HOPE X (2014): "Shortwave Pirate Radio and Oddities of the Spectrum" (Download)
Friday, July 18, 2014: 1:00 pm (Olson): Radio has become marginalized and governments are curtailing international shortwave broadcasting, yet these bands remain one of the most anonymous and inexpensive ways to convey information within and across international borders. This presentation will include background information about shortwave radio, its range, what types of stations are on the air (broadcast, military, weather fax, spy numbers, amateur, and more), and finally pirate radio. It will include background information behind pirate broadcasting stations on the air, how stations attempt to maximize their signal quality and range while avoiding detection by the authorities. Some of these tactics have ranged from transmitting from ships, to leaving battery-powered transmitters on public lands, to installing equipment at highway billboards. In an age when IP addresses, GPS, and cell phones track people as well as data, pirate radio is one of the few means of sending untracked, anonymous information.