Thursday, January 17, 2013

Alan Gross' m.o.

“Radio Frequency activity in the Capitol City is more difficult to monitor than in the provinces because of an already existing level of RF congestion (e.g., from government, commercial sites, embassies, etc.). Therefore, monitoring and detection in the use of ICTs is less likely to occur in the Capitol City. Conversely and because there is little RF congestion in the provinces, monitoring and detection of ICT devices is highly probable.

Even limited use of BGANs and wireless networks will be monitored and detected because Island government technicians routinely "sniff" neighborhoods with their handheld devices in search of ham-radio and satellite dishes. While wireless computer networks (intranet) are not likely to cause any problem if detected, discovery of BGAN usage for Internet access would be catastrophic.

“In order to improve and supplement security tactics and protocols already in place, the contractor will use an alternative SIM card, called "discreet" SIM card, that will increase the level of technical security with each of the 3 BGANs deployed. Discreet SIM cards impede the ability to track or detect specific aspects of non-terrestrial transmitted signals, regarding location and IP identification of transmission. This is accomplished by:

  • Masking the IP address of the BGAN, in case some entity is able to "hack" into the transmission at either end, and
  • Masking the signal so that its GPS location cannot be pinpointed within 400 km.”
– from a report by jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross, cited in a memo filed in court in connection with his suits against the U.S. government and his employer DAI.  Reporter/blogger Tracey Eaton summarizes the memo, which describes the USAID’s view of the program, the urgency of getting it implemented at the end of the Bush Administration, and other political and technical details.


Antonio said...

This is what happens when you send a mere Fulano to do the job of a spy. What were Gross and others at USAID thinking.
While we are on the subject of espionage, there is a book I read a while back that people on this blog may be interested in. True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba's Master Spy by Scott W. Carmichael (Pub. 2009). Peter, I don't know if you have read it, but I recommend it.

Phil Peters said...

I reviewed that book here:

and wrote other items about the author here:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Peters,

What I would like to have explained is the following two questions:

1- Why couldn't the three BGANS not have been installed in sites protected by diplomatic inmunity instead of in territory under Cuban jurisdiction?

2- Why did they have to be brought inside the island by passing them through Cuban customs instead of using diplomatic mail?

I have been raising these questions unsuccessfully in your blog to try to get some sort of a satisfactory answer to them.

The information you provide is interesting but does not address these issues which are fundamental to decide whether this project was rational or simply a provocation designed to get Gross arrested and block ongoing negotiations between both governments.

Could you help me and try to get some USAID or DAI spokesman to answer these questions directly instead of continuing to avoid them?


Antonio said...

Thanks for the review on the book. I don't think I was reading this blog back then.