Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Who Knew--

     --That there was so much crossover between the terms and concepts used in telephony and intelligence collection?  Okay, it's kind of obvious in hindsight, but it does give one to wonder: what would our phone system be like without spies?  Or, conversely, how much did the big old monolithic telephone system resist direct government access to its internal systems and record-keeping, and to what extent did that drive the breakup -- and subsequent re-accretion in a much more co-operative form -- of AT&T?

     For instance: clearing.

     Whups, something seems to be going a bit wonky with my Internet connec++UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU NO CARRIER

3 comments:

Douglas2 said...

I guess I did, perhaps from reading a paperback of Colin Cherry's 1957 "On Human Communication". From the start of telegraphy people were treating the streams of symbol-representations as something that you could do statistical analysis on, often revealing a lot even when the messages were encrypted with a cipher.

D.W. Drang said...

I could tell you, but...

Anonymous said...

"Or, conversely, how much did the big old monolithic telephone system resist direct government access to its internal systems and record-keeping, and to what extent did that drive the breakup -- and subsequent re-accretion in a much more co-operative form -- of AT&T?"

Resist?

Bell Labs was one of America's greatest assets during the 'cold war', designing and fabricating undersea telephone cable 'taps' parked just offshore of the Soviet Union in the Sea of Okhotsk, between the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Soviet mainland.

"Operation Ivy Bells"

Here's a pic of one of them (now in the KGB museum):

http://www.cyber-rights.org/interception/stoa/ivy_bells_pod.jpg

Those cable taps produced some of the best cold war intel we ever got.

A fantastic read is "Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage"

*Highly* recommended. (by me, anyway...)