Explicit GoTenna Use Case: Buying Drugs

I read about GoTenna yesterday – a neat little device that connects to your phone via bluetooth that allows you to send messages to other people using GoTenna even if cell service is out. It basically turns your phone into a handheld UHF radio with encryption (which you can’t do as a normal citizen with a CB).

Watch the video here on the GoTenna site. I noticed the guy smoking (and selling) marijuana yesterday and chuckled.


Someone at Hacker News noticed the same thing and commented on it. Another says “I think they are quite deliberately pointing out that dealers can communicate with their users in private, outside of law enforcement spying on them [Use case A1].”

Cofounder Daniela Perdomo jumps in and says “Daniela, goTenna co-founder here, “Jason Greengrocer” is actually a real person in my phone I contact about once a month ;)” and “All transmissions are end-to-end encrypted, unless you use the “shout” or “emergency” features which are, by definition, messages to everyone within range of you.”

So there you have it. GoTenna – great for use while hiking, during power outages, and to get baked.

13 thoughts on “Explicit GoTenna Use Case: Buying Drugs

  1. Basil says:

    Really? That’s the first thing you think about and write up when you see this? You can use a pen and paper to pass messages without scrutiny from the government as well, so I’d hardly consider this a novel aspect of the technology.

    I would, however, be very leery about giving people who regulate technology ideas about what something is able to do. Unless, of course, that’s what you were going for…

    • Michael Arrington says:

      No, it wasn’t the first thing I thought of. It actually seems useful in an emergency/power outage. But When I saw the cofounder explicitly talking about using it as a way to buy/sell drugs more securely, I thought it was worth noting.

  2. Ham Dealer says:

    150 MHz is VHF not UHF (like you might care).

  3. I would love this for my family but I can’t see this going unregulated….

    • gotenna says:

      Oh, it’ll be regulated. Any device that emits electromagnetic frequencies has to be licensed by the FCC. goTenna is no exception. We’re operating under the MURS band and rules, and following them to a “T.”

  4. Why would I need this? My iPhone chats and videos are secured by Apple’s ” Trust us, we are gods” warranty….Apple will never lie to us…nor spin a story….. just look at that new PR guru they just hired…

    Oh, wait…

  5. Neil says:

    Great name too. The site does say Pending FCC approval. Once they get that, skepticisms regarding regulatory hurdles would be addressed.

  6. Himanshu says:

    Feeling skeptical about Gotenna. At the same finding it hell cool, surely going to try this one out! Hope so.

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