thing you'll see two you'll notice if you look on the piece of Italy that's protruding from the top there you'll see a couple of circles blue circles w X in them those are weather stations a lot of weather stations are also on the aprs Network which is another neat feature you could using this website where this graphic is coming from it's on the bottom there a PR SF eyeing this is the website that used to track all the stations worldwide anywhere they're a PRS and a PRS stations that get routed onto the internet you'll see it on this website in real time so as far as the weather stations go you can click on those blue circles and get real-time weather anywhere in the world another neat thing is to when the earthquakes were happening in Japan the Japanese have a lot of earthquake sensors off the coast for obvious reasons those are all aprs enabled so you can monitor those to see you know what kind of seismic activity is around Japan and of course the Japanese are you know a very tech savvy and so you're going to have to zoom way into Japan otherwise the number of a PRI station it just it just blocks out the entire country it's crazy so here's a
use case for Egypt and again right across you'll see up north italy and turkey or Greece and Turkey are widely covered and so there's plenty of opportunity opportunity to use it from there as well that black square is the island of Cyprus which I'll show you in a minute which I think there are a couple of I gates on that on that island
so here's that graphic there are also there other you'll see other icons on their looks like little green stars those are other APR stations that do different things and using this website you can basically hover the mouse over any of them it'll tell you what they are whether they're mobile or static or what their deal is and if you click on them you'll get their information just in this same format that you're seeing now
so again this is this is an Egyptian use case this is Greece you're looking at and Greece has a lot of different APRs stations both sea-based and land-based that do all kinds of different things so
the system is not foolproof there are a lot of things that that can go wrong with it in that there's a lot of components in between that need to be operating for the system to work a lot of the old school ham guys kind of complain about these newfangled technologies because in their mind you know all you need is your station and then somebody else's station you can communicate if you have the right equipment of course and they're partially right in that I was able to use I one of my first radios was a hundred watt maximum system and using a homemade wire antenna I was able to talk to someone in the Falkland Islands from Florida but of course atmospheric conditions come into that a lot they have to be perfect and you know to be able to get that kind of rain so it's not really reliable but with this VHF system if everything's in place it'll work now this slide basically says you can be detected what you're looking at is a is an American profit signal intelligence platform built into a mine hardened vehicle not all governments have this but you know the u.s. supplies a lot our military hardware to other governments so you never know what you're coming up against so that's one thing like I mentioned before you transmit your position but you don't have to use your actual gps coordinates you can put whatever put in whatever you want and the best thing to do is if you think you're going to be detected after you transmit move just just be mobile and with this radio I mean you see how small it is it basically takes up the palm of your hand and it's easy to transport and that antenna I showed you as well that that beam antenna that yagi antenna that also breaks down into a roll up bag basically so it's very very portable so the next
thing is you can't be jammed what you're looking at is a as an a-10 aircraft with a electronic countermeasures pod basically what that thing is designed for is if the Air Force wanted to go into an area and do operations there and shut down the entire cellular network which runs in the nine hundred to two point nine hundred megahertz to 2.4 gigahertz range I'm pretty sure depending on what system you're using they can send this aircraft up circle around the area with that ECM pod turned on and you won't be able to use your cell phone for as long as they don't want you to and it's not only cell phones it can be any kind of radio any kind of wireless like if they don't want you to use it you won't use it because of this device and again we're in the u.s. is in the only country that has this this is just the most convenient picture i could find internet links go
down hopefully in the countries with the I gates there are so many of them that one internet link going down is not going to affect you and in places like Spain France Italy Greece and so on there are many many many I gates so this typically won't affect you but it is a possibility
so you can miss the satellite your your past prediction tables could be wrong you could print out your past prediction tables and they could move the satellite they could re you know re orbit the space station if they needed to and your past prediction would be off typically the other satellites like Eris at hope the hope once at if it was working those can't really be reordered they don't I don't think they have thrusters on them and so those will be pretty standard pretty steady orbits oh one thing I forgot to mention about the DCM pod one good thing about that system about using a satellite to do this job is the satellite orbits pretty much every 90 minutes so unless they want to send a plane off every 90 minutes to jam you I mean there are other ways to do that they can hoist that ECM pod from a balloon keep it up there for a long time but it's not forever that satellite is going to be orbiting forever basically another thing to consider is the on the satellites it's possible to have those digi Peters turned off they can be turned off from the ground and in fact the space station usually when they're not using that equipment they they leave it in de Jupiter mode but sometimes they make appointments with schools for educational reasons and they use the same antenna that the digit Peter uses so they turn it off at that point hopefully it'll be a Twitter type situation where if they know people are trying to use it to get information out they won't turn it off and then of
course Twitter invented the fail whale Twitter can go down in case you didn't know that the Gateway that I wrote is is a pretty much I wrote at six days ago in about two hours so it's pretty quick and dirty implementation I intend to improve its um but you know that that using the Twitter API that could also go down as well and the the Gateway will just never get the message through to twitter so and that's pretty much it here's some
resources that i recommend a PRS for the information on APRs am set for the satellite information into io for the tracking jesu that's that radio that i use is a a zoo handheld radio I like those very much arrow antennas that's that handheld yagi that breaks down those are great and my email so if there are any questions okay the question was how vulnerable is the system to interception and and about the use of encryption well first of all perton not that this would would come into effect but / FCC guidelines you're not supposed to encrypt any amateur radio traffic the only thing that's allowed to be encrypted is when you're sending commands to an amateur radio satellite those can be encrypted legally so your message can be detected and the message can be seen but after it gets out its out so I mean I guess you could encode it somehow but typically these radios don't have that feature there are other setups that you can use that are not so portable where you have a receiver transmitter radio and then a computer attached to it that either uses the sound card as a modem you could theoretically encrypt that although you won't find that that option in any software because it's really not allowed so you'd have to kind of write your own so another question over here somewhere I'm sorry I didn't well that's what I was saying before there's really no acknowledgement that comes back to your radio from Twitter that well there is some I could build that into the gateway where the Gateway acknowledges you know messages that were actually posted on Twitter there is a way to do that I can have the Gateway send a message back but typically when you're using a satellite he only have a 20 minute maximum window from when it comes over the horizon to when it drops back below the horizon and that's on a that's on a really good pass like a 90-degree pass where it's right over directly over which is not very often so anyone else I'm sure that's classified no you'd have to be within its range say they're going to know that what that won't affect you yeah and because you're transmitting to space there's a lot of space in there and a lot of range in there you know and i'm not sure what the range of these ECM pods are but I'm sure they can crank them up or down as they need theoretically if it's the country small and I'm sure you mean to be able to jam that's true that's yeah that could happen as well but I you know I guess this would have to be a big threat like a lot of people would have to be using this for the government to try and you know put up a stationary jamming station in their in their own country I'm sure the citizens wouldn't like that either so anyone else uh-huh sure I'm not sure the first term you used but pico satellites meeting really small yeah in fact Eric that aricept I mentioned is not big it's about the size of a breadbox it's not big at all there's not a whole lot of equipment and it's mostly batteries and then every surface is solar panels so yeah that's it's very I mean I've seen satellites as small as you know like this that the do one or two functions and doesn't cost a lot to launch that I mean for the size it does but you know what's the International Space Station so I'm sure the US government couldn't dictate what to do and what not to do I mean it's funny because when they're American astronauts on board they change the call sign tu eres ARISS and when there's Russians it's RS is s so that's a good question I don't know I don't know who controls that I know the the Space Command either Space Command in a Russian or American or whoever and there are other countries countries that send astronauts up there I'm sure if they all got together and made a decision they would they could shut it off so political discourse meaning to organize a like a uprising for instance is that is are you asking the question was are there any ramifications for using amateur radio to to promote political discourse correct there's nothing like that and the rules basically only rule is they say you can't conduct business over amateur radio and I'm sure what's up broadcasting of what because radio by default is broadcasting oh no that's correct you can't play stuff like music and and things like that news typically no you can't it's not supposed to be used as a radio station suppose to be used as a communications tool and and this use of the satellite is a communications tool really so what about well the amount of the question is how much information what's the maximum on information that can be passed over this kind of link it's not a lot it's not a lot to use steganography like images that would be hard well I mean there is part of there is a mode in amateur radio called slow scan TV which is used for sending pictures and some of these newer microsatellites that go up have that capability so theoretically you could eat you could do that but it's not it's not really designed for that kind of use so slow scan TV typically is used on if you if you're transmitting terrestrial where you have two stations and a computer you know on both ends obviously one to send one to receive you could do something like that sure and I don't know that anybody would know that you're doing that so theoretically you could do that aprs typically runs at 1200 baud I've seen it at 9600 but that's kind of pushing it so it's really used for short text messages it says that's the best the question was dizzy use any kind of compression algorithm know typically and maybe it could be construed as as encryption if you if you compressed it with a secret key of some kind then yeah but typically that's not done because the messages are so short and they need to be in clear text so meaning can you have a digi Peter on a drone theory theoretically yeah I don't know who would do that because since the government's kind of the only people that have drones but yeah you could do something like that or I've seen also didja Peters on balloons high-altitude balloons so sure you could use that now the problem with that is tracking it's hard to track a balloon unless it's transmitting its own beacon with its own GPS position then you kind of know where it is but it's it's harder to track something like that then a satellite sure you could do that the question was what about the use of use of satellite internet providers and the answer is yes you could do that but you could also be jammed as well with that same ECM situation you know for a limited time obviously because those those satellites are actually stationary they sit above the equator typically and cover you know half the globe there they're also higher altitude so their footprint is a lot bigger anyone else alright thanks very much