Trust in Waves: An introduction to packet radio with AX.25 and elliptic curve cryptography.
Our speaker for this month is Brannon Dorsey!
This hands-on talk (so brings those OSX or Linux laptops/VMS) will demonstrate how to use cheap chinese radios in combination with audio modem software to create long distance communication networks. We’ll start off by introducing the equipment and protocols common to packet radio as well as a brief history of the medium. Participants will encode digital data using audio to transmit messages over UHF and VHF radio frequencies using their own equipment and equipment provided by the instructor. We’ll also introduce a new open source protocol and software package called Chattervox.
Chattervox is a packet radio chat protocol with support for digital signatures and binary compression; think IRC over radio waves. In the United States, it's illegal to broadcast encrypted messages on amateur radio frequencies. Chattervox respects this law, while using elliptic curve cryptography and digital signatures to protect against message spoofing. Participants will be introduced to the protocol by its author and have the opportunity to influence its development. The protocol has received a warm and exciting welcome by amateur radio enthusiasts, but this talk will mark the early large-scale use of the protocol by a group.
Brannon Dorsey is an artist, programmer, and security researcher who uses technology and reproducible electronic media to navigate difficult terrain. He employs open software tools to create experiences that excite and empower individuals and collaborative communities rather than create passive users/consumers. Brannon's work encourages a digital literacy that celebrates the truly profound technological era that we now live while remaining skeptical of the ways that this technology is being used on and against us.
Brannon has been featured in various publications and articles, including WIRED, Motherboard, The Creator's Project, Hackaday, Bloomberg, The New York Observer, Boing Boing, The Register, and rtl-sdr. His work has shown in Japan, Mexico, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and his hometown of Richmond, VA, among other places. He has shown in group exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Miami Art Museum, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian's American Art Museum.