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Encryption

The Numbers Stations Analyzed, Discussed 224

GMontag wrote to mention a Washington Post article about the always-intriguing 'number' radio broadcasts. The numbers stations, as they are known, are 'hiding in plain sight' spycraft. Random digits broadcast at little-used frequencies are known to be intelligence agencies broadcasting their secrets in encrypted form. The Post article gives a nice run-down on the truth behind the transmissions, and touches a bit on the odd community that has grown fascinated by them. From the article: "On 6840 kHz, you may hear a voice reading groups of letters. That's a station nicknamed 'E10,' thought to be Israel's Mossad intelligence. Chris Smolinski runs SpyNumbers.com and the 'Spooks' e-mail list, where 'number stations' hobbyists log hundreds of shortwave messages transmitted every month. 'It's like a puzzle. They're mystery stations,' explained Smolinski, who has tracked the spy broadcasts for 30 years." This article made me recall a great All Things Considered story from a few years back about Akin Fernandez's 'Numbers' CD, a CD compilation of some of the most interesting strings of randomly read numbers reaching out across the airwaves.

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