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January 02, 2012

Hackers to counter censorship laws by launching amateur satellites

An article by the BBC states that hackers might be planning to launch satellites to counter censorship laws. Hackers can choose to launch satellites to high altitudes using balloons, but the problem usually is with tracking them. The hackers' plan is to setup a Hackerspace Global Grid, which will be a widely spread network that will monitor and track the movement of these balloon-satellites. Attempts so far have been limited, as tracking them has been a major hurdle. Activist Nick Farr put a word out to get funds to kickstart the project, a few months back. If censorship is to be countered on the ground, taking the Internet to the skies seems to be the way to go.

Duqu linked to server in Mumbai

Newer methods to facilitate attacks

The plan is to use many easy-to-build base stations looking into space for moving satellites and receive and send data to them. GPS works by using multiple satellites to pinpoint our location on earth. The system developed for the Hackerspace Global Grid will similarly use multiple ground stations to find the location of these satellites. Each base station is expected to cost around 100 Euros (approximately Rs.7,000). Experts do not expect the mission to go as planned, as fast moving satellites are difficult to communicate and maintain a constant connection with. The plans, however, aren’t limited to just sending balloons to space, they’re much larger. The group plans to put a man on the moon in the next 23 years.

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