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Plenty of these in North America this weekend ...

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Welcome to program 31 of Shortwave Radiogram.

I'm Kim Andrew Elliott in Arlington, Virginia USA.

Here is the lineup for today's program, in MFSK32 except where


  1:31  Program preview (now)
  2:47  Iranian MPs want to prevent use of foreign apps*
  9:14  Uganda might launch its own social media platforms*
16:17  Russian moves towards creation of independent internet*
24:32  Thor 22: WSPR from Germany's Antarctica research station*
26:51  MFSK32: Closing announcements

* with image

Please send reception reports to

And visit

Twitter: @SWRadiogram

From RFE/RL's Radio Farda ...

Iranian MPs Want To Prevent Use Of Foreign Messaging Apps

17 January 2018

Foreign messaging apps are to blame for recent protests across
Iran, according to a group of 170 members of Iran's parliament.

In the wake of widespread demonstrations throughout the country
over increasing economic hardships, the MPs want other branches
of government to join them in supporting the creation of domestic
versions of popular foreign messaging apps.

"In recent months, the enemies of the Iranian nation made maximum
use of foreign messaging apps to create insecurity and chaos in
Iranian cities," the MPs wrote in a letter read out in a public
session of the parliament January 16.

They claim these apps were also used in the attack on the
parliament by Islamic State (IS) militants in June 2017, and must
therefore be replaced by domestic equivalents as soon as
possible. They also demanded the government do more to prevent
the use of anti-filtering software to circumvent existing blocks
on apps and websites.

Messaging apps are highly popular in Iran. Nearly 40 million
Iranians, half of the country's population, use the messaging app
Telegram for personal and professional purposes.

Media outlets, including foreign-based radio and TV stations such
as Radio Farda, have channels on the app through which they reach
audiences inside Iran despite a severe Internet censorship

Telegram was temporarily blocked by the government during the
recent protests, but could still be accessed via anti-filtering
software and proxies, which are widely used in Iran to bypass the

Conservative politicians have been pressuring President Hassan
Rouhani to block Telegram permanently, but he has so far resisted
the pressure, arguing that thousands of businesses depend on the

The proposal to replace apps like Telegram with domestic versions
is viewed by many as unrealistic as the quality of Iranian
messaging apps is far behind international standards.

In order to fill the gap, Hassan Firouzabadi, head of Iran’s High
Council for Cyberspace, announced that the government will
provide a $1.25 million loan at zero percent interest to
companies developing domestic messaging apps. However, even if a
domestic app could compete with international products from a
technical standpoint, the other issue is trust, said
Telecommunications Minister Mohammad
Javad Azari Jahromi.

“Due to poisonous propaganda against domestic apps, people do not
trust them and think their privacy will be violated or they will
face problems, which is not correct,” he said.

But with dozens of Iranians serving prison sentences for
criticizing the regime and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
online, privacy fears and reluctance to use government-backed
messaging apps are legitimate.


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Uganda Considering Launching Its Own Social Media Platforms

Halima Athumani
15 January 2018

KAMPALA - Uganda is mulling over the idea of creating its own
social media platforms. But social media users and government
critics see this as a potential effort to control free

Facebook and Twitter should brace themselves for competition from
Uganda. With no name yet or date on when the new services will be
operational, the Uganda Communications Commission is planning to
launch its own social media platforms.

Commission Director Godfrey Mutabazi says Uganda has many young
people who have come up with innovations and applications that
can be deployed to serve the population.

"There is open information for everything. We have got over
almost 70 percent penetration," he said. "We are moving into
digital era, data communication. We are hope that by the end of
this year 20-25 percent, maybe 30 percent of Ugandans will be on
data communication. So we shall access the information,
education-wise, research, name it, will be available."

Nicholas Opiyo executive director of Chapter Four Uganda, a local
civil liberties organization, says Uganda is not seeking to
develop its own social media space because it appreciates the
innovative power of social media. He fears a darker purpose.

"One I don't believe they can do it, but if they want to do it,
it's not for the best of intentions," he said. "Recent studies
have shown that the government of Uganda is now involved in
active filtering of particular information. Namely; information
about corruption, information about same sex relations, critical
government policies on the first family, that's what they are
trying to do. That's what they are trying to do, because the
biggest threat to this government now, is an informed citizenry."

In 2016, the Ugandan government shut down social media twice — on
Election Day and during President Yoweri Museveni's swearing in
ceremony. For social media users like Jackie Kemigisa, a move by
the government regulator to set up its own social media is cause
to worry.

"As a person who uses social media and whose source of
employment, everything that I do is online, it was a horrible
idea. At first I thought it was a joke. So, counting on the sad
part of it that they don't have the money, and if they do, well
then, Ugandans will have to re-strategize, go back to the drawing
board and see how we can still fight for our freedoms," said

Critics say a social media platform controlled by the government
will put Uganda in the same league as countries such as Iran,
China and North Korea. But the Uganda Communications Commission
has described those who see this innovation as eroding freedom of
speech as patronizing. The government agency insists they just
want to keep hate speech out of Ugandan social media, and says
the new platforms are going to be positive.

Image: Uganda's longtime President Yoweri Museveni attends
his inauguration ceremony in the capital Kampala, May 12, 2017

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From Deutsche Welle:

Russia moves toward creation of an independent internet

Roman Goncharenko
17 January 2018

Experts say Russia is planning the next step in making the
country independent from the West, at least in cyberspace: Moscow
wants to install its own root servers. But why, and does it make
any sense?

Freedom on the internet has diminished over the years in Russia:
people go to jail for posts on social media, there's a ban on VPN
services and expanded data storage is hard to come by. And recent
moves by the Russian government indicate that further
developments are yet to come.

According to a report by the RBK web portal, Russian President
Vladimir Putin in 2017 ordered his government to negotiate
independent root name servers for the so-called domain name
system (DNS) with the BRICS states, which apart from Russia
include Brazil, India, China and South Africa, by August 2018.
These servers contain global databases of public IP addresses and
their host names.

If Russia had its own root servers, it could create a kind of
internet of its own, experts say.

The reason given is the "dominance of the US and a few EU states
concerning internet regulation" which Russia sees as a "serious
danger" to its safety, RBK quotes from minutes taken at a meeting
of the Russian Security Council. Having its own root servers
would make Russia independent of monitors like the International
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and protect
the country in the event of "outages or deliberate interference."

Putin sees Internet as CIA tool

From Moscow's point of view, it would seem the threat of a
confrontation with the West in Cyberspace has increased since
Russia annexed Crimea. Russia took a closer look at its internet,
and found flaws. The country and the economy are too big to live
with that threat, Putin advisor Igor Shchegolev said in an
interview with RBK. He pointed out North Korea and Syria
experienced Internet outages for a few days. The US was believed
to be behind the December 2015 outage in North Korea; Washington
remained silent, however. Moscow doesn't plan to seal itself off
completely, Shchegolev said, only to keep the internet working in
the country should there be an "external influence."

President Putin once commented that the internet was developed as
a CIA project and continues to move in that direction. Internet
technology was in fact developed by order of the US Department of
Defense and by that department's employees. ...

An eye on the root

Russia's plans go right to the root of the internet. The world's
entire communication between computers uses all of 13 DNS root
servers. The computers store the so-called zone files of top
level domains (TLD) like .com (worldwide), .de for Germany or .ru
for Russia. Ten root servers are located in the US, one each in
The Netherlands, Sweden and Japan. In addition, there are
hundreds of anycast server networks worldwide, ten of them in
Russia alone.

All root servers are independent. Until September 2016, the US
government had oversight over the A root server, which stores the
DNS master copy. Now an ICANN subsidiary is responsible for that
server. ICANN's contract with the US Department of Commerce ended
in 2016, and today, the corporation is a private non-profit
company based in California headed by a 20-member board that
includes experts from all over the world.

A Russian root server doesn't make much sense, said cybersecurity
expert Wolfgang Kleinwächter. They always claim the US government
can shut off a country from the internet, he said. "That's utter

"Even if the US president has control of the A root server - and
he doesn't - deleting the zone files ending on .ru would make no
sense at all because this zone file still exists on all the other
root and anycast servers," Kleinwächter argued, adding that
sending emails might be a few milliseconds slower.

Full text:

Image: From the accompanying DW video ...

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Shortwave Radiogram now changes to Thor 22 ...



RSID: <<2018-01-20T16:24Z THOR 22 @ 9400000+1500>>




This is Shortwave Radiogram in Thor 22 ...

The WSPR digital mode will be transmitted from the German
Neumayer III Research Station in Antarctica beginning this




Returning to MFSK32 ...

RSID: <<2018-01-20T16:26Z MFSK-32 @ 9400000+1500>>

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Welcome to our second installment of the BSR Radiogram, a project of

Today's broadcast for January 2018 is being sent in the MFSK16 mode via analogue AM shortwave relays.

In this episode...

1. Information on the case of alleged whistleblower Reality Winner.
2. Discussion on the current excitement about bitcoin and altcoins --- including a special giveaway to some lucky listeners.
3. A picture - sent via MFSK16
4. Test transmission of an html file --- save the code as a .htm file to open in your webbrowser.

But first --- Please send QSL reports to or post via facebook. Be sure to mention that you decoded the BSR Radiogram so we can list your names on BSR Radiogram #3.

==Help Resistance Hero Whistleblower Reality Winner==          

From December 13, 2017

"Why do I have this job if I’m just going to sit back and be helpless . . . I just thought that was the final straw"

A young woman named Reality Leigh Winner has been jailed without bail since June 2017 for helping expose Russian hacking that targeted US election systems.

Charged under the Espionage Act, she faces ten years in prison, for making a good faith effort to hold President Trump accountable. Reality is the first victim of Trump’s war on whistleblowers.”

After serving six years in the Air Force, Reality took a job as an NSA intelligence contractor in January 2017. On the day Trump fired FBI Director James Comey (May 9, 2017), Reality is charged with finding and printing a classified report entitled, “Russia/Cybersecurity: Main Intelligence Directorate Cyber Actors.”

The next day (May 10), Trump celebrated with Russian officials in the White House, bragging that he had fired “nut job” Coomey in order to end any “Russiagate” investigation. Hours later, Reality allegedly sent the NSA report to the media (May 11).

Why do I have this job if I’m just going to sit back and be helpless … I just thought that was the final straw,” Reality allegedly explained under interrogation. “I felt really hopeless seeing that information contested … Why isn’t this out there? Why can’t this be public?”

Along with James Comey’s leak of Trump meeting notes, the “Winner document” helped set the stage for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller a week later (May 17) to investigate “Russiagate.”

Reality was an outspoken critic of Trump and an advocate for social justice causes, including Standing Rock, climate science, children with different abilities, animal rights, and Black Lives Matter. Those social media posts are now being used against her in Orwellian proceedings in which her lawyers are not allowed to see much of the evidence against her.

By the time her trial starts–Summer 2018, at the earliest–she’ll have spent a full year behind bars. Meanwhile, the actual Russiagate indicted criminals, including Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Flynn, haven’t spent a day in jail.

Reality Winner’s case has precedent setting implications for whistleblowers trying to do the right thing, press freedom, election suppression, and the government’s escalating war on dissent. Reality took a risk to share something that Americans had a right to know..

Find out how you can support the campaign to liberate Reality Winner at


== Bitcoin and Altcoin excitement, a short op-edy by James M. Branum ==

The recent news has been full of excitement about the rise in prices in bitcoin, but not as much has been said about how bitcoins transfer fees are making the coin not-so-useful.

Once upon a time, bitcoin was useful and small transactions were possible, i.e. I can recall buying a few ounces of loose tea online with bitcoin just a few years ago. But today due to both technical issues with the protocol and widespread popularity of BTC,
transfers of BTC incur astronomically high fees (as much as $20 as of last week. So, I personally think it is time for cryptocoin enthusiasts to move to other cryptocoins. My personal favorite is dogecoin, which was created as a joke currency in 2013 but today is
widely used. The value of the coin is low --- of late it has been between 1 and 2 US cents per dogecoin, but also the transfer fee is low --- one dogecoin per transfer.

So in the spirit of spurring some excitement in dogecoin and altcoins generally, BSR is giving away 200 dogecoins to folks who decode this digital transmission and then respond back to us. So, if you want to participate, please send a QSL report of the BSR digital
show to as well mention that you heard about dogecoins on the digital show (which will confirm you did receive the digital tx). I will then take all responses between now and February 15 and split up the 200 bitcoins between everyone who
responds, sending the respective shares of the 200 dogecoins to respondents. All listeners are eligible to participate except for those folks who live in countries under US export restrictions --- but for those of you in these countries, while I can't legally give
you dogecoins, I can give you a special shoutout in our next episode and spend some time talking about why US export restrictions hurt so many folks around the world.

That's it for the text part of ep. #2 of the BSR Radiogram, this week TX'd in MFSK16 via shortwave AM relay stations.

Again QSL reports are welcomed at

73, James (KG5JST) with




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<!-- To view this file, copy this text and then save it as test.htm, then open with a web browser.-->
<!-- THX 2 for background -->
<title>HTML sent via MFSK16 over HF radio - from BSR Radiogram #2</title>
body {background: #36c;
linear-gradient(115deg, transparent 75%, rgba(255,255,255,.8) 75%) 0 0,
linear-gradient(245deg, transparent 75%, rgba(255,255,255,.8) 75%) 0 0,
linear-gradient(115deg, transparent 75%, rgba(255,255,255,.8) 75%) 7px -15px,
linear-gradient(245deg, transparent 75%, rgba(255,255,255,.8) 75%) 7px -15px,
background-size: 15px 30px}
table {background: white; align: center}

<table><tr><td align="left" valign="top" bgcolor="white">
<h1>An old-school HTML file sent via <a href="">MFSK16</a> over HF radio<br>
From BSR Radiogram #2 - <a href=""></a></h1>

<h2>Jan 2018 Recommended links:</h2>

<li><A HREF="">The Guardian</a></li>
<li><a href="">Mother Earth News</a></li>
<li><a href="">Video: No es mi Presidente - by Taina Asili</li>
<Li><a href="">Video: Let us all unite - Remix by Melodysheep</li>
<li><a href=""></a></li>
<li><a href="">Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson</a></li>

Please let us know you were able to view this html file, ideally with a screenshot sent to: