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So, Armchair Chem is an evil corporation that has access to technology some consider unnaturally ahead of its time (the correct term is anachronistic, but whatever).

One such is the Replica Forces. A battalion of highly-trained and heavily-armed supersoldiers. What makes them really efficient is the fact that they form a hivemind, that converges at a commander, and where information, like enemy position/status, can propagate really fast.

This also gives commanders first-hand knowledge of the battlefield without putting them in danger.

Now, the hivemind can only work, if it can't be used against the replicas. If the hivemind can be tapped and manipulated, then the enemy would have all the replicas' knowledge, including the position of their commander, or worse, they could turn the replicas against their commander. If the connection can be jammed, then replicas would become mere paperweight, thanks to the emergency shutdown protocol than puts replicas into suspended animation when not receiving signals from the commander.

How could this hivemind be made resistant to jamming and tapping at the level of individual connections without hindering the speed at which intel propagates?

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So there are two issues here:

  1. Cryptography
  2. Jamming Resistance

Both are related to messaging between a recipient and a sender, likely between your commander and individual soldiers, but both are fundamentally different.

Cryptography

Cryptography is ensuring that information of messages are kept only to their intended recipients and senders, and cannot be 'tapped' or read by a 3rd party. The common solution is to employ a 'key' to decrypt an encoded message. This key at its simplest could be a symmetric key (ie a commonly understood technique to scramble and then descramble a message).

Or you could use a 'public key'. This in fact is the use of two keys - where every member of your group has its own individual encryption key, but there also exists a 'public key'. This technique was discovered in 1976 at the dawn of the internet, and is referred to as Diffie-Hellman protocol. By encrypting both keys it is possible for messages to be very secure.

There are other methods here to utilise and this is an ongoing field of study, especially with today's online environment.

Anti-Jamming

The issue with Jamming however, which is the corruption of a signal, is very different. The interference between two points needs to be considered in two ways:

  • Elementary Jamming (ie. a non-targeted approach to interference)
  • Advanced Jamming (intentional and nuanced jamming)

This article and the diagram below indicates only some of the many different types of jamming possible: enter image description here

Furthermore jamming could be physically difficult to detect, ie it could be at the sender source, the receiver end or at some point in-between (or generally everywhere). This, and the complexity of different types, lends itself to multiple approaches being employed to prevent jamming, including:

  • Hopping from one frequency to another
  • Having multiple ways to communicate
  • Keeping elements in proximity to ensure physical connection is possible
  • Constant consistency checks and techniques to detect jamming
  • Artificial intelligence to detect and overcome interference signals

It is worth noting that a 'hive mind' may not necessarily have a constant 'commander' - nor even much communication. Decentralised command is a technique where individual elements are operating and given authority independently, but with a common goal. In such a way, messages could be cut off but mission objectives are still achievable.

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  • $\begingroup$ The article you linked to seems to be describing a hierarchical, rather than truly decentralised, system; but there are certainly ways to avoid the single point of failure of a commander. $\endgroup$ – IMSoP Apr 11 '20 at 10:08

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