Satellite SMS by-passes eavesdropping technology

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India's Financial Express claims to have discovered that text messages sent to satellite TV users over Asian direct-to-home (DTH) satellites are effectively outside the scope of government surveillance technology.

The paper, which notes that large numbers of Indian and Pakistan's DTH satellite services are moving their dishes to receive adult content, also makes the point that text messages addressed to specific DTH boxes, are beyond conventional surveillance systems.

It remains unclear how many cellular networks can generate text messages for delivery across satellite DTH systems, but the paper quotes an Indian telecoms regulator as saying that his remit covers the carriage of the system, rather than the content.

The problem with satellite DTH systems is that, unlike satellite pagers, because the boxes only receive signals, their actual location is difficult to track.


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