When Colonel Gaddafi seized control of the internet and jammed cellular networks, it left two million Libyans without secure wireless communication to each other or the world. It also caused mayhem for the rebels, who were left coordinating their battle fronts with only hand signals, "a throw-back that proved disastrous," says the WSJ.
Then, Ousama Abushagur, a Libyan telecom executive with American roots, came up with a plan to take back control of the airwaves by "hiving off" part of the network, around the central control in Tripoli, where Gaddafi and his intelligence officers could easily control and eavesdrop any calls.
Abushagur's plan was not simple. For starters it required millions of dollars in equipment, which he managed to acquire with the help of the UAE and Qatar. It also needed to move that equipment into Libya, along with seven engineers and body guards. After "fusing" the new equipment into the network, they routed calls through a satellite uplink provided by Etisalat, a UAE carrier.
A test call, placed by Abushagur to his wife, happened on April 2nd. Since then, the network, which they've named "Free Libyana" has been connecting the rebels and Libyans to each other and the world. [WSJ]
Image credit: Getty