“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.