From Microdave at N.O.:
Most internet savvy youngsters these days forget that “old tech” can still have uses – as is the case with disaster recovery in the Caribbean at the moment.
Even when traditional jamming is used, the very nature of shortwave propagation means the signal will always get through somewhere.
The post had been about “numbers stations”:
“Numbers stations” – which you can tune into at home – are widely thought to be transmitting coded messages to spies around the world.
Re “Numbers Stations” – I used to hear these regularly when I spent most of my time listening to shortwave back in the 80s and early 90s. I don’t think there’s any doubt that they were (still are, indeed) used for sending messages to agents “in the field” – quite literally, in many cases.
Have a look here: http://priyom.org/
I believe the one time pad is still regarded as unbreakable, and requires absolutely NO specialised equipment. A really basic receiver can be hidden easily, and only needs a battery and length of wire. Most internet savvy youngsters these days forget that “old tech” can still have uses – as is the case with disaster recovery in the Caribbean at the moment.
When I used to visit the local radio amateur club, I remember one chap turning up with a complete station in his jacket pockets! Two tobacco tins – one containing a simple transmitter, and the other an aerial tuning unit. A PP9 battery, a morse key and earpiece completed the setup. He proceeded to connect this lot to the central heating radiator, and within a couple of minutes was working other hams all over Europe (using about one quarter of a watt, I think).
In these times of increasing censorship and threats of controlling the internet, people need reminding that simple methods like the above can provide ways to circumvent government efforts to control the flow of information. Even when traditional jamming is used, the very nature of shortwave propagation means the signal will always get through somewhere.
Old farts like me remember the cat & mouse games played to evade the Russian “Woodpecker” – believed to be over the horizon radar, as well as the intensive efforts by then Soviet and Chinese administrations to block “Western” transmissions. Funny how times have changed, and now we need to turn to some of those former countries for stories we don’t get from the Beeb, etc…
Those without suitable equipment can now turn to the numerous remotely controlled, internet connected receivers out there, and listen for themselves.