Communications and Electronic Intelligence, Chapter 11

Title:                      Communications and Electronic Intelligence, Chapter 11

Author:                 Paul W. Blackstock

Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 11: “Communications and Electronic Intelligence,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

LCCN:    74011567

Z6724.I7 B55

Subjects

Intelligence service–Bibliography.

Espionage–Bibliography.

Subversive activities–Bibliography.

Date Updated:  June 15, 2016

Chapter 11: COMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRONIC INTELLIGENCE

Title:                      Communications and Electronic Intelligence, Chapter 11

Author:                                Paul W. Blackstock

Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 11: “Communications and Electronic Intelligence,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

LCCN:    74011567

Z6724.I7 B55

Subjects

Intelligence service–Bibliography.

Espionage–Bibliography.

Subversive activities–Bibliography.

Date Updated:  June 15, 2016

Chapter 11: COMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRONIC INTELLIGENCE

Cryptology, the making and breaking of codes and ciphers, is the component of communications intelligence (termed COMINT in the intelligence community) that seems to hold the most public interest. It has its own engrossing history which dates from the dawn of Western civilization, and cryptanalysis, the breaking of codes, has from time to time played a key role in the outcome of .battles and the affairs of nations (see Barbara Tuchman’s The Zimmermann Telegram, for example[1]). However, to the intelligence community other forms of communications intelligence gathering are also important. The advent of radio communications gave rise to developments in transmitter direction finding (DFing) and locating, traffic volume analysis, Morse operator identification (“fingerprinting”), radio signal analysis, communications network analysis, and more recently, voice printing analysis. These are all forms of communications intelligence possible without necessarily breaking the code guarding the content of the messages sent.

David Kahn’s The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing[2] is certainly the best single source of information on the history of cryptology. Although the author concentrates on the development of the methods of making and breaking codes and ciphers, and the roles these methods have played in specific historic events, there is also much that describes the broader aspects of communications intelligence (such as direction finding and traffic analysis} and the roles these techniques have played since their development. John Carroll’s Secrets of Electronic Espionage[3] is also a helpful source in the broader considerations of communications intelligence describing doctrine and techniques during the formative years of World War I and the rapid expansion years of World War II. Frederick W. Winterbotham’s The Ultra Secret[4], which achieved best-seller status in both its hard cover and paperback editions, is an outstanding account of how breaking the code of the German High Command and reading the contents of Hitler’s orders to his field commanders was an important factor of Allied victory in Europe in World War II.

The development of radar provided another important long-range detection and tracking tool for intelligence. Large radars have been important in the strategic warning role (for example, the BMEWS radars—Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) and in the technical intelligence role of “watching” the trajectories of Soviet strategic missiles fired on proving grounds for performance test purposes. This “watching” is done from bases on the periphery of the USSR. This use of active radar for intelligence purposes is termed RADINT, for radar intelligence. Additional technical intelligence information can be obtained on missile performance by the passive interception of the telemetry signals they emit during test flight. Telemetry intelligence (TELINT) is a form of electronic intelligence .

Electronic intelligence, or ELINT, was developed to a high form of specialization in World War II. It is defined as the passive “listening” to the radars of others. By such “listening” it is possible to obtain intelligence information regarding location, identification of type, and use of the radars (ELINT order-of-battle); the detection of new radars for yet unknown purposes (technical intelligence); or “information on which to design radar jammers (electronic countermeasures—ECM). For a detailed discussion of ELINT and ECM, see John Carroll’s Secrets of Electronic Espionage[5], below. See also Philip Klass ‘s Secret Sentries in Space[6], in chapter 10, for descriptions of satellite ELINT collection systems. ELINT also includes “listening” to other forms of noncommunica tions electromagnetic emissions such as bomber navigation aids (see again John Carroll, cited below, and R. V. Jones, “Scientific Intelligence,” in chapter 10[7]).

Just as intelligence has its protective side in counterintelligence and security, signal intelligence (SIGINT which includes both COMINT and ELINT) has its signal security designed to protect our communications systems and electronic emitters and to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining intelligence from, them (see David Kahn’s The Code Breakers[8], and the Army’s SIGSEC Instructional Packet[9]). Communications security (COMSEC) includes the development and proper use of codes and ciphers (cryptographic security), arid it also includes transmission security—the use of very short-burst, high-speed transmitter systems, the frequent change of call signs, padding traffic with dummy messages, and radio silence. (See again David Kahn[10] for descriptions of late developments in the National Security Agency in the field of COMSEC.) Gordon Lonsdale, the Soviet spy in the British naval secrets case, for example, used a high-speed transmitter for communicating with Moscow (see Bulloch and Miller’s Spy Ring: A Story of The Naval Secrets Case[11], in chapter 10). Electronic Intelligence Security (ELINT Sec or ELSEC} includes changing radar frequencies or locations or radar silence when “ferret” or ELINT collection planes or ships are nearby. See John Carroll[12] for the history of U.S. and Soviet “ferreting” operations and techniques designed to get the other side to turn on their radars. A more recent protective category of ELSEC is the shielding of spurious radiations made by electric generators, radars turned on but not transmitting, or even computers that would disclose information or location to sensitive radiation intelligence (RINT) detection systems.

Extreme secrecy hos always been associated with cryptology; membership in the intelligence community has never been sufficient grounds for access to this type information. The guarding of one’s own cryptographic systems as a matter of signal security is understandable, and the leaking of information on the cryptanalytic success of another’s cipher systems would cause them to be changed, bringing to on end years of work and all intelligence gain until the replacement system was broken. Strangely, very nearly the same degree of secrecy still shrouds activities during World Wars I and JI, making a history more comprehensive than Kahn’s virtually impossible to write. Furthermore, the same rules of security, classification which protect cryptologic activities are generally applicable to the broader aspects of communications intelligence (direction finding, etc.) and to most of the electronic intelligence fields, although the potential intelligence loss, if compromised, would not be comparable to the loss in cryptologic intelligence. Although the literature is providing more and more insights into COMINT and ELINT activities, the revelations are in bits and pieces and in many types of books, magazines, trade journals, and newspapers. Disclosure of the intercept taps on East German communications located in a tunnel in Berlin is one such “bit,” as was the disclosure of the U.S. RADINT and ELINT station located in Peshawar, Pakistan, and targeted against Soviet Central Asia (see William Coughlin’s article in the Washington Post[13]). Aviation Week And Space Technology reveals much regarding RADINT, ELINT, and ECM equipment and activities, and from time to time an author puts all the pieces together, as Klass did in his Secret Sentries In Space[14], and as Dr. Charles S. Sheldon of the Library of Congress did on Soviet space and space surveillance activities (see U.S. Congress. Senate. Soviet Space Programs in chapter 10[15]).

A glossary of signal intelligence terms can be found in Kahn’s book and definitions of terms can be found in the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military And Associated Terms[16] (cited in chapter 3).

  1. BOOKS

Armbrister, Trevor (1970, 2004). A Matter of Accountability: The True Story of The Pueblo Affair. Guilford, CT: Lyon’s Press

Bucher, Lloyd M. (1970) and Mark Rascovich. Bucher: My Story. Garden City, NY: Doubleday

Carroll, John M. (1966). Secrets of Electronic Espionage. New York: E. P. Dutton

Davis, Burke (1969). Get Yamamoto. New York: Random House

Farago, Ladislas (1969). The Broken Seal: the Story of Operation Magic and the Secret Road to Pearl Harbor. London: Mayflower

Farago, Ladislav (1962). The Tenth Fleet. New York: Ivan Obolensky

James, William M. (1955). The Eyes of The Navy: A Biographical Study of Admiral Sir Reginald Hall, K.C.M.G., C.B., LL.D., D.C.L. London: Methuen

Kahn, David (1967). The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing. New York: Macmillan

Ransom, Harry Howe (1970). The Intelligence Establishment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press

Sinkov, Abraham (1968, 2nd ed 2009). Elementary Cryptanalysis : A Mathematical Approach. Revised and updated by Todd Feil. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America

Thompson, George Raynor (1966) and Dixie R. Harris. The Signal Corps: The Outcome (mid-1943 through 1945. Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, U.S. Army

Tuchman, Barbara W. (1966). The Zimmermann Telegram. New York, Macmillan

Tully, Andrew (1969). The Super Spies: More Secret, More Powerful Than The CIA. New York, Morrow

United States. Congress. House. Committee on Armed Services. Special Subcommittee on the U.S.S. Pueblo (1969). Inquiry into The U.S.S. Pueblo And EC-121 Plane Incidents. Hearings, Ninety-first Congress, first session. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

U.S. Department of the Army. Headquarters. SIGSEC Instructional Packet. Department of the Army Pamphlet no. 350-19. Washington, DC: Office of the Adjutant General, October 1971.

An instructional pamphlet of signal security (SIGSEC) which includes both communications security (COMSEC) and electronic security (ELSEC). Covers both the technical and practical sides of SIGSEC by providing interesting examples of the results of violations of communications security in various battles in World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Excellent for definitions of all the terms used in both signal intelligence (SIGINT) and signal security (SIGSEC).

Winterbotham, Frederick William(1974). The Ultra Secret. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson

Wohlstetter, Roberta (1962). Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press

Yardley, Herbert O. (2004). The American Black Chamber. Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press (reprint of 1931 edition)

  1. ARTICLES AND REPORTS

Anderson, Jack. “How the CIA Snooped Inside Russia.” Washington Post, (10 December 1973, p. 817).

An account of a CIA communications intelligence operation in which the radio telephone traffic between the automobiles of the Soviet leaders in Moscow was monitored.

Coughlin, William J. “U .S, is Dismantling Peshawar Spy Base.” Washington Post, (10 April 1969, p. A 15).

A resume of the history of the U.S. base in Peshawar, Pakistan. This communications, electronic, and radar intelligence base was targeted against the Soviet strategic weapons proving and test areas in Central Asia.

Dommen, Arthur. “Enemy Radio Base Intercepted 1400 Military Messages.” Washington Post, (13 January 1970, p. A12)(.

An insight into the communications intelligence activities of the North Vietnamese army in South Vietnam. Provides a description of-the equipment found by U.S. forces in a captured radio monitoring station, with added information on North Vietnamese radio deception activities.

“Electronic Countermeasures: Special Report.” Aviation Week And Space Technology (96 February 21, 1972, pp. 38-107).

A series of twenty-six articles on various aspects of electronic intelligence and electronic countermeasures including articles on Soviet activities.

Kahn, David. “Modern Cryptology.” Scientific American (215, July 1966, pp. 38-46).

An excellent summary of some widely used cipher systems along with something of the history of their origin. Also emphasizes developments in cryptanalytical methods. The author, compiler of the definitive survey on cryptology, The Codebreakers[17] (see section A. of this chapter), describes in some detail the evolution of the one-time pad system and of rotor machines . The article is made more interesting by references to specific instances in history where cryptology made important contributions. The illustrations meet the high standards of Scientific American.

Kahn, David. “Secret Writings: Selected Works on Modern Cryptology.” Bulletin of The New York Public Library (73, May 1969, pp. 315-27).

An outstanding, selective annotated bibliography by an authority in the field. The author states that his listing of the better works “aims at helping the person approaching cryptology for the first time to find his way around the field.” An appendix to the paper contains helpful references to areas of communications intelligence broader than cryptology, and even provides references to works of fiction in cryptology. The author’s annotations are especially helpful and incisive.

Miller, Barry. “Soviet Radar Expertise Expands.” Aviation Week And Space Technology (94, February 15, 1971, pp. 14-16, and “Soviet Radars Disclose Clues to Doctrine.” Aviation Week And Space Technology (94, 22 February 1971, pp. 42-50).

A two-part series on the characteristics and use of all types of Soviet radars, with interpretations regarding implications for electronic intelligence and electronic countermeasures.

Morrow, Michael. “GI’s at a Secret Base—Plenty of Time to Worry.” Washington Post, (14 September 1972, pp. El, E5).

A description of some of the activities at the U.S. Army Security Agency communications intelligence base at Ramasun, Thailand.

“Snoopers: Looking and Listening.” Newsweek, (5 February 1968, p. 18).

A review of the roles and mission of the U.S.S. Pueblo. Part of a larger article covering nonintelligence aspects of the Pueblo capture entitled “They Mean Business,” (pp. 16, 17, 19-21).

“The Spy Planes: What They Do and Why.” Time, (25 April 1969, p. 17).

A short account of the mission and capabilities of the EC-121 signal intelligence collection aircraft shot down by the North Koreans, Part of a larger article “A New Lesson in the Limits of Power,” (pp. 15-16), on the political implications of the EC-121 shootdown.

“United States Air Force. Security Service: A Major Air Command.” Air Force Magazine, (May 1973, pp. 98-99).

A description of the missions and functions of the U.S. Air Force Security Service, the signal intelligence organization of the Air Force.

United States. Congress. House. Committee on Un-American Activities (1962). Security Practices in The National Security Agency (defection of Bernon F. Mitchell and William H. Martin) Report by the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-seventh Congress, second session. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,

Wilson, George C. “Pueblo Crew Fitted to Spy on Russia.” Washington Post, (2 March 1969, pp. A 1, A6).

A useful article detailing sane of the qualifications of the Pueblo crew for communications intelligence missions, and a description of some of the specialized equipment.

[1] Tuchman, Barbara W. (1966). The Zimmermann Telegram. New York, Macmillan

[2] Kahn, David (1967). The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing. New York: Macmillan

[3] Carroll, John M. (1966). Secrets of Electronic Espionage. New York: E. P. Dutton

[4] Winterbotham, Frederick William(1974). The Ultra Secret. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson

[5] See Carroll, John M. (1966), op. cit.

[6] Klass, Philip J. (1971). Secret Sentries in Space. New York, Random House

[7] Jones,. R. V. “Scientific Intelligence.” Journal Of The Royal United Service Institution (London) (92, August 1947, pp.352-69), in Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 10: “Scientific and Technical Intelligence,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

[8] Kahn, David (1967). The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing. New York: Macmillan

[9] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 11: “Communications and Electronic Intelligence,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

[10] Kahn, David (1967). Op. cit.

[11] Bulloch, John (1961) and Henry Miller. Spy Ring: The Full Story of The Naval Secrets Case. London: Secker and Warburg

[12] Carroll, John M. (1966). Op. Cit.

[13] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 11: “Communications and Electronic Intelligence,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

[14] Klass, Philip J. (1971). Op. Cit.

[15] U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Aeronautical & Space Programs. Soviet Space Programs, 1966-70. 92d Cong., 1st sess ., 9 December 1971. Doc, no. 92-51. Staff report prepared by the Congressional Research Service and Law Library of the Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1971, in Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 10: “Scientific and Technical Intelligence,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

[16] Joint Chiefs of Staff (1972). Department Of Defense. Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office

[17] Kahn, David (1967). The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing. New York: Macmillan

 

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One Response to Communications and Electronic Intelligence, Chapter 11

  1. Pingback: Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations, Part II | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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