Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Taliban Request Cell Phone Operators to Pull the Plug Between 5pm and 7am

More info here.

When I lived in London, we had a small hand held scanner that covered the 900 mhz range. On a nice summer night -- between 5 and 7 actually -- the bands became filled with phone conversations in Arabic.

Most of these transmissions I believe were over unencrypted portable telephones and not mobiles. I didn't exactly consider it eavesdropping as I don't speak Arabic but it seemed an interesting phenomenon and the conversations went on for hours.

Now the Taliban in Afghanistan is asking that Afghani Mobile Phone Companies cease service between 5 and 7 as they believe the 'peacekeeping' forces are able to locate, sometimes with the connivance of the phone companies themselves, Taliban insurgents. I have no doubt this is true. But the whole idea of a Nation's communications -- landlines were extinguished long ago -- going down at night at the whim of a bunch of medieval clerics seems positively preposterous.

Unfortunately, if the poor cell companies do not comply, there may well be blood. This is perhaps slightly less unfortunate than the poor physically and mentally disabled Iraqi's who are being made into unwitting suicide bombers, which is not suicide at all, but mass murder plus one., but not much.

Something that really unerved the wehrmacht during the Nazi's hubristic attempt to bring down the Soviet Union was the site of dogs with backpacks with sticks pointing upwards. Trained according to strict Pavlovian principals to run under trucks for food, with their backpacks they would run under the German vehicles with explosives. German soldiers as a result would shoot any dog or Jew or peasant on site. It really is a miserable world sometimes.

I hear our favorite finance minister is releasing an uncontroversial budget today. Yawn. Now this is a country I feel grateful to live in.

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