iRevolution: Reporting Live and Undercover?

While video footage of the riots in Tibet did leak out, it was nevertheless limited and there were often delays. The Nokia N95, however, can stream live video from the phone to the Internet. So imagine, writes Andy Carvin, “if the protestors were able to webcast their protests – and the ensuing crackdowns – live over their phones using China’s GSM network? The video would stream live and get crossposted via tools like YouTube, Seesmic and Twitter, spreading the content around so it can’t be snuffed.”

Andy asks: what about the need for securing anonymity during transmission? Surfers can hit the waves whenever they choose to since software such as TOR allows them to remain anonymous by causing their online communications to bounce through a random series of relay servers around the world.

For example, let’s say you’re in Beijing and you publish a blog the authorities don’t like. If you just used your PC as usual and logged into your publishing platform directly, they could follow your activities and track you down. With Tor, you hop-scotch around: your PC might connect to a server in Oslo, then Buenos Aires, then Miami, then Tokyo, then Greece before it finally connects to your blogging platform. Each time you did this, it would be a different series of servers. That way, it’s really difficult for authorities to trace your steps.

The question Andy poses is when (or whether) Tor or related software projects will (or can) adapt their services to meet the mobile needs of activist networks and nonviolent movements? Taking a different angle, the question I would raise is whether video encryption might be render the need for anonymity less pressing?

Several techniques are available the most and the one that makes the most sense here given our security concerns is the “Cut & Rotate” approach. This scrambling method cuts each scanned line into pieces and reassembles them in a different order. The advantage of this technique compared to others is that it provides a compatible video signal, gives an excellent level of data security, as well as good decode quality and stability. The disadvantage, however, is that the technique requires specialized scrambling equipment. That said, a good example of this system is the Viewlock II & micro-Viewlock II:

The micro-Viewlock II is battery operated with low current drain and is designed for highly covert applications, such as body-worn video surveillance. So my question is whether hardware rather than software such as Tor might be a potential path to consider?

Patrick Philippe Meier

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