Putin’s brutal aggression in Ukraine has put cyberwar back in headlines. Recently, Carey Parker, host of the Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons podcast, reached out to us at Tech Learning Collective to talk through some of the issues the war in Ukraine has once again raised for laypeople who may be newly concerned about the reliance we’ve developed as a society on digital infrastructures. So, late last month, we sat down with him for another conversation about what anyone and, arguably, everyone could be doing not only to keep themselves safer online, but also prepared in the event of an escalation of hostilities in a cyber theater, rapid shifts in political climates, or even just natural disasters that affect telecommunication abilities.
Our thanks as always to Carey Parker for the work he puts in to producing these interviews with us and his amazing lineup of top-notch guests. Like our prior interview with him, Carey asks great questions and gives us an opportunity to get philosophical about what the Internet is, how to understand the fragility (and resilience!) of “agreements about communication,” and how all this relates to a fundamental understanding of digital safety and threats.
An incomplete, rush transcript of the audio is provided below:
Carey Parker: Hello, everybody, welcome back to firewalls don’t stop dragons. I’m your host, Carrie Parker. Today, we have episode 267 For April 11 2022. And we’ve got a really fun interview for you today. I love these guys. I forget how I ran across the tech learning collective. But they have some great classes, I’ve taken several of them at this point. And it turns out all from the same instructor who is the same person we are interviewing here today is a really great person. And I’ve very much enjoyed his classes. And we’ve got a great discussion going here. And you’ll notice that today’s episode is a little bit long. And I actually thought really hard about trying to edit it down. And I just I went through it, and I just couldn’t find a place that I wanted to cut out. So we’re gonna run a little bit long today. So I’m going to try to keep the intro and outro a little bit short. So a couple quick notes. The all the winners from the contest last month have been notified via email, if you have not gotten your email, please check your spam folder, this is the kind of thing that would usually get flagged as spam. Hey, you want to contest click here, right? So but this one’s real, at least hopefully for you anyway. And by the way, the grand prize winner, the grand prize winner, your mailbox is full. So I recorded this kind of early. So it may be fixed by the time this episode comes out. But if you are the grand prize winner, please check your inbox it is full. Now quickly set up the interview. Again, trigger warning, there is one quick F bomb in here. But I didn’t have the heart to remove it. I thought it was kind of funny. Also, we’re going to talk about the original motivations for this group. And it’s obviously the original motivations for creating the tech learning collective were very specific. But I just want you to keep in mind as you’re listening to this, these classes are for everybody, literally anybody. I mean, let’s face it today, our world is computers and the internet. And this group goes to great lengths and does a very good job of explaining how it all works in ways that anybody could understand. During the interview, he mentioned that we talked about he and I talked about downloading Wikipedia, which we did, but it was it was not on air. So he’s referring to something that you haven’t heard yet. So that might sound weird, but that’s why but I did talk to him about that. And I recently did it myself actually to prove that I could kind of do it. So I’ll circle back to that in the outro. But we’ve got a long interview, and it’s a lot of fun. So let’s not waste any more time. Let’s get to the interview with tech learning collective. Today I’m talking with the lead cybersecurity instructor for the tech learning collective. Welcome back to the podcast.
Tech Learning Collective: Hi, thanks so much for having us back. It’s really good to be here.
Carey Parker: And with all the stuff going on in Europe right now the the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, it’s brought up a lot of more dire more interesting more, I don’t know how to put it, cybersecurity situations, and things that, you know, a lot of us have thought about on the abstract that are now becoming very real, for a lot of people. And so I thought it would be interesting for us to talk because you guys do obviously a lot of wonderful classes are around these sorts of things. And again, now that it’s become really, like real I you know, with that context, I thought it’d be good to kind of talk about some basics in cybersecurity and, and privacy and anonymity and things like that. So why don’t we start off though, tell us a little bit. It’s been a while for a lot of us and tell us a little bit about what you guys do?
Tech Learning Collective: Sure. So yeah, first of all, I mean, it’s very timely topics for a lot of people. We are a cybersecurity and infrastructure engineering, not quite bootcamp, you can almost think of as like an anti bootcamp, we basically do open to the public, twice weekly, give or take these days workshops on all these topics, cybersecurity, infrastructure, engineering, System, Administration, some coding, not a lot, just a little bit, just enough to sort of like, have the perspective for it. And the reason that we do this is in this way is because we are we thought we were founded as a political affinity group here in New York City, in about the 2016 2017 ish era, shortly after a certain presidential election. Yeah, and, and again, that was also another event, right, that made real for a lot of people the understanding of why cyber and digital safety mattered, right, and how it affects the physical world. I think there’s no more I guess, pregnant is perhaps the wrong word. But there’s no more like a pronounced expression of this as of course, cyber war. And then of course, physical like hot war, right, like that we’re seeing now so. So that is very timely for people. And when these things come up people, often, you know, humans, as guests, as a species are not that great at preparing ahead of time, right, necessarily, but when things come up, it’s good to have resources to turn to. And so we were very focused on making sure that there was a place to go for people who saw the impact and the importance of this in their lives to both learn about things from like a defense perspective, right, kind of like digital self defense style stuff, but also just an awareness of how to build these kinds of infrastructures that don’t necessarily rely on on existing massive global systems on like necessary, not necessarily capital I internet, even in some cases, and I’m sure we’ll talk about that as we’re seeing, in this case, Russia right begin to try to, to try to unplug and close down. So there’s a lot of like relevance to there too. And we do it again, with a very political mindset. And with a very clear forward trans centric, right, like, demographics. Everyone who runs tech learning Collective is genderqueer of some variety. And we wanted to make a space where this topic wasn’t just available to those with a lot of money who could go to like sans classes, and like, you know, pay $100 for, you know, like a six hour workshop, but really only needed to, you know, sort of like commit a small, small amount of money, our workshops are anywhere between 25 to $35, generally, for about two hours. And often, as I think you might have recalled, we run a little bit long when I have fun with fun with student questions and things. And yeah, and so and to provide just like a sort of like a one on one to to a one bridge for all these topics that affect people’s lives in ways that are perhaps not as a not not as not something that people would normally think about unless they’re, you know, under either some threat or concern, or they have some other sort of project or affinity group or, like, you know, workplaces need right to to have an understanding of how our digital systems work and keep this current society at least running, but also what it can do to change it and how we can how we can influence that on our own. So that’s kind of like a sort of a philosophical overview of it. But in general, the like the day to day, our workshops, classes, we do a lot of mentoring, we get to social events in the city as well. So if you are in New York City, and you are subscribing to our calendar, you’ll you’ll see occasional socials and Hangouts and parties and things like that. So that’s, that’s us.
Carey Parker: It’s wonderful. And I have I have to get some of your your classes, not just like the collectors, but yours specifically. And, yeah, and they’re a lot of fun. And they’re so informative, and they’re so laid back, I really, really enjoy those. So absolutely, if you’re looking to learn some stuff, these are great classes. And they’re very different than any than most of the classes I’ve taken in a very good way. So
Tech Learning Collective: I think one of the things that I’ll point out just on that on that note is like when people hear classes, they often think of school, right? They think of, and one of the things that we like to talk about, especially when we talk about security topics, which is mostly what I teach is that when you are thinking about security, you are often trying to think about failure modes and how things break. And so when you are constantly taught to follow a checklist and play by the rules and be in the boxes, right, then you’re not going to necessarily be a great security engineer, by definition, because you’re being trained how to think inside a very specific set of boxes, and all of the best engineers, right, like don’t have necessarily, in our in my opinion, anyway, don’t necessarily have CS degrees. They’re not necessarily computer experts, right? They’re philosophers. They’re artists, they’re body hackers, right? Queer people, they are musicians, there are people who have some way of understanding the world from a creative and and even I would say mythic perspective. And that’s how, that’s how you start thinking outside the box and start to see where things will fail how things could be different, right? And so our workshops reflect that pedagogy and are very, very conversational in nature. There’s not like homework to take home. In fact, we encourage people to come not necessarily even prepared but to, but to come being willing and being ready to be exposed to new things so that they leave prepared to to take advantage of resources that are already out there.
Carey Parker: Absolutely. Yeah. Again, I highly recommend it. These classes are not that expensive, and they’re really a lot of fun. So for anybody, so Absolutely. Thanks for the plug. Yeah, oh, sure. That’s guarantee. So, again, this is what I think when things like this happen, it gives us you know, a lot of people don’t prepare for the storm until have actually gone through wind, like they think because it’s like somehow in the future it might happen may not happen to me. And then all of a sudden, oh my god, it just went for a week without power because of an ice storm that came through or I live in a country that was a democratic for 30 years, and all of a sudden isn’t, you know, where the it really brings things home. So you know, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. And so we’re going to talk about that today. And hopefully, you know, this will give a little more context, little more urgency, maybe to some of these things and bring them home. So for one thing, we you know, here’s certainly in the United States, and probably a lot of the first world you know, take the internet totally for granted and not not just as its existence, we know but ubiquitous access to it. Right. And, you know, many of the courses you guys offer, you know, dive into the details, that some level the various protocols, you know, the things that make up today’s Internet, and, you know, obviously, we can’t cover that today. That’s why you guys have classes but but, but to lay some foundation, you know, for our discussion that we’re about to have, you know, can you maybe give us a very high level talk about the key things we need to understand about how the internet works. And then maybe you know, you know, while the internet was designed to be extremely resilient. It still does have shortcomings. So you know, maybe what are some of the main weak points of today’s internet?
Tech Learning Collective: Yeah, that’s a really important place to start. Right. And I think also, it’s important to point out that like, well, a lot of us have what we would consider ubiquitous access to the internet, even in the States. And I think especially in the States, it’s comparison to some other countries, right? Like Internet access is not as ubiquitous as we would like. And even in places where you have it, it might not be very or fast enough to be useful for the things that you’re doing with it, right. And so like, there’s a lot of importance in our classes, especially, but also just in general to like, understand what the internet is to talk about access before you talk about the actual failure modes, and you know, like, packets, and all this sort of like, you know, technical stuff, right, just getting online is a huge hurdle for a lot of people. And of course, in situations where you know, you’ve got infrastructure that’s degraded for any number of reasons, that’s going to be even harder. The thing that I think makes the internet well, so the thing, the thing that makes the internet resilient that I think people overlook, right, and this is the thing that is perhaps maybe even the most, the most important taaway, right from for understanding the internet, is that it’s not really as I should say, it’s as much about agreements about how to communicate with one another, as it is about the technology itself. And the infrastructure that powers it. So what I mean by that is, like, you know, we are speaking the same language right now, human language, English, we both know it. And so we have some agreements about what words mean, generally, we have some agreements about like, you know, grammar. And this means this disagreement called English, right is the way that we canake meaning out of the sounds that we’re talking, speaking with, right? So that is font like philosophically what the internet is, too. It’s a, it’s an agreement of a communications protocol. So if you understand the language, right, and if you like, which is a if you have the capabilities of making the sounds or the internet’s case, right, and making the electrical signals in a certain way, then you can be part of the internet. And the thing that I think is mind boggling for some folks, because you don’t experience the internet in this way, is that anyone can this. It is not about being a massive corporation, or a government or genius inventor or anything like that, right? If you have a computer with what we call a TCP IP stack, right pieces of software, basically that know how to emit the electrical signals in the order that the internet agrees to communicate with, right in the English language of the internet, if you will, then you can connect a node up to the internet. That’s what made it so exponentially. That’s what made it grow so exponentially fast, and what made it and what makes it so potentially, right, potentially accessible. So you need those computers, you also ne to know a little bit about how to configure that software, right. But it’s actually not particularly difficult to do. And so the important takeaway is that every single part of the internet, by definition, is an agreement of some variety. So we can look at like the super, super foundational levels of like the Ethernet protocol, and like connecting a wire from one computer to another, right? That is, those, if you connect two computers with a wire, they can speak to each other, they can send data acss that cable, they can write share files, or whatever you want to do with them, because they understand the same language, you build that up from one layer on top of another, they all speak those, those different protocols, and because they all know what to do with that information, they can talk to each other. Right. And so when we talk about what the the internet, and understanding both how it is resilient, and also how it is fragile, this is the core concept to get, which is to say, when you arerying to speak to people you don’t know, right? In other words, computers that you don’t necessarily have any pre existing relationship with or knowledge of, then you’re going to need to do this through either intermediaries, right, like other computers, or you’re going to need to have some measure of trust in the environment in which you find yourself. So in the physical wor, this is like if you get bad directions, right? While you’re driving on, you know, a country road that you’ve never been on before, then you’re not going to end up in the place that you intend, right. And computers have the same problem. If I send you right via like a spoof DNS query to the wrong place. Right, you’re going to end up at a place that you don’t necessarily inte to be. And that can be a dangerous situation. So that’s both the resiliency and the weakness of the internet, right? Everybody has the capacity to sort of like insert themselves at many of these levels, right, have these layers of this complex system and kind of do what they will, I think, like, actually a really great example of that recently, where all the the BGP hijacks that were happening to the crypto sites lately, right? When youaw a BGP the Border Gateway Protocol is this is this part of the internet that that informs routers? Who owns what slices of cyberspace of cyber territory cyber areas, right? And of course, you can add, write your own you can claim your own little little space of the cyber world, if you will, of cyberspace, right terally a metaphor of land, because it is far more vast. And then physical space, at least on the earth, maybe not the whole universe, but the earth. But it also right is simply a claim. And someone else can make a similar claim or change the belief of others about who belongs in that space. And so that makes it very resilient because a lot of people can have sort of like their fingers in the pie, right? Yeah. But it also makes it dangers, because you have to trust those actors. So a lot of cybersecurity is around understanding Roots of Trust, which is not that different from the physical world. And this fundamentally makes the internet really flexible. And that flexibility also can be one of its one of its security shortcomings. So I think I would say that is the most important thing, especially in the context that we’re talking today of digital security and cyber warfare, that’s probably the most important thing to take away, if you’ve never thought of the internet in that in that way before. Right? It’s, it’s that it is really just an agreement that a t of people have knowledge about how to interact with, and the more knowledge you have about it, the more you can do with it, because it is just a agreement of how we’re talking to each other, and then making claims to one another.
Carey Parker: I love that analogy. I love analogies in general. And that’s all the things I love about the class that you guys use. My teachers usually bring these things back to some sort of metaphor or whatever to help us understand it. And as you’re thinking that my brain is just going crazy, like, oh, yeah, so so like, talking is like Wi Fi. And like writing is like Ethernet. And, and then ere’s these layered protocols like, you know, so on top of English, there’s maybe like poetry that has to rhyme. And then on top of that, there’s haiku. You know, and so, you know, anyway, you can really go a long way with that one.
Tech Learning Collective: Yeah, no, I mean, it’s very relevant to right, like, I mean, one in one of our classes, for example, our DNS workshop, we build a alternate dns route, right, which is a fancy way of saying that we make our own root DNS server, so that we can determine what the top level domains should be right forget.com.m.edu.org.net or whatever, like, Oh, those are the canonical, the conventional, like the well known, like, dot coms are like the you know, the top level, the TLD is the top level domains. But those are all just choices that somebody made, right? And then we all agreed to it, right? So like, we could also like anyone at anytime can say, Oh, I don’t agree to that. Now, you’re not going to change anyone else’s experience with the internet, iyou don’t agree to it and go live, you know, and go go do your own thing over there. But if you go do your own thing over there, you can build the identical infrastructure, right from from, from, like, from a spec level, from a specification perspective, right, and just have different TLDs different top level domains. So you can make you know, we we make a dot workshop domain, for example, which doesn’t exist, as far as I know, anyway, ithe canonical DNS route. But again, you have the same power to do that. And as long as other people and this is the key, as long as other people point their DNS resolvers, write their software to your DNS route server, then you have created a new DNS route. And you can now you know, operate using those other names simply by declaring it. So because the internet is an agreement about communication, that’s it.
Carey Parker: Right. Okay, sthe Biden administration just issued another warning about potential cyber attacks by Russia and retaliation for the global financial sanctions, you know, for that kind of thing. What sorts of precautions should we be taking right now, given that, you know, as maybe as consumers, maybe US citizens, you know, potentially potentially as employees of companies, that might be a target of a cyber attack? What do you think? What, what attacks,n your opinion, maybe most likely, in which attacks, you know, might have the most significant consequences?
Tech Learning Collective: Yeah, oh, there’s a lot of questions in there. So yeah, I mean, the anticlimactic answer to this is that like, you know, everything that we’ve been saying about digital securities is applies right? So like, what this is really the like, you know, hey, oh, that was all that stuff that we were talking abou about like you know, making sure that like all the bases are covered like the basic stuff like you got to update your software you got to make sure your passwords are not being reused, et cetera, like use a password manager this kind of stuff all those basic like fundamental one on one level things that are maybe a little annoying Yeah, but but are really are kind of like a ep one sort of thing that that first of all, I think is like let’s just just worth reiterating. And fact I don’t know if it’s what you mean about the Biden administration’s issued another warning but I do know that Cisar at the cybersecurity infrastructure and Security Agency has a new program recent program that they launched actually when when the tensions with Russia started becoming more pronounced called shields up and this is shiel up program yeah is basically a portal of like a bulletin from the government to anyone who you know operates any kind of service and of course they’re targeting primarily enterprises and business services and of course federal federal agencies and critical infrastructure providers so like you know, the the electrical grid and you know, water treatment plants and this sort oftuff but also enterprises businesses and this could apply to everybody right they’re not they’re not limiting this right their shields up bulletins have for now weeks basically just been reiterations of all this same stuff. It’s like hey, remember like you told me that you told you to patch your you know, your youCitrix servers remember, like, you know, we said please make sure that you have your your firmware up to date on your routers, like, please do that. Like for real? We mean it this time, right, right, right. So so you know, again, so it’s the anticlimactic way to describe this as like, you know, you’re if you’re paying attention to this, which maybe your listeners are, which ilovely. And you’re actually doing the thing where you know, you’ve got your Tom home Wi Fi router or something your you know, that that that your ISP gives you right, some bacter. SP gets, you just make sure that it is actually up to date. Right, right. That’s probably the most important thing that you can do fromike a network, right defense level. And the reason for this actually, the reason that’s actually important, not just for enterprises, of course, absolutely. For Enterprise Business Continuity is, you know, this is going to be the thing that you’re worried about, but also just for home users, right. And I think a l of people forget this from the context of like, because the context of cyber was a little bit different than the context of a hot, you know, you know, some dropping bombs inside, right, is that it’s not geographically limited, right? So like you, if you have like, what was the recent one, the micro tick, there waa, there was some micro tick router, like, yeah, like, back from like, 2018, or 2017, or something like was like four years old or something. But there was some botnet that was continuously exploiting these old Mikrotik routers. And like, that’s only possible, right? Because those routers haven’t been updated for ars. And the point that I’m trying to bring here is that like, if you have one of those devices, right, you might be part of a cyber attack and not even know it. Right, right. And so if you care, and again, hope people do about protecting, honestly, alcountries, right, this is not this is not related to one another, you don’t know who’s going to be commandeering your device. But like just keeping your firmware up to date on your router, or just keeping your software up to date on your computer. Right. Like that kind of stuff is actually that’s what system meanshen they say shields up. Yeah, it doesn’t necessarily have to be more complicated than that. And the reason it’s important is because you could be used as a proxy as a as a as you know, as a reflection, right point for an attack that you don’t even knothat you’re part of, if you don’t maintain the devices that that you have. And, you know, I understand this isn’t necessarily the easiest thing for some people have people have like, for example, old Android phones, and vendors aren’t keeping up to date and this kind of stuff. So that’s that can be that can be difcult. But, you know, if you have the ability to do these sort of basic steps that we’ve been saying, for ever now, the best time would have been a year ago, the next best time is now do this.
Carey Parker: Well. And I think one of the points I wanted bring home is that is that corporations are made of people. And so a lot of people think especially if you work for a medium to large size company, we’ve got departments that do that, we’ve got a security department, we’ve got an IT department that th do security, so I’m not worried about it. At the end of the day, a lot of social engineering attacks, and other attacks are against the weakest link. And that could be anybody in the company, which means that every It’s everybody’s kind of responsibily to understand this to some degree and to not, and did not have bad passwords and not give out information over the phone to somebody that don’t absolutely know who they’re talking to.
Tech Learning Collective: I mean, this is very, like World War Twera, like loose lips sink ships is right. Like Absolutely, yes. Information is not like a It’s not constrained by the physical world. Right. And that’s, that’s the main difference that makes this hard from a cyber theater perspective. Now, again, if yoare like, you know, in a situation where you’re being actively physically bombed, right, yeah. Like, there’s very different things you got to concern yourself with. And I think also, it’s important to remember, so that we’re not just freaking people ou I guess, that like, once you start dropping bombs, like once bombs start dropping, right, the notion of going to a cyber front is a little bit moot. Because you’ve got a very different radius of you can almost think of it as like you’re you’re attacki at a lower level of the stack like Maslow’s
Carey Parker: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right there where there’s, you’re at a different level at this point.
Tech Learning Collective: Rig? Yeah, good advice to like, you know, Ukraine is is very different than an advice in the US to like an American citizen. For we right have in America, the best thing that we can do to be helpful in this context is, as I was mentioning, all the things at were already all the anticlimactic things, right to make sure that you’re not part you’re not commandeered in some way. However, right, like the threat on us is not nearly the threat as is on them. And this also relates to like, you know, what, what you should do, how you should think about the attacks on physical infrastructure and stuff and communication networks and this sort of thing. Because, like, we’re not getting geo located to find our location to get bumped. Right, that’s actively happening there. Right. So there’s a lot of different things that you need to concern yourself, but this is the this is the distinction that that that’s worth drawing, right? Is that notice in hot war scenario, the physical terrain, right, the physicality of it is part and parcel of the calculation, whereas the absence of that limitation is that front and center consideration for us Right. That’s the distinction to be clear in one’s mind.
Carey Parker: Well, let’s, let’s talk about that a little bit. And, and I want to talk about the the war from both sides. And let’s start with the Ukrainian side for them. Obviously, there’s a lot of physical danger. But there’s also infrastructure dang. So, you know, Internet access is essential in times of crisis. And for the rest of us that, you know, maybe that’s where severe weather events or natural disasters of other sorts. Yeah, totally. But you know, obviously, war. Yeah. So, you know, kinetic war. So for the, for the citizens of Ukraine, access to the internet has been impacted by these things, you know, damage to physical facilities, or power outages, or, you know, or maybe even the denial of service attacks, which is the cyber realm, b what sort of tools and techniques, you know, can we use in these sorts of emergency situations, or access to the internet, and let’s say, if you’re prepping, if you’re thinking ahead, and you’re thinking, Oh, this is real, it actually could go sideways. If I had time and money, you know, what sort of things might I do ahead of time? To prepare for some extreme circumstances? Yeah, what’s in what’s in my go bag? Right? That’s what you wa to know. Yeah, go back. First, have a go bag. What’s
Tech Learning Collective: ready? Yeah. So for those who aren’t aware, like the go bag is is the idea of prepared write a satchel or some sort of like, you know, package of things that you use in an emergency. And again, this depends on an emergency. So like, you know, when I, when I lived in San Francisco, I remember, there were a lot of PSAs around like, here’s how to prepare for an earthquake, right. And again, like, when I was out in the Midwt, and tornado, the tornado cones, it was all about, it’s all about tornadoes. And then of course, down in the Gulf, you’ve got, you’ve got flood warnings and things like this. Right. So it sort of depends on your, on your area. That being said, your your threat model may be exactly what’s what I was going to use that, right, depending on where you are, right, you have a different, different different needs of this kind. And then again, at’s that’s true here, as well, there’s a couple of facets that I think are particularly worth pointing out, which, which I’ll get to in a second, that may make things different when you have like different than a natural disaster, right? When you have an actual adversary who’s reacting to your actions, you need a very different sort of set of things. And for instance, let’s say right, you want comms right? In a natural disaster scenarioWell, ham radio has been like a really, really popular and really enduring right now it’s doing that I remember back in the 20, with 2011, I think it was with the Arab Spring situation, right? There was a lot of people that were routing around Internet censorship, using just regular old fax lines. And again, there were long range hams, right, that were that were communicatingto get around internet blocks and this sort of thing. But again, that’s a very different situation than what we see now in Ukraine, where ham radio is very easily triangulated. And so you don’t necessarily want to do that, right? Because you’ll make yourself you make your position known. And if you’re in a hot war situation like they are, then your physical location is very, ry important to protect, for literally life and death reasons. Right. And so you don’t necessarily have access to the same mechanisms of maintaining internet, right? Even Starlink stuff like this, right. And I think you mentioned something about Starlink, before we started talking about, like, you know, even Starlink things can be geo located, right, because it’s all it’s all just radio emissions, you know, at the end of the day, startli for what it’s worth is, I don’t know if this is like commercially available yet, but they have a roaming mode. So one of the pieces of advice that I’ve been hearing around this is turn that on, it’s like buried deeply in some in some form, or configures or another. But it allows you to like basically put a Starli device right on your truck or on your car or whatever, and actually be driving around and it will, it will hop almost a little bit like a like a cell, like a cell signal, right cell tower so that you maintain connectivity, because I think for the commercial ones right now, the way they’re selling in the US as there stationary, they don’t have this roaming mode turned on, they connect to a right point then they stay and you have to keep it there
Carey Parker: Real quick for those Starlink is Elon Musk’s satellite based communication system that has been launching many many satellites to the much to the consternation of stargazers. Yeah. But yeah, situations like this, it could be crual.
Tech Learning Collective: Well, right. So we call that SATCOM, right. Satellite communications, system department Homeland Security have also been putting out warnings about SATCOM attacks for exactly this reason, right? Like satellite communications are harder, a little bit too, to geolocate right than just band radio kind of stuff. And they potentially right have a much better, they have much better bandwidth, like they’re, they’re better devices right there. And so they’re really, really important for having a backup method of accessing the internet asong as of course you can connect out to right like you’re not getting jammed in some in some way. So anyway, so my point is, is that these are like if you have access to these sorts of devices, right? Like, then definitely you’re gonna want to consider that as like a first mode of of access, but the situation matts again, if you are trying to anticipate an adversaries reactions to your actions, such as for example, if I use this am I going to be geo located and fucking bombed? Can I use that word? Sounds like you know, it’s, it’s a risk then then you You have very different, you have very different things in your go back. there’s that is what I will say. Now, in general, though, this is all about just thinking ahead. And that’s true for both the both the adversary scenario and the natural disaster scenario. So things like making sure that you’ve got power is the thing at I think people don’t necessarily think about too much when they think about these columns, because like these devices will eventually run out of electricity. Right. And so, when I talk about thinking ahead, one thing that comes to mind, from that I do often is just think about how, like, what you need for the tngs that you need, and then ask yourself that same question five times, right, so okay, I need internet, what do I need for internet? Well, I need power, okay, what do I need for power, rig, and then just keep keep on that rabbit hole. And so this could be like, you know, a, an extra battery pack. If it’s not, if you’re not expecting a long, long outage, it can be a solar panel, right, and one of those travel solar panel things, those catake a while to charge. But again, depending on your scenario, you can leave it out, right, or, I know hikers use this a lot right to charge their phones. That’s also useful, right in the context of a go bag, even if you’re not hiking, right. In other words, you might buy it for the context of well, I’m going out camping, but you might not be going out camping, you might just put in your go bag, make sure it’s charged every three months or so. Right? And then have a source of power. And that’s a steahead, right? Thinking ahead a little bit beyond just well, I’m going to need this electronic device with me, right? And want to have access to in that sense. So I mean, I guess my point is like, it really is about thinking one step ahead. Or rather, taking care of the thing that is immediate, right? And then taking the next step before you get there. So this example of right, I’m gonna need my phone. Okay, what do I need around me to ha my phone? I need power, what do I need, right to have power, I might need a generator I might need like solar, I make these solar panels, etc. This process is what disaster planning is about.