DNC: Wireless jamming / Denial of service

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RFsponge

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Just attended a very interesting meeting (can't say where) in were I and my colleagues were informed to "not count on our wireless devices working" downtown during large portions of DNC week and especailly during The Messiah's visit to Invesco Field. This comes from logistics people inside the DNCC. They refused to provide further details.

My speculation only: Like the latest earthquake in LA, I imagine that the cell towers will simply deny service to civilian use and only allow it by emergency / operational personnel.

Not knowing too much about the science of RF propagation, can anyone inform me on how realistic it would be to "jam" the frequencies cellphones and blackberry-type devices use over the central core of the metro area? I think the cooperation of cell companies is needed to carry out this plan.

And what warrants this act, anyway?
 

ChrisP

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Just attended a very interesting meeting (can't say where) in were I and my colleagues were informed to "not count on our wireless devices working" downtown during large portions of DNC week and especailly during The Messiah's visit to Invesco Field. This comes from logistics people inside the DNCC. They refused to provide further details.
FWIW, we were told the same thing at the RNC meetings in St. Paul. But it wasn't that your wireless devices were not going to work. It was don't count on them for 100% service during the convention. I took it as the network capacity was going to be pretty much maxed out with all the media and convention attendees.

- Chris
 

bezking

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+1 to Chris - I seriously doubt that they are going to actually restrict access, but the system will probably be overwhelmed.
 

scanlist

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were informed to "not count on our wireless devices working" downtown during large portions of DNC week and especailly during The Messiah's visit to Invesco Field.
Brett Favre is going to play for the Denver Broncos?

Not knowing too much about the science of RF propagation, can anyone inform me on how realistic it would be to "jam" the frequencies cellphones and blackberry-type devices use over the central core of the metro area?
Not realistic at all. Denver, DTRS and the "secret squirrel" p25 system are smack in the middle of the 800 MHz cellular band and would themselves be jammed.
 

poltergeisty

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I believe it's ESN blocking... Probably is the threat of overloading network capacity though.

Bombs might be an issue...

But now how do I make a call when there's something suspicious??? :lol:

Phone patch ftw? :lol:
 
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firescannerbob

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...and how would the system know which "wireless devices" to allow or not allow.
Sure you could start off with some kind of DB based on the ESN numbers, but you'd have to coordinate with ALL wireless services, and constantly update it as people came and went. Sounds like far too difficult to really do.
 

ecps92

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When did the 800 Mhz LMR Band merge with the 800 Cellular ?
You are confussing Nextel which is in the 800 LMR Band, but is not a Cellular Carrier

Chris, I would venture you are RIGHT-ON as to the band limitations vs [the nay-sayers] Jam'n of the signals.
Also don't forget, the planning folks DNC/RNC probably pushed the WPS [Wireless Priority Service] to all the Public Safety responders over the past yr.

Brett Favre is going to play for the Denver Broncos?

Not realistic at all. Denver, DTRS and the "secret squirrel" p25 system are smack in the middle of the 800 MHz cellular band and would themselves be jammed.
 

Toneslider12

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...and how would the system know which "wireless devices" to allow or not allow.
Sure you could start off with some kind of DB based on the ESN numbers, but you'd have to coordinate with ALL wireless services, and constantly update it as people came and went. Sounds like far too difficult to really do.
There is a priority user system set up with most carriers, atleast all of those used by government agencies. It's an application process that would have to be done ahead of time but it allows the user to dial a series of numbers on the phone, hit send which then gives clearance to the tower. However, this is based off of cell tower overload not cell tower lock out.
 

abqscan

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There is a priority user system set up with most carriers, atleast all of those used by government agencies. It's an application process that would have to be done ahead of time but it allows the user to dial a series of numbers on the phone, hit send which then gives clearance to the tower. However, this is based off of cell tower overload not cell tower lock out.
I know for sure Verizon has this priority system set up. The can pretty much shut down each cell site to only the Feds. Its kinda cool, but sucks for us. :cool:
 

scanlist

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When did the 800 Mhz LMR Band merge with the 800 Cellular ?
You are confussing Nextel which is in the 800 LMR Band, but is not a Cellular Carrier
Let's take a look at the CELLULAR 800 band shall we. Mobiles Talk in from 823 MHz to 850 MHz. Towers transmit from 869 MHz to 894 MHz. PS and LMR Talk in from 806 MHz to 823 MHz and Towers operate from 851 to 869 MHz.

That puts PS right in the middle of the bandspread. So wide band jamming would interefere with PS and LMR. They are not gonna jam the 800 MHz range in Denver.

I know about Nextel. I carry one.
 

christenorio

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Will this affect the ham radio bands?

chris tenorio
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scanlist

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All this over a Bruce Springteen concert.

I do not see how Ham VHF/UHF would be impacted. Maybe more activity from tourists attending the party that are hams seeking info or chatting on 2m or 440.

On another note:

Posts about the cell carriers and Nextel setting access priority on their sites/towers in the area is right on the money. Little Suzy will be disappointed that she won't be able to text her BFF for a few days in that area.

There is no need for tinfoil hats during the party. The Black helicopters however will be real.
 

RFsponge

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Additional info

I've been away for a few days or I would have submitted this info sooner: The "gist" of this meeting, held by those in charge of logistics for the convention, left me with the distinct impression that this would be an intentional outage. I wanted to know from all you guys that are a lot smarter than I am in this field if cooperation of the cell companies would be needed to carry out the plan, and it sounds like that's the case.

There were news reports during the latest earthquake in LA explaining that cell service in the city was denied to all but emergency personnel to free up the bandwidth for communication among the various agencies. Looks like that will be happening here...

Not sure if it's warranted, but i'll bet it's going to happen regardless...

Thanks all!
Rob
 

KAA951

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What about........

December 01, CNET News — Company challenges FCC rules on cell phone−jamming gear.
A small Florida company is taking on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to
change regulations prohibiting the sale of equipment used to scramble cell phone signals to
local and state agencies. The company, CellAntenna, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of
Appeals in the 11th Circuit in Atlanta on November 22 challenging the Communications Act of
1934, which is enforced by the FCC. The 1934 act and the FCC regulations that go along with
it prohibit the use of cellular and radio frequency−jamming equipment, except by federal
agencies. This means that local and state officials are not permitted to use such equipment,
which could be used to help prevent terrorist attacks. CellAntenna argues that the
Communications Act and the FCC regulations that interpret the law are unconstitutional
because they are in conflict with the Homeland Security Act of 2002, adopted by Congress in
the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Although it's widely known that cell
phones can be used to remotely detonate some types of bombs, local and state law enforcement
agencies, which would be the first responders to a U.S. terrorist attack, are prohibited by law
from obtaining such gear.
Source: http://news.com.com/Company+challenges+FCC+rules+on+cell+pho
ne−jamming+gear/2100−1036_3−6139854.html?tag=nefd.lede

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Boom Time for Bomb Jammers
But Terrorists Keep Working To Thwart Latest Defenses
In-Depth Coverage By William Matthews

For ambassadors, oil executives, heads of state and, increasingly, U.S. troops, the list of essential security gear now includes a bomb jammer.

New models small enough to fit into a briefcase or a backpack are being supplied to U.S. military convoys in Iraq to prevent roadside bombs from detonating as troops drive past.

Jammers are also being snapped up by businessmen, diplomats and political leaders, said Ben Jamil, whose company, Security Intelligence Technologies Inc., is selling three new types of bomb jammers - the VIP 2, VIP 3 and the VIP 16 - to anxious buyers from Latin America to the Middle East.

"Every embassy, every oil company - if you're I the Middle East and you don't have one, you should leave," Jamil said during an interview from his New Rochelle, N.Y., headquarters.

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf is likely alive today because his motorcade was equipped with a bomb jammer that prevented the explosion of five radio-controlled bombs hidden on a Rawalpindi bridge last Dec. 14.

In the aftermath of the attack, Pakistani officials described the president's bomb jammer as capable of blocking radio transmissions within 200 meters of the president's limousine. When Musharraf's motorcade had moved about 200 meters past the bombs, they exploded. Non one was hurt because the bridge had been closed to traffic.

While U.S. troops in Iraq have begun using bomb jammers, the numbers remain small, according to Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss.

"The percentage of vehicles that have some form of electronic jammer - it is minuscule," Taylor said during a House Armed Services Committee hearing in February.

How They Work
Roadside bombs have killed more than 100 U.S. troops and wounded more than 1,100. Many are detonated by insurgents using cellular telephones, remote controls for toys, garage door openers and car alarm controls.

In each case, a transmitter sends an electronic signal to a receiver, which triggers the bomb.

Bomb jammers generally work by transmitting a signal that is the same frequency of the signal intended to detonate the bomb. The jamming signal interferes with the detonating signal, but since it is usually random noise, doe not, itself, trigger the bomb. Some, however, are a bit more sophisticated.

"Our jammers are radio-detection systems," Jamil said. "They are constantly scanning the spectrum of radio frequencies, and when they spot a signal, they immediately analyze it and jam it" if it is suspected to be intended for detonating a bomb. In some instances, the signal from the jammers can "overload the receiver" and detonated the bomb prematurely, he said. In that case, the bombs go off before U.S. troops arrive.

In addition to jamming improvised bombs and radio-controlled mines, the jammers can block electronic surveillance devices, such as hidden video cameras, and eavesdropping devices planted in homes, cars, offices, hotels and conference rooms, he said.

"I've heard of situations where jamming has covered 30 square miles," he said. But more commonly, jamming signals cover about 30-500 meters.

Security Intelligence Technologies' jammers include:

The VIP 2, which weighs 22 pounds, comes in a briefcase and is intended for "defenseive situations of relatively short duration" such as travel by executives and diplomats, according to the company. It costs about $20,000.
The VIP 3 costs twice as much, also comes in a briefcase, and is intended for clearing vulnerable locations and for protecting troops and military equipment as they move through dangerous areas.
The CIP 16 jammer is powerful enough to be used from helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles, according to Security Intelligence Technologies. It has been used in Lebanon, where antennas are set up at thousand-yard intervals along a road to provide a safe route for convoys, Jamil said. It can also be placed around buildings to keep bombs from exploding, and is expected to be used at the Olympics in Athens this summer, he said.
The jammers have not been approved by the Federal Communications Commission, so are not for sale to U.S. consumers. They are available to law enforcement agencies, Jamil said.

Bomb jammers have been around for 30 or 35 years, but only in the past year with the proliferation of improvised explosive devices in Iraq have the gotten much attention.

Bombs triggered by cell phone are the latest threat. Those include Iraq's roadside bombs and terrorist car bombs, Jamil said.

Use of bomb jammers by U.S. troops in Iraq "has proven fairly effective" for protecting the convoys that have them, said François Boo, an associate at GlobalSecurity.org, a defense policy organization in Alexandria, Va.

But the increased use of bomb jammers has touched off an arms race of sorts. "As the U.S. figures out how the insurgents operate, the insurgents figure out new ways" to trigger their bombs, he said.

Jamil agreed. "The problem is, every time we plug a hole, they come up with something different. We're chasing our tail. It's not a hundred percent solution for terrorist, but it's still important."

Although Security Intelligence Technologies is pushing its briefcase bomb jammers, another variety is proving to be increasingly popular among diplomats and business executives, Jamil said. It's a bomb jammer that comes installed in the trunk of a bullet-resistant armored car.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

© Copyright 2004, Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service © Copyright 2004, New York Daily News
 

datainmotion

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On another note:

Posts about the cell carriers and Nextel setting access priority on their sites/towers in the area is right on the money. Little Suzy will be disappointed that she won't be able to text her BFF for a few days in that area.

There is no need for tinfoil hats during the party. The Black helicopters however will be real.
Personally, I disagree that priority access will be used unless there is some type of crisis (like DPD running out of tear gas :lol:).

But seriously, I would suspect the reality would be that numerous COW (cellular on wheels) trucks or trailers will be present near Invesco and the Pepsi Center throughout next week. There were 4 brought into Dick's Park just for the Rocky Mountain Music Festival.
 
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