Friday, April 15, 2011

The maverick Libyan who has 'hacked' telecommunications network Gaddafi

"So far we communicated with flags. When the yellow ondeábamos withdrawal played when we were about to avanazar, green." The speaker is Ahmed al-Ghatrani, commander of the insurgency in Benghazi Libya. "Gaddafi forced us back to the stone age," he assured. In this 'battle chromatic', insurgents also have been forced to paint their cars pink to avoid being victims of friendly fire.

For weeks it has been virtually the only way to 'communicate' in the front. And Gaddafi's regime cut the telephone and internet connections in early March, leaving millions of Libyans, including the insurgents, unable to communicate. Until today. A team led by a Libyan engineer telecommunications expert has helped the rebels to 'hijack' the network of Muammar Qaddafi and has enabled the Government to re-establish their own communications Benghazi.

The brains of this operation is called Ousama Abushagur, 31, a telecommunications engineer born in Libya and raised in Alabama, USA. Abushagur explained to cnn. is how did this idea and how it developed later. "It started on March 6 and is something I've been working with friends and peers in the industry," he says.

The new network, in his words, was outlined for the first time in an airplane napkin and has had the invaluable financial support of "Libyan businessmen and donations collected in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)." "The governments of UAE and Qatar are not involved financially in this initiative, wanted to disprove this engineer resident in Abu Dhabi.

However, according to information published in The Wall Street Journal, it appears that these countries themselves have provided diplomatic assistance to support this initiative, demonstrating the good feeling that exhibit some Arab states with the administration in Benghazi. Now, these new communications, inaugurated on April 2, have become a potent weapon for opponents, who manage to report from the frontline position and movements.

These mobile phones also have made it easier to gather international support and coordinate with foreign envoys. Business involucradasSegún the WSJ, China's Huawei Technologies Ltd., one of the original contractors 'Libyana', the official telecommunications network Gaddafi, 100% centrally in Tripoli, has refused to supply equipment for the project from the rebels .

Governments and businesses, according to the American newspaper, has declined to make any statement about this issue. Abushagur, however, explains that a major supplier of the network is "Tecore, United States, and IDT in terms of international connectivity," all "coordinated with telecommunications engineers in Libya." "Etisalat (UAE telecomuncaciones company) is not involved, and rumors about the involvement of Vodafone, Orascom, Qtel and other companies are not true" he says.

The new network 'created' by Abushagur is called 'Libyana Libre ("Free Libyana'). International calls are limited to a few individuals and the Libyan officials who need it most. Incoming calls must be paid with prepaid cards, except those coming from Jordan, Egypt and Qatar. Inside the country, its operation is restricted to the east to Ajdabiya, the 'last' rebellious city.

And yes, national calls are free until 'Libyana Libre start the billing system. To follow the progress of this initiative, from your account on twitter (@ oabushagur) Abushagur progress reports and incidents that occur on the network.

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