DIY “Undetectable” Communication — Made Easy! (and Snowden’s limits, The Intercept, Ukraine updates)

What if you could send a message without regards to distance… in a way that was undetectable to all but the most advanced adversary — even then probably requiring advance knowledge/guessing to intercept[1]…

And what if you could pull it off using common DIY electronics?

That’s the premise of another paper[2] from the Persinger lab I’d like to draw your attention to. In this case, the researchers (led by Ryan Burke) successfully and reliably sent a single bit of information 300km using an Arduino, an EEG[3], a “nature sounds” app, and two people.

The trick to creating this “interpersonal entanglement” was a toroid of 225 turns of 16 gauge audio wire wound on a plastic core, driven by an Arduino with a very specific pattern. The toroid was worn around the head of both “sender” and “recipient” during the experiment.

When the magnetic field was activated, playing the audio sequence into the ear of the “sender” created an activation in the brain of the wired-for-EEG “recipient” some 300km away. (This did not occur when they used visual stimuli.)

One thing does puzzle me about this experiment, however — the toroid.

a) Regardless of plastic or metal core, when I think “toroid” I think “magnetic field contained entirely inside the core.” It’s a solenoid that never ends, right? So… how did the magnetic field “escape” to interact with the experimental subjects’ brains?

(On the other hand, if this assumption about toroidal coils was true, then putting a single wire through the core of a toroidal transformer should not induce any current in that single wire… yet that’s exactly what happens, and is the basis of many current transformers. Electricity is weird!)

b) *ALL* the other “macro-entanglement” experiments are essentially based on Nikola Tesla’s rotating magnetic field.[4] You know, the one that made alternating current practical, by enabling AC induction motors without commutators.

In this case, the magnetic field is not “rotated” through solenoids spaced radially around the head at all. Here, there is only ONE coil, as opposed to twelve or more.

If it rotates at all, here the magnetic field does so at the velocity of propagation around the coil… a speed measured linearly in hundreds of thousands of kilometers per second.

Compared to switching from one solenoid to the next every n milliseconds, that’s a HECK of a lot faster!

So what’s actually going on then? Evidently the effect still works…

[1] The Russians claim they managed to intercept and mount man-in-the-middle attacks on “mind to mind” communications in the ’70s, no doubt the technology has only gotten better. Still beats the pants off cell phones tho. C.f Ostrander & Schroeder, “Psychic Discoveries: The Iron Curtain Lifted”

[2] Burke, R. C., Gauthier, M. Y., Rouleau, N. & Persinger, M. A., “Experimental Demonstration of Potential Entanglement of Brain
Activity Over 300 Km for Pairs of Subjects Sharing the Same Circular Rotating, Angular Accelerating Magnetic Fields: Verification
by s_LORETA, QEEG Measurements” Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, February 2013, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp. 35-44

Free download from:

[3] They used a fancy computerised “low resolution electronic tomography” EEG, but you’d probably be able to get similar results with an OpenEEG.


Snowden’s limits: Via Cryptome. Very important quote for anyone using Snowden’s leaks as a basis for securing their communications.
“Inside the NSA are four levels of information. Level 1 is of basic administrative. The next level consists of reports, written in a way that give information without revealing sources. Levels 3 and 4 “gets into how we do what we do,” Mr. McConnell said. He said that Mr. Snowden had very limited access to the third tier and almost no access to the fourth.”

With much fanfare, the Omidyar/Poitras/Greenwald venture launches its first publication… and it’s a WordPress blog. Called “The Intercept,” with elegant graphics, a red-white-black color scheme, and prominently posted PGP pawprints suggesting that’s their main method of communication. (Plus a Tor “secure drop.”)

(Evidently nobody told their tech guys that self-hosted WordPress installations are unauthenticated remote shells that happen to be a blog. But they’ll learn quick. Trial-by-fire has a way of doing that to people. I see the homepage is down, already!)

They launched with two stories — some neat aerial photos of US signals intelligence agencies (taken WITH their permission), and a much more in-depth story on how the US drone strike system is basically algorithms picking who to kill based on metadata. And doing so with none-too-great accuracy.

On the upside, it seems like the Americans have put all that defense spending to good use… they’ve created an elaborate and dramatic way to kill cell phones!

Now if only the owners weren’t affected too.

Worth noting: playing “terrorist roulette” and mixing up SIM cards with your friends isn’t going to help much, they track handset IMEI too. Some commentators have noted the IMEI doesn’t propagate as far through the phone network as SIM card data does, but I doubt that matters when the NSA is *this* interested. They’re probably sniffing data off the air from receivers hidden next to every cell site.

Ukraine updates: a couple of things.

A fascinating perspective on the fucked-up nature of doing business in Ukraine. My sympathies to Ukraine’s entrepreneurs — no wonder they’ve taken to the streets!

On the upside, the Maidan protesters made a music video, and it’s HAPPY!

Less nice but JAM PACKED with stories of security attack-and-defense — a MUST READ if you’re interested in street-level human-scale security — is a longer piece on police tactics.

(links inline)

%d bloggers like this: