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Could We Beam Broadband Internet Into Iran?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the extend-the-tubes dept.

The Internet 541

abenamer writes "Some reporter at a recent White House press briefing just asked the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, this question: Was 'the White House....considering beaming broad capability into Iran via satellite so the opposition forces would be able to communicate with themselves and the outside world?' 'Gibbs said he didn't know such a thing was possible. (Is it?) But he said he would check on the technological feasibility and get back with an answer.' I'm not sure what the reporter meant by beaming broadband into Iran: Do they even have 3G? Would we bomb the Iranians with SIM cards that would allow them to get text messages from the VOA? Or somehow put up massive Wi-Fi transmitters from Iraq and beam it into Iran? How would you beam broadband into Iran?"

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541 comments

Nokia / Siemens could provide an answer (2, Informative)

Apocalyptic Grouch (1294812) | more than 4 years ago | (#28440911)

Nokia Siemens Networks, the joint venture of Siemens AG and Nokia Corp, provided the deep packet inspection monitoring center within the Iranian government's telecom monopoly as part of a larger contract with Iran that included mobile-phone networking technology, according to the following article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124562668777335653.html [wsj.com]

Re:Nokia / Siemens could provide an answer (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441041)

And since all democratic countries use exactly the same equipment to monitor their own citizens, you could say: Nokia-Siemens has brought a bit of democracy to Iran.

Re:Nokia / Siemens could provide an answer (2, Informative)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441537)

This was yesterday's news, and generally agreed to be a snow job by the WSJ. These companies sold network equipment. The same equipment that is probably allowing information to seep out of Iran. Please mod down this blatant hijacking, especially in light of the fact that it already has its own topic [slashdot.org] .

VOAol (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28440943)

Not affiliated with Time-Warner.

Ummm (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28440957)

Could they beam broadband into New York City first? Thanks.

Re:Ummm (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441015)

Maybe to get widespread broadband, the US needs an emerging tyra.. oh wait.

Re:Ummm (4, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441099)

How is an emerging tyrannosaurus (presumably a fossil just being uncovered) going to help with widespread broadband?

Re:Ummm (4, Funny)

JPLemme (106723) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441219)

I think he meant "Tyra Banks". Her emergence will drive demand for broadband, or something.

Re:Ummm (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441489)

hmmm... leaked tape coming to light soon? I'm sure the Pam video convinced a couple people to move to DSL...

Re:Ummm (0, Troll)

EEDAm (808004) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441455)

Do you mind? It's just taken us 8 years to get a fossilised dinosaur out of the Oval Office....

Balloons? (2, Interesting)

knothead99 (33644) | more than 4 years ago | (#28440963)

Just recently there was a story on slashdot about using balloons in Africa to distribute internet connectivity. I don't recall the speeds they considered feasible. Such a deployment in Iran may also have to contend with attempts to shoot down or disable said balloons by those in power.

Re:Balloons? (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#28440997)

Just make the balloons festive colors and tell them we're throwing a nationwide party for Achmadinejad to celebrate his election. Air drop some party hats and noise makers. I'm sure they won't suspect a thing.

An extention of the Sharks with Lasers Idea... (5, Funny)

Het Irv (1424087) | more than 4 years ago | (#28440969)

Camels with Wifi!

Re:An extention of the Sharks with Lasers Idea... (3, Funny)

TRS80NT (695421) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441453)

You laugh but it could be true. In the early 70s I lived in Asmara, Ethiopia (now Eritria). Our place was on the edge of town and we often saw camel trains plodding in from the hills headed for the marketplace. The lead camel usually had a blaring transistor radio around its neck. I always wondered if the lead camel driver had a radio because he was the leader or if he was the leader because he had a radio.

Ummm (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28440971)

How about we "beam broadband" to our own have-nots first?

Re:Ummm (1, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441013)

Are you really telling me you don't see a good reason to provide an unfiltered communication capability to Iran given its current situation? It wouldn't have to a permanent setup.

On the other hand, then they could legitimately blame us for interference...

Re:Ummm (5, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441117)

I don't. The more we interfere here, the more likely it is that someone new is going to form a grudge against us. Why can't we just let people revolt without our interference? If the protests in Iran escalate to a civil war, then we need to stay the hell out of it. If we don't, how are we going to respond if the revolt loses and the Iranian government accuses us of encouraging violence and discord in their country? Do we really have to wonder why the Iranian government thinks we're a bunch of bullies?

Re:Ummm (1, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441157)

It's legitimate to wonder whether it would be a wise thing to do, but the OP's argument was "we should do this for our people first" (similar to an AC post down below), and appears to be totally ignorant of current events.

Re:Ummm (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441405)

I don't. The more we interfere here, the more likely it is that someone new is going to form a grudge against us.

Only if you help the wrong guys (i.e. those who lose)...

If we don't, how are we going to respond if the revolt loses and the Iranian government accuses us of encouraging violence and discord in their country?

The same way you respond to North Korea?

Re:Ummm (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441585)

I don't. The more we interfere here, the more likely it is that someone new is going to form a grudge against us.

Only if you help the wrong guys (i.e. those who lose)...

We helped Afghanistan against the Soviets, and they won. It didn't turn out so well when Osama Bin Laden then used a lot of the weapons and bunkers we gave them in his campaign against us.

Moral of the story: those we help will not always repay us with kindness.

Re:Ummm (1)

IceFoot (256699) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441515)

Sir Rodney: The peasants are revolting!
King: You can say that again.

--Very old Wizard of Id comic strip

Re:Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441571)

I completely agree that the US should not meddle however I think i have a solution that allows the US to meddle. Obama should make a public announcement that he and his staff has just uncovered a plan started and implemented by the Bush administration to have Ahmadinejad win by a landslide. If someone asks why would Bush do that, Obama should just respond that it would help continue the tension between the two nations. Obama should then apologize profusely and promise to stop any other manipulation of Iranian politics that he finds were left over by the Bush administration.

Re:Ummm (4, Informative)

demachina (71715) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441625)

Exactly right. The U.S. and Britain started this whole fiasco in 1953 by meddling in Iran's affairs and overthrowing Mohammed Mosaddeq [wikipedia.org] in Operation AJAX [wikipedia.org] . They installed the Shah, a ruthless dictator with a security apparatus as bad or worse than the current Iran Regime, SAVAK [wikipedia.org] . The Iranian people hated the Shah so much they turned to the Islamists in the 1978/1979 Iranian revolution to overthrew him, and replaced the devil they knew with the devil they have now. Mossaddeq nationalized British run oil fields in Iran and the U.S. and Britain over thew him to regain control of the oil. It was one of the early and most vivid proofs that yes in fact the U.S. and Britain will do just about anything to control oil fields including coups and wars. All things considered if Mossaddeq had been left in power Iranian would have been a lot better and happier place.

Anyone with the slightest sense of history realizes the U.S. and Britain need to stay completely out of this because their involvement will just give the current regime a potent propaganda tool to say the protests are a western imperialist instigated counter revolution to the 1979 overthrow of the Shah. Its bad enough things like Twitter and Facebook are U.S. based.

Re:Ummm (0, Troll)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441375)

Are you really telling me you don't see a good reason to provide an unfiltered communication capability to Iran given its current situation?

What situation is that... a bunch of foreigners who failed to buy the election so they're funding a campaign of misinformation and corruption to overthrow a democratically elected government, enslave it's people and pillage their wealth?

Re:Ummm (2, Funny)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441487)

No, I think he was referring to reality. It's an Iranian affair, and they're funding their own misinformation and corruption, thank you very much.

Re:Ummm (3, Informative)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441561)

I see plenty of good reasons. But just having a good reason isn't enough to do something. We have limited resources. There are many oppressed nations around the world. How about instead of rushing to interfere with Iran, we simply stop supporting the oppressive regimes we prop up first?

Re:Ummm (1)

e4g4 (533831) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441027)

Done [earthlink.net]

Re:Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441177)

That woman's mouth AND nose are showing!!! This would not be suitable for use in Iran, they couldn't get past the first page!

Re:Ummm (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441343)

I think maybe he was using a different definition of have than you. $60 a month with a 2 year minimum contract is quite a bit of money for some people (along with an upfront fee or increased monthly price).

Get a pringles can and go to Iraq (1)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 4 years ago | (#28440975)

Why not set up 802.11 in east Iraq?

Re:Get a pringles can and go to Iraq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441337)

Yeah, I think it would be more productive to help them figure out how to assemble their own ad-hoc wireless network on the ground to bypass government blocks. It's more important for them to communicate among themselves to organize. Does anybody know what kind of access they have to wifi and if there are government restrictions on routers and wireless cards? Is there anyway for them to set up their own cell phone texting relays?

Re:Get a pringles can and go to Iraq (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441411)

Do they make Halal Pringles?

Re:Get a pringles can and go to Iraq (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441439)

This was my first thought too: just find a building that's relatively secure (any will do, just needs to be tall for line-of-sight purposes), put a (very?) high-gain directional antenna on it and link it to a base station in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. You could do the satellite way, but it's likely to be a hell of a lot more expensive, and you can't break it down and hide it in the case of an emergency evacuation, etc.

Might not be broadband, but it's the best you're going to do on such a short notice. Besides, Twitter messages are only 140 bytes. It's not like you have to send them over the cellular network where that would cost approximately a trillion dollars [physorg.com] ...

Satellite tech. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28440985)

Low orbit satellites with directional antennas and GSM network would probably work. Not too different from Iridium.

Re:Satellite tech. (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441069)

And just like with Iridium, the people on the ground would need the correct receivers.

This is is a tech-illiterate fool asking a pie-in-the-sky question.

Re:Satellite tech. (3, Funny)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441431)

Give the handsets to the guys who smuggle booze in over the Turkish border. They've been giving Iranian authorities the runaround for years.

How? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#28440995)

How would you beam broadband into Iran?

I don't know... but something I once read prompts me to answer that they might beam broadband capability into Iran via satellite.

NCC-1701 version (2, Funny)

dr_db (202135) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441003)

We would have to ask Scotty if we had enough power to beam broadband.

Re:NCC-1701 version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441123)

Only if there isn't a wiener stuck in the warp drive.

Would that be politically incorrect for the Muslim Iranians?

Re:NCC-1701 version (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441367)

We would have to ask Scotty if we had enough power to beam broadband.

Captain, ma dongle canna tak much more o' this!

Meddling West (2, Insightful)

mojatt (704902) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441007)

Great, one more thing that Iran could accuse us of... meddling in their election, providing support to protesters in hopes of influencing their electoral process, just what we need! Don't get me wrong, it's a good idea, and I'm all for helping but it's just one more thing. Don't we have enough to worry about on our home soil?

Re:Meddling West (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441447)

I've heard this so many times that I felt the need to make an anonymous coward post:

While it is true that we should not provide military intervention, we should not take an isolationist mentality either. This only promotes an Us vs Them attitude, and correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we had much bigger conflicts than this with that sort of attitude?

We should provide support, only if they ask for it, and only in humanitarian methods to extend basic human rights.

802.11s + anonymous network on top (1)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441009)

It would still be an Iran-only network, unless there are unfiltered gateways, but it would at least allow internal communication.

Think of us first. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441017)

There are plenty of places in america that don't have good internet access. Why should our tax dollars go to them when we're still underserved?

Beam the Tubes?! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441055)

So, this individual with the tech savvy post of White House reporter is suggesting that we "beam" the "tubes" of the Interweb to the entire country of Iran via a satellite. What an amazing world we live in....hell, I'm still trying to convince some of the teleworkers within our organization to upgrade beyond dial-up connections. I never thought of "beaming" a connection to them. Guess that is why these people make the big bucks. BTW, now that we can "beam" internet access, can we get to work on my flying car?!?

They don't have the hardware on their end... (5, Informative)

alta (1263) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441113)

Getting a signal TO them is easy. You just have to set up a source with sufficient power. Satellite, ground, shortwave, whatever. I think it would be feasible (I'm not radio guru) to beam them FM from space or Iraq. Basiclly you'd be breaking all the transmit power limits to further your cause.

The problem with networking is they don't have any devices powerful enough to beam the return signal BACK to us. Sure, we can broadcast them a packet 1000 miles away, but their hardware only has the power to return it 1 mile back... Yeah, you can tweak the sensitivity of your receiving equip, but not enough for this. And the idea of cells is that you are counting on a signal only reaching a certain distance, so you can reuse that frequency in another location. Even if they all put 100,000 watt amplifiers on their wifi cards, on our end it's just jumbled garbage.

By the time we got any hardware to them to let them communicate with us, this revolution will be over... R&D, Procurement, Distribution...

Re:They don't have the hardware on their end... (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441311)

It isn't about power, its about gain and signal-to-noise ratio. With the right antenna carefully pointed, I can read your signal loud and clear at 10 miles or more, no matter how wimpy your transmitter.

You've seen the pictures of radio-telescopes, basically huge dishes? That's what they're doing: reading very weak signals from very far away but only with an extremely narrow beam width.

Re:They don't have the hardware on their end... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441331)

Yeah, you can tweak the sensitivity of your receiving equip

so we need a really big pringles can....

Re:They don't have the hardware on their end... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441623)

This always was the problem with BB over satellite. It was suggested here as an answer to the rural user problem. Allow downloads via satellite links that provided massive bandwidth, and provide uploads via your dial-up phone line as most people would just be uploading requests for more data, it would be feasible.

For Iran, providing satellite coverage with American-propaganda broadcasts is very feasible, you just need the satellite in the right place, unfortunately, the population cannot send back, or change channel. That said, I thought there was communication, via WoW messages for example (as reported a few days ago on /.), so really - what's the point of doing anything, nothing seems to be particularly broken apart from a wise governing regime for the benefit of the people and some free and fair elections, but its not as if we have those over here :)

Eh sonny? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441131)

Does whoever asked that question know absolutely nothing about how "beaming" works? We could easily transmit more or less whatever we like down; but that won't magically turn Iranian cell phones or wifi devices into satellite modems. You'd need to substantially change, and upgrade, the hardware that they are using for any sort of communication to be established.

And, if the plan is to provide large quantities of Officially Discouraged Hardware to all and sundry, we might as well just mix rifles in with the phones and call it a day.

Re:Eh sonny? (4, Interesting)

gamanimatron (1327245) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441325)

Does whoever asked that question know absolutely nothing about how "beaming" works?

Yep. They also know nothing about routers, packets, fiber or anything that would explain how those videos get from YouTube to their iphones. My wife tells me that most people are living in a world where all sorts of neat stuff happens magically, and when it stops happening the only real solution is to call some company (or, if they're lucky, a sufficiently tech-savvy friend) that can make that magic start working again.

This is fairly disturbing.

Re:Eh sonny? (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441409)

Of course, we've been eavesdropping on microwave transmissions via satellite for decades now.. We could just have the NSA satellites answer back.... ;)

Of course (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441141)

We can send sattelite internet to them quite easily. The real issue is that they have no gear to receive it. I'm sure we could dump stuff off by the truckload... but then I have to ask why? If the opposition loses, we have an even BIGGER diplomatic issue on our hand with a country we need to try to repair relations with over the long-term. I'd say we're best suited sitting back and letting it play out.

Lets not and say we did (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441155)

I'm for letting the world get a good dose of mullah rule without any 'help' from us. They'll hate the west if we get involved, if we don't, if we caused the problem or if we're blameless. Enjoy living at the pleasure of your preferred priests. It makes good TV sometimes.

Keep in mind that the day your priesthood detonates its first test nuke you and yours go on the nuclear counterstrike target lists of the US, UK, France and Israel. Right up near the top. Good luck with that sons of Cyrus.

Allah Akbar!

Re:Lets not and say we did (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441575)

And a big 'fuck you' to you.

Iranians want democracy. They are willing to fight and shed blood for democracy. Our youths sat by playing fucking XBox whilst our leaders kicked off a bloody and vicious resource war. We complain but do nothing about the constant abuses of our governments, despite the fact we are blessed with free elections, and the worse that happens to most protesters is they have photos taken of them.

Iranians can be imprisoned, tortured, and even killed for standing up to their leaders, and yet they line the streets of the capital without hesitation to demand fair government. We are in no position to lecture them about freedom and democracy - they are giving us a lesson on the concept right now. Arseholes like you who undoubtedly have never done anything political don't get to look down on these people; especially when their home grown secular democracy was originally snatched away from them by the west in order to make money.

Google it (3, Informative)

R4nm4-kun (1302737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441173)

There already are various Satellite Providers that offer Internet Connectivity also in Iran, just try to :google it [google.com] .
I'm pretty sure the US Army already has it's own satellite ISP that works in Iraq, which means it also works in Iran, they'd just have to be so generous to let the Iranis use it, they don't really need special equipment for this, they can buy satellite capable phones in Iran, they just need the access to the US army networks, or commercial networks. Just give them some access to satellite providers, then they can set up their own networks on site if they're the least bit organized, otherwise it's no use anyway.

Wifi from Irak isn't really possible, It would work around the borders, but that's all, Iran is a pretty big country, it's meaningless, satellite is the only option, either that or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Google it (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441385)

Just buy satellite capable phones in Iran?

It isn't the sort of thing I can pick up at my local Carphone Warehouse or Phones4U.

Re:Google it (2, Interesting)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441437)

When i was deployed to Iraq my platoon was in a tiny coalition camp, no internet, phones, mail, tv, pay, or anything. So we found a local guy in the city that sold us a civilian satelite dish. We paid him in cash each month and he took it to bagdad and paid somebody for the service. We convoyed to the nearest FOB with payservices to get the cash (and the mail, ANCD fills, candy, taco bell, whatever).

I think we had 12 unique IPs and the bandwidth was decent. The only problems we had was people leaving their torrents on all day! You'd have to practically cordon and search the area to find the offending laptop.

Soup cans and string (1)

EmmDashNine (1082413) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441175)

The majority of the country lives in mud huts with goats in their yards and are lucky to have elelectricity for even part day if at all. Those that happen to live in the city are a little luckier in that they have a few more amenities- possibly a phone, and even fewer a computer. What use is setting up an infrastructure if the population is unable to use it? Are we going to air-drop netbooks?

Re:Soup cans and string (4, Informative)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441551)

The majority of the country lives in mud huts with goats in their yards and are lucky to have electricity for even part day if at all.

And that's where Ahmadinejad got his 60% of the vote. It might be interesting to enable the 'intellectual elite' of Iran living in the big cities to make their displeasure known to the rest of the world. But as long as they have a semblance of a democratic system, their fundies are going to run the place.

Re:Soup cans and string (4, Interesting)

Klintus Fang (988910) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441603)

while it is true that "beaming" broadband into Iran is absurd. as others have said, whomever asked the press secretary that question is ignorant of how broadband works and deserves to be laughed at soundly by their peers. :p

that said, your characterization of Iran is way off. Iran is considerably more civilized then what you think it is. Electricity, cell phones, computers, and internet access are all relatively common place in Iran.

The place that you are describing is called Afghanistan.

Use Wildblue (1)

bzzfzz (1542813) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441179)

WildBlue [wildblue.com] provides satellite service throughout most of the U.S. Speeds, low. Latency, high. Gaming, impossible. But at least it works.

I believe that they use low earth orbit [wikimedia.org] satellites, which means that they may not have the technical capability to provide coverage over Iran, at least not all the time. And then there's the matter of getting ground stations smuggled in and installed, and they're large enough (the size of a DirectTV dish) to be difficult to conceal.

Re:Use Wildblue (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441521)

The satellites for those services are in geostationary orbit, pointed so that they have a footprint in the U.S., so they wouldn't work in Iran (Looking around for a second, it sounds like they specifically use a satellite called Anik-F2).

The tiny little dish has to be pointed pretty carefully to make the uplink work.

SIM cards would not work (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441195)

I wonder if abenamer even knows what SIM cards are? Does he know that they are subject to "approval" from the network? So unless he wants to send a GSM network as well they are useless. There are ways of spoofing and cloning of course, but that would also be quite simple to fix from an Iranian point of view; shut down the whole GSM phone network. Of course if they gave them satellite phones that would work! For both voice and data communications.

Yes, but (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441209)

Yes, we could beam a high-power 802.11 service into at least the border regions of Iran and we could use well enough focused antenna arrays to pick up the wimpy signals their 802.11 cards sent back. And the nature of spread spectrum is such that they'd have a devil of a time jamming it.

The problem is, the friendly policefolk in Iran would be able to pick up the wimpy 802.11 signals as well, and trace them right back to the Iranians who are transmitting. It isn't like an AM radio signal where the receivers are, in a practical sense, untraceable.

Re:Yes, but (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441577)

802.11 is trivially easy to jam. Your household microwave can do it.

Spread Spectrum is hard to intercept since you can't just sit on one frequency and receive a complete message. It is resistant to singe frequency jamming.

However, if you're willing to jam the range of frequencies the spectrum covers it's just as vulnerable as a single channel transmission.

ham radio (1)

fenring (1582541) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441215)

Iranians don't need broadband right now. All they need is a way of comunicating with the outside world. Maybe someone (read CIA) should teach them about Ham Radio.

Re:ham radio (1)

grikdog (697841) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441559)

Considering what Iranians have managed to accomplish with Bluetooth, why step back into the dark ages of 1950's single sideband? I can just imagine it — a Morse code rendition of ASCII Art of Neda Agha-Soltan drawing her last breath in defiance of the Ayatollahs. Duh, people. Iran is already technologically sophisticated. They don't need us, except as witnesses.

Ask Ballmer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441283)

It'd be a lot like squirting with your zune, I suppose.

Don't do anything (4, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441303)

The world has been clamoring for you guys to stop meddling in their affairs and only mind your own. So I suggest that you should do just that: it will cost you nothing and you won't generate any further ill will towards you. What's not to like?
Maybe people will change their mind or maybe they won't, either way you'll be covered.

Re:Don't do anything (0, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441365)

Maybe people will change their mind or maybe they won't, either way you'll be covered.

Because, if you choose not to do anything, they will call that meddling as well. You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Since we're not talking about an invasion, but merely enabling the communications of a people, that's entirely consistent with what should be American values. It's the Star Trek solution - useful and non-violent.

How would I beam Broadband Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441315)

I suppose I would use some sort of dish or antenna. That will be a $400 consulting fee.

We sure as hell could. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441321)

I bet a few AWACS aircraft orbiting just outside of the Iranian border could serve as communications relays.

DVB-S2/RCS or BGAN (5, Informative)

Bluefirebird (649667) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441333)

There are two possible technologies (among other similar ones)

With DVB-S2/RCS you have a bidirectional satellite system that requires a 1.2 meter dish antenna and a satellite terminal composed of an indoor unit (about the size of a bulky cable-modem) and an outdoor unit (transmitter and receiver horn mounted on the focus point of the satellite dish. This costs around US$1000 dollars and it takes about 30min to install (if you are an experienced installer).

With BGAN you have a very portable terminal (about the size of a netbook) that only requires you to point it in the general vicinity of the satellite location in the horizon.

Both systems use GEO (geostationary) satellites, which means that they have a fixed location in the horizon. They are actually located over the equator (0Â latitude) and they orbit the earth in 24h cycles, thus appearing to be stationary.
With DVB-S2/RCS you can have a 50Mbit/s in the downlink, although most services provide less than 10Mbit/s. The usually upload speed is 1Mbit/s. This speeds are shared between all terminals within a beam (similar to Internet over cable, where you share your Internet within a residential area of about 1000 persons).
With BGAN you only have 492Kbit/s in both the downlink and uplink. On the other hand, it is designed for mobility.

Re:DVB-S2/RCS or BGAN (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441621)

My first thought when I read this article was BGAN, since they were throwing around the 'Broadband' term so much. BGAN stands for Broadband Global Area Network.

The downside of all of these systems (besides getting the hardware into the country) is that the airtime is fairly expensive. BGAN runs you about $3.50/Megabyte, and it's cheap for satellite data.

Indirect evidence (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441383)

If they planned for this big firewall operation, I have no doubt they also rigged the election. Having the landslide victory why fear the recount ?

The Tor project is already doing this (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441387)

The Tor project has taken it upon themselves to help out the resistance in Iran. They have instructions to setup Iran only Tor bridges to provide secure/anonymous internet access to and from Iran.

https://blog.torproject.org/blog/measuring-tor-and-iran

Too bad the press isn't paying attention to the (very successful) efforts by the Tor project in helping out the people of Iran get communications in and out of Iran. No need for the White House to do anything, the good folks and volunteers at Tor are taking care of it in a much more practical way.

Also, whoever wrote this article/said that comment has no idea about physics and technology. Some of the comments here talking about how unbelievably implausible "beaming broadband" into Iran is are very funny.

You can't just throw internet into a country.... not in any practical way anyways, especially from a satellite without proper ground equipment.

We could fox them! (1)

jerhurwitz (1583509) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441425)

Ahchoo: Blinkin - what's the fastest way to reach the villagers? Blinkin: Why don't we fox them? Ahchoo: Fox them!

Satellite Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441429)

Just use a satellite phone w/ data connection. Done.

Powerful Ground Transmitter/Receivers Not Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441465)

The mistake I am hearing is that sending and receiving need BIG powerful equipment. What about going way back in history to mirrors, that is to say light? Perhaps a cheap modified DLP mirror chip could act as both receiver and sender (using a cheap hand laser). Hand lasers easily reach jets. Yes, a very cloudy or foggy country would have difficulty but a country with a lot of arid and desert climate has a lot of sunshine and open sky.

Be not afraid of Internet; (4, Funny)

booyabazooka (833351) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441475)

Some are born with Internet, some pay a lot for Internet, and others have Internet thrust upon them.

US Navy cell-site ship would be very handy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441505)

My wife and I were discussing something like this over the weekend: A US Navy ship could have standard GSM cell tower equipment, with much higher gain antennas. If the Iranian's cell phones were being shut off, then the Navy ship cranks up the power and allows cell phones to contact via the ship-based cell site.

With our technical assets, why are we NOT doing this right now???

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28441507)

Also, in any long term situation Iran can set up jamming just as North Korea does.

Any historians in the audience? (4, Funny)

jerhurwitz (1583509) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441523)

Where there any revolutions recorded in history before the internet existed? Sorry if this seems like a dumb question. Maybe someone is doing their thesis on it or something.

Singularity Sky (1)

Viadd (173388) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441565)

"The day war was declared, a rain of telephones fell clattering to the coblestones from the skies above Novy Petrograd."
Charles Stross

Typical Engineering (1)

elloGov (1217998) | more than 4 years ago | (#28441631)

Before you even indulge in the technology, please think about the consequences of such actions and validate your claim/right to make such decisions on behalf of others. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Science in the past has repeatedly ignored this vital step; atomic bomb comes into mind. We invent destruction, ignoring what we all know to be harmful, we give blinding incomplete arguments in support of such creation. Once the damage has been done, we still do not confess our wrongs but rather satisfy our consciences with more illogical arguments full of IFs and BUTs.
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