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Cryptome Posts Just-Released Tempest Documents

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the but-sir-what-about-this-teapot?! dept.

Privacy 83

HiyaPower writes: "After a lot of perserverence, John Young has finally gotten the NSA to release a pile of stuff under the Freedom of Information Act and has posted it on his Web site at cryptome. I guess that it's at least a relief to know that if you keep after these folks long enough, they will release material about 20-year-old projects. Having had a security clearance myself, I understand the need to know aspects of this sort of stuff, but still, when there is nothing that will compromise security, it's better to get it out than to have the paranoids running around feeling that you are hiding something."

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Re:Whats missing? (1)

Rager-vs-Machine (241119) | more than 13 years ago | (#537876)

I'm thinking it's siesmic. Actually should be classified as acoustic, but perhaps they gave it a special category? Any other ideas?

Tempest, NSA, ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#537877)

Having worked at a Secure Facility when a Tempest Team came through to test it, you'd be surprised just how much they were testing for. Of course sinceI wasn't in the need-to-know group I only saw some of the externals of the testing, including turning of major system (which required NSQ approval to turn off, even if it was to repair it) while they were monitor vaious signals. One thing that happened shortly after the testing, was the background music was switch from the local Armed Forces Radio Network to playing tapes and it was explained that the someone recording the radio and sound from coming from the building could possibly compromise security.

Deny everything (1)

Omar Djabji (33756) | more than 13 years ago | (#537878)

In order to maintain believablity when you are hiding something, you must make it look like you are hiding things that are not true (and hopefully will be proven to be not true).

It is just like everyone assumes you are guilty if you plead the fifth, because nobody pleads the fifth unless they are guilty.

So the NSA has to act spooky when there is nothing to hide so we wont really know when they are really acting spooky.

Re:What info should be kept secret? (2)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#537879)

"For every positive use of secrecy is there not ten abuses."

I'd suggest the opposite ratio. For every ten positive uses of secrecy, there is probably one abuse. HOWEVER, this still begs the question of how much is too much?

Re:How about a spell-checker NSA? (2)

slickwillie (34689) | more than 13 years ago | (#537880)

4. During normal warking hours, extracts marked "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY" (FOUO) shall not be left unattended in work ... [yadayada ... blahblahblah].

These people are in charge of our National Security and they can't even spell "working"? Or maybe "warking" is a special code that you need the highest security clearance to know. Or maybe it's a special "spook" kind of wanking. (Insert your own link to here, I'm too lazy.)

Tempest and EMP (2)

NortonDC (211601) | more than 13 years ago | (#537881)

Just earlier today I was wondering to myself if tempest shielding equipment will also harden it against EMP. I would guess that shielding against outgoing RF would also shield against incoming RF.

Anyone really know?

Re:Tempest and EMP (2)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#537882)

Yes, It's true. Mostly. Filtering on a PC can include the filter in the power supply and ferite beads on keyboard wires which does reduce Tempest exposure, however EMP if strong enough can damage the filter components. Full EMP filtering & shielding usualy does take care of Tempest radiation, but it does not always work the other way around. For the truly paranoid, keep a spare cell phone and 2 way radio (or GPS unit) inside a sealed paint can. That will protect them from most EMP attacks. They can be brought on line quickly after an EMP attack.

Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (2)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#537883)

Oh yes, there are countries out there who ARE a threat to the US, but AREN'T able to reproduce or steal 20 year old technology.

Concisely speaking; get over yourself. You ain't that special as a country, nor that vulnerable.

Re:Fill In The Blanks (1)

gordon_schumway (154192) | more than 13 years ago | (#537884)


sorry for the 8th-grade humor.

Re:Sneaky (1)

NortonDC (211601) | more than 13 years ago | (#537885)

Yeah, they have (or at least had) rules that even approved tempest gear (hooray for Wang) had to be operated a minimum distance away from phones, for just these types of reasons.

No, I don't miss that job.

Re:It means.. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#537886)

It means, when current flows in a wire it makes a magnetic field. If there is another wire, pipe, desk wall, etc in that magnetic field, the item may get a current induced because it is in the field. This wire, pipe, rebar, etc, may extend outside your secure space and cary your sensitive information with it where it can be detected outside your secure location. An example, your catagory 5 network cable may be run under the house next to your water pipe. Current in the network cable may introduce an induced current into your water pipe. Someone out at the street could sniff your network traffic off your water meter at the street, because of the current induced into the pipe by your network cable. The watermeter would have the same magnetic field caused by the induced current, that the field from the network cable induced into the pipe and hence the ability to sniff the data covertly outside the secure house.

Fill In The Blanks (2)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 13 years ago | (#537887)

... because the compromising signals can, and do, exist in several forms such as magnetic and/or electric field radiation, line conduction, (signal and power), xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, or acoustic emissions.

Aww, come on, what's it say? (This was supposed to *reduce* paranoia?)

Re:Fill In The Blanks (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 13 years ago | (#537888)

Someone else said it, this was probably OCR'd ;)

Hence all the terrible spellings which just dont fit given the highly technical nature, who misspells working?


Re:Finally... (1)

thanjee (263266) | more than 13 years ago | (#537889)

I consider government like closed source programs - such as winblows. A few people manage it and it generally sux. You can all insert your least favourite things about micro$oft in here I would prefer an open source form of society - where everyone contributes to make a better system all around. Insert your favourite parts of open source here :) enough said.

Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (2)

Webmonger (24302) | more than 13 years ago | (#537890)

Simply restrict discussion of the material

So you want to repeal the First Amendment then?

Re:Fill In The Blanks (2)

Azog (20907) | more than 13 years ago | (#537891)

Yeah, that's a good one. I mean, the list that they didn't redact is pretty comprehensive. EM radiation, line conduction, and acoustic emissions...

The only things I can thing that they might have XXXX'ed out are:

Light - perhaps the "compromising signal" is just "reading the fscking monitor screen" with a concealed camera.

Smell - a sudden smell of urine indicates the user has received a frightening or very surprising communication.

Tachyon Flux - the NSA has alien technology that can detect emissions of elementary particles that nobody else knows about. :-)

I wonder what else that xxxxxxxxx could be?

Torrey Hoffman (Azog)

Re:not really that amazing (1)

Bluesee (173416) | more than 13 years ago | (#537892)

The thing is, it may be standard physics that any student could figure out. But it is what the government thinks the bad guy is doing, and it is what the government is doing about it. That, of course, should be classified properly, even if it is "F=ma". The government has reason to be concerned about all sorts of things that may be pedestrian to you. But you aren't to know that; you are to wonder if they have thought of it, and of course, if you are the bad guy, you should be kept in the dark about just how much they (we, the People of the US) can bust you (the - oh, I don't know - lackey of Saddam?) for it.

BTW, I don't know if anyone caught this yet, but the document appears to have been scanned, and poorly at that.

I am surprised that the govt released this information. It's good news, IMO, a sign of the times, and a healthy trend if the information is clearly not vital to US security interests.

I like this line, from the ToC:

xxxxxxxxxxxxx (C)

where the "C" is lined out, as if it no longer confidential. Doesn't sound like it was successfully downgraded, does it?

Plus, Lots o' stuff has been redacted. I imagine (hope) John Young talks about all the redactions.

Re:What info should be kept secret? (2)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#537893)

Yikes! And I thought _I_ was pedantic!

OK, you caught me, fair and square. On the first day of the new millennium, with my wife nibbling on my ear, in a minor post on an informal discussion forum, I made a mistake in proper english usage. Guilty as charged!

However, please don't necessarily attribute accidents to ignorance; or assume that the
person involved is lazy. Sometimes in this life, we simply make mistakes!

Re:It means.. (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#537894)

And what, may I ask, are the bandwidth capabilities of a water meter?


Re:Finally... (1)

pallex (126468) | more than 13 years ago | (#537895)

I`ve heard that we only use 10% of our brains. Then again, i`ve also heard that 90% of everything is rubbish. So why bother?

How long can you keep a secret? (2)

Codeala (235477) | more than 13 years ago | (#537896)

Just how long do you keep a secret on stuff like Tempest? You may think theses are 20yr old and no harm could come from them... I think it is reasonable to except that some, if not most, of the current technology are still based on these earlier works. And so is it no possible to "forward" engeering these earlier design decisions to provide a better guess on the latest security system?

On the other hand, the early design could be just that, design, and not actual implementations. Like we should have a system that do X, Y and Z back in the 80s. Doesn't mean X, Y and Z are now possible.

I have to admit that I don't know enough to comment on this... ;-) Anyone?


Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (2)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 13 years ago | (#537897)

I have difficulty understanding exactly how you think this mad scheme would prevent foreign governments from finding out about this stuff. Out of 270-some million Americans, odds are that at least one of them is both sypmathetic to said foreign power and in communication with them. If any citizen can get these documents, then you've fixed nothing. I think you're making a grevious, but common mistake, which is thinking that outlawing something automatically makes it no longer happen. If you want this stuff not to fall into enemy hands, you have to make it not fall into very many friendly hands either, which is directly incompatible with both the FOIA as stands today and with your idea. This is, I assume, why FOIA doesn't apply to everything.

OK. Got it. (1)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#537898)

The SCOCE oversees the TIC and the ITP, which jointly oversee the operations of the TTSC and the TQSC.

Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (2)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#537899)

Hmmm. Yes, you're right. I realized that the possiblity of foreign nationals requisitioning documents is fairly high, but I thought that it'd at least be one more hoop for them to jump through. Thinking it through again, it doesn't make any sense.

More Tempest Info... (3)

Natalie's Hot Grits (241348) | more than 13 years ago | (#537900)

For those of you that care, here is the real link: []

also, here is a really neat site with an analysis on what this stuff really means: []

and yet more great reading: [] [] []

Re:Finally... (1)

Schnedt Microne (264752) | more than 13 years ago | (#537901)

You just quoted a couple of politicians, from their speeches. We can all find countless examples of political rhetoric to quote from that reinforce our points.

Perhaps you should focus on legal documents, i.e. the US Constitution, instead.

Re:Non-Linear Circuits (2)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 13 years ago | (#537902)

Consider this more likely scenario:
It's nice to be able to recover the sync pulses that go along with a video signal... if the lines are driven by an open collector output, with a pull-up resistor... it would be easy to ping the cable in question with a cheap gunplexer radar transciever to be able to lock into the sync much easier. (If not both, at least the horizontal). At 10 Ghz the driver might act as a diode... or just a variable capacitor... either way it's modulating the line. The antennas are small, and you can use a dish if you really want to get tricky.

Being able to lock onto the sync pulse would make it a lot easier for a software system to pick out the pixels, and compensate for clock jitter, delays, etc.

Of course... this is just off the top of my head, and I don't have any kind of security clearance (and never have)... just good old Ham radio experience.

Mike - ka9dgx

Re:Finally... (1)

tred (29362) | more than 13 years ago | (#537903)


They Are Watching (2)

LordOfYourPants (145342) | more than 13 years ago | (#537904)

I hope none of you actually go read that Tempest Document. They are going to track you all down. I am writing this message from a public library with a hood on so the Cameras and Helicopters can't see me... oh god.. they've come.. they're trying to unplug the equipment.. luckily they run Linux here so there's no USB stuff plugged in which is easy to pull out

Re:Sneaky (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#537905)

I was at work one Sunday morning a few years ago when the husband of the receptionist was there too; looking at a long strip chart; it must have been twenty feet long.

When I asked what it was, he said that it was the fourier transform of the power line into a facility that he believed was using centrifuges to separate U235 from U238. He showed me various peaks which corresponded to motor drives, showed how they were spread out due to the different concentrations of UF6 in the different centrifuges; and a bunch of other features which made it crystal clear to him, and somewhat clear to me, that he had a good grasp of almost everything that was going on inside the plant.

When I mentioned that I didn't think that the US used centrifuges; he allowed that "Yes, that's true". The point is that you can have leakage of information from completely unexpected portals in your facility.

In the next month, this guy was shipped out to Iraq to use the ground penetrating radar he developed to look for buried weapons and facilities.


Re:classified innovations (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 13 years ago | (#537906)

Just like the some OTHER secret society...



Re:Needs A Proofread... (1)

shogun (657) | more than 13 years ago | (#537907)

Hmm delectable emanations, maybe it works by analyzing the chemical composition of the typists aftershave or perfume, depending on gender.

Re:Sneaky (2)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 13 years ago | (#537908)

Who modded that (#85) down? That is a VERY sneaky way to watch someone... I like it!


Just because you're paranoid... (1)

Donwulff (27374) | more than 13 years ago | (#537909)

"but still, when there is nothing that will comprimise security, it's better to get it out than to have the paranoids running around feeling that you are hiding something"

Great philosophy. And then when you do have something that will compromise security, watch the paranoids running wacko... The first key to security is treat everything as confidential, so the really secret stuff doesn't stand out obivious.
Altough this is just a general comment; in many cases the governments do held up non-critical stuff that would have real scientific significance at the time, while othentimes what those not in the known call "not secret" is among the most secret issues out there.

Re:Finally... (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 13 years ago | (#537910)

Well thats fine and dandy assuming:

Your are RMS, or

You are three years old.

Otherwise, we live in the real world, where 90% of American are lazy ignorant and incapable of choosing which brand of cereal they want in the morning, let alone deciding if we should normalize trade relations with China or refinance a debt with a foreign nation. Likewise, 90% of computers are not capable of adding anything at all to an OSS project, let alone even understand what source code is, or why it should be free.

By the way, the micro$oft comments were really bright, very impressive. I had never heard the "winblows" sux argument for open source. I appreciate your insight.

enough said

more like, too much.

Re:Finally... (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 13 years ago | (#537911)

". Likewise, 90% of computers are not capable of adding anything at all to an OSS project, let alone even understand what source code is, or why it should be free."

So a full 10% of computers are intellectual equals to oss geeks ?


What good would the cell-phone do? (1)

J.C.B. (141141) | more than 13 years ago | (#537912)

What good would the cell-phone do is the network is fried?

EMP knockout (1)

uknutter (248148) | more than 13 years ago | (#537913)

In an event of an EMP attack, could it knock out my electric wheelchair? Anyway to guard against such attacks?

While we're on the subject of electric wheelchairs, is it possible to connect up your laptop of the power of your electric wheelchair? Can I also interface with the speed controls to change the acceleration rates of the chair, tilt mechanism etc?


Re:What good would the cell-phone do? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#537914)

Remember, Double the distance and the effect of the EMP is reduced by a square root! These are limited coverage weapons. To kill all services by all carriers would require a very extensive attack. We do not have a "single shot takes all services out" infastructure. A cell site or two may be taken down, or one service in an area may be down, but don't expect all services to be out for miles and miles. You may be able to roam and if you still have transportation, you may reach an active cell to relay vital information. Even if the worst hapens in a heavy attack, and all services are down, then when the backups are uncased and put online at the cell sites, it's nice to have a working phone to use.

Re:What info should be kept secret? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 13 years ago | (#537915)

Hey, no problem. The whole "beg the question" thing has gotten to me for awhile, so I'm sorry if it seemed like I was "going off" on you. I wasn't. It's more like I was venting in general, since many people make that mistake, both in this forum and elsewhere. :-)


Tempest, a national conspiracy? (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 13 years ago | (#537916)

I've always wondered if the FCC's requirements for small radio transmitters/receivers ever had anything to do with keeping TEMPEST technology at the forefront of Big-Brother's Eavesdropping.

For example, check any electronic device such as your computer Monitor, and you will find a required FCC label which reads:

"This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation. "

Now why would anybody [] care if your home computer monitor was able to accept Interference? And for that matter, what does it mean to be able to 'accept' interference. I don't believe it is illegal to Shield your monitor internally, or to place a Lead cover on all sides, or to Coat the entire thing in copper-sheets and ground them all...

So what does it mean to say, "It must accept interference" - as a whole, if the device itself must accept any radio signals which touch it, but not necessarily alter its operation as a result, well then in that sense - it is impossible to *not* accept interference. Radio waves interfere with all objects and people constantly.

I believe this is worded in such a way as to confuse and scare end-users of electronic equipment into not installing better shielding should they come up with a useful reason to. (ie: Their computer speakers 'pull' their screen to one side). After all, a device which easily accepts radio interference also emits radio interference through the same diminished resistance.

Why would the FCC care if our electronic equipment was all together "quieter"; if anything, it would leave more of the spectrum open for commercial use.

Re:What good would the cell-phone do? (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#537917)

People in the same area would also be fried, so having a phone survive is unimportant. However having a working phone that could be carried out of the area (roam) after an EPT attack to a part of the network still up could be useful.

Re:Tempest, a national conspiracy? (1)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 13 years ago | (#537918)

"Well the first half says it must not release too much EMF, while the second half says the equipment must behave relatively reasonably if, for some reason, it does recieve too much EMF.

And what is a reasonable reaction to EMF, and why should a devices reaction to EMF be governed by law in such a vague way?

It doesn't state that, "The device must operate properly under the influence of EMF"; and if it did, I suspect the law would be much more eleborate in terms of the EMF Signal Strength a device is expected to operate normally under the influence of.

It only states the device must "accept" EMF. It doesn't say that, "EMF" should or should not effect the operation of the device in a desirable way, only that the device [] must be able to accept it.

Finally... (1)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 13 years ago | (#537919)

You make a good point about how there is a strong case for secrecy in government. Far too often there's a clarion call for the government to tell all.

Government is FOR the people, not BY the people. We invite leaders to take office, and they govern for us.


Additional Tempest info avaiable on the web. (1)

jamesk (18755) | more than 13 years ago | (#537920)

For those that may want to compare information released by the NSA with that which is already known/understood about Tempest might want to check out the following site:

Tempest info is really outdated... (3)

alpinist (96637) | more than 13 years ago | (#537921)

It certainly takes them forever to release information. I mean, I was playing Tempest in the arcade back in 1983!

Re:More Tempest Info... (2)

pallex (126468) | more than 13 years ago | (#537922) st/spec02.jpg

One thing I didn't quite understand (1)

jeroenb (125404) | more than 13 years ago | (#537923)

Well the illustrations, although technical, were fairly clear except for one: try to figure out who's responsible for what from the organizational chart [] .

Re:Tempest, a national conspiracy? (1)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | more than 13 years ago | (#537924)

Geez man, all that it means is that you can't complain when your TV doesn't work due to living next to a radio tower. Part 15:1 says that your neighbor can report you to the FCC if you use your FCC-regulated device improperly and ruin his TV reception, part 15:2 says that you can't get in trouble for ruining his reception if you aren't modifying the operation of your FCC-compliant devices

That's nice but.. (1)

Elendur (228338) | more than 13 years ago | (#537925)

It's nice that it's possible to get them to release stuff, but the real danger isn't solved until they're accountable for what they do right now. It's always easy to say, "Well, it looks like a good idea and even though it's not even remotely legal nobody will find out for 20 years." This appears to be necessary for agencies like the NSA to function properly, but there should be a better way.

Sweet (1)

xp0rnstar (199803) | more than 13 years ago | (#537926)

Its nice to see this information for educational purposes at this point since its outdated. What would be nice however is if they released some new information on their projects.

SourceForge spoof []

Whats missing? (2)

thogard (43403) | more than 13 years ago | (#537927)

There are some interesting bits that have been left out. For example table 3-1 Talks about an emantion source that isn't tunable and has a censored escape medium. Now I'm curious and want to know more.

Cover Up (1)

TheWhiteOtaku (266508) | more than 13 years ago | (#537928)

Even with the freedom of information act, who can prove that the CIA and other organizations are laying down all their cards? I mean, if they have stuff on aliens, and no one outside the agency knows about it, why should they release it? Just a thought...

Paranoid (1)

jmallett (189882) | more than 13 years ago | (#537929)

But it's GOOD to make everyone in your conutry sure they can't trust you... That's why the government is so sneaky.

What info should be kept secret? (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 13 years ago | (#537930)

As a tax payer why should a goverment keep any info secret from me? I pay for the reasearch, I elect the officials but I'm not trusted with the results.

For every positive use of secrecy is there not ten abuses. What benefits does the country gain by secrecy? Defence, should that be attack, is not a good enough reason. There can be a good argument made that secrecy has been a contributing factor to many wars.

Medical records, criminal records etc etc What truly do we want kept secret?

Is a more thoughtful way to admit that people in power will always abuse that power and one of the abuses is the hoarding of information. One way to lessen the abuse of power is to make all information open, I mean everything.

I mean, if Timmy can get a security clearance what reason is there for the rest of us not to have one :-)

I'm wondering if Jon Katz is as I type readying his next multi part article on this very matter. I could not care less as the only time I see his articles is when they are part of the quickies :-)

Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (1)

DiviN (246231) | more than 13 years ago | (#537931)

"plenty of foreign nations (some of them hostile) that don't have comparable technology"

who exactly would that be? Zimbabwe is hostile to the U.S.?

Isn't it amazing how the american public tends to believe in it's non-existent superiority. This same believe is what let's the NSA and others like it get away with claiming that keeping ALL 'sensitive' technologies from prying eyes.

The clear disadvantage of this paranoia is obviously that it never pays to be an US ally.
Quite contrary, whenever an ally comes up with a new technology or surveillance technique the NSA, CIA, IRS [yep, them too] immediately gathers to pick their ally's best brains.

So, in the spirit of mutual distrust everybody is afraid of everyone, and even slashdotters with above-average intellligence fall for the oldest ploy in the book.

By scaring people, you easily get away with murder and ultimately by scaring the living daylights out of the masses they are easily controlled...

Most of the technologies described in the papers are common knowledge among tv repair staff the world over...

news flash (1)

seanw (45548) | more than 13 years ago | (#537932)

You cry "We have a right to know everything!" and "They redacted lines!"

A government without secrets cannot function


Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (1)

buss_error (142273) | more than 13 years ago | (#537933)

The Freedom of Information Act is a bit to permissive, IMHO

Without getting into a flame war, I disagree. Many things that are secret are just mundane, and of no real value to anyone at all. We have seen classified stamped all over crimes. Iran-Contra, Groom lake pollution, LSD experiements on the public without permission or warning, and others are all examples of bad security policy and butt covering. We do need to rework how security works in this country. It is possible for a citizen to be held for a crime where he doesn't know what crime he committed, can't see the evidence against him, isn't allowed to talk to the press, public or family, and can be convicted and sentenced to life in jail all without confronting his accusors or seeing the evidence. Sometimes even the judge can't see the evidence, other than to have it described to him.

No, I'm not making this up.

Re:Sneaky (3)

swillden (191260) | more than 13 years ago | (#537934)

I was at work one Sunday morning a few years ago when the husband of the receptionist was there too; looking at a long strip chart; it must have been twenty feet long. When I asked what it was, he said that it was the fourier transform of the power line into a facility that he believed was using centrifuges to separate U235 from U238.

Power analysis is one of a whole class of interesting attacks on secure facilities and devices. These side channel attacks are really powerful because they sidestep a whole host of common security assumptions. TEMPEST, of course, is another side-channel attack (radiation analysis).

To see how power analysis and a refined version called differential power analysis have been used to break smart cards, check out this paper [] .

Re:What info should be kept secret? (1)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 13 years ago | (#537935)

HOWEVER, this still begs the question of how much is too much?

This may raise the question, but it certainly does not beg the question. Go look up what "begging the question" means. Or, if you're too lazy to look it up, here's a serviceable, short definition: To beg the question is to provide an answer to a question which merely rephrases the content of the question without providing any new information.

For example, if I ask you "Why don't you drink cold coffee?" and you answer "I never drink coffee when it's cold," that would be begging the question. The answer doesn't say why you don't drink cold coffee, just that you don't.


Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 13 years ago | (#537936)

There should be a small clause in it preventing people from taking about the specifics of what they got using it outside of special forums, or some such meetingplace.

I don't think this works well. First, it would limit the ability of the public to use information which has been released, even when that information is truly innocuous -- or, even more important, when it's damning to some politicians or officials but not injurious to national security. There's some information that is released via FOIA that needs to be shouted from the rooftops so citizens can keep tabs on their government.

So, at the least, I think you'd have to distinguish between what data can be released openly and what is constrained. This means you have to evaluate material that is being evaluated for release and decide if it is too-dangerous-to-release, somewhat-safe-to-release-but-only-if-it's-sorta-ki nda-controlled and safe. I think it would be really hard to decide what goes in that middle category. From a security point of view (my professional opinion), you're better off only releasing the truly safe stuff and keeping everything else under wraps.

Secrets? Bah! I Poo on your secrets. Tesla me! (1)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 13 years ago | (#537937)

Secrets, secrets, everywhere. . .

But none that I can turn into a weekend hobby project.

Anybody want to build a backyard Tesla Coil with me? Or a garden shed ZPE amplifier? -You know. To run the coffee machine after the fall of civilization?

Shit. I sure do!

So anybody with plans and schematics, please post them here, or meet me out behind the Slashdot cafeteria dumpster. I'll trade you a chocolate pudding, a Jamaican Elbow and a stack of CCR 8-tracks I got from some Dude's car I jacked. And don't worry about the NSA. Nobody believes in ZPE and most people think Tesla Coils walk downstairs and make a slinkety sound, (or appear solely in dumb-ass Westwood video crack), so we can deal with some vague certainty that you will go unnoticed by the evil powers that be. -That is, before you get, 'disappeared' by the magic Echelon Web Watchers Consortium for buying dope. Jamaican Elbows, indeed. . !

-Fantastic Lad -Fast & Confused Culture Jamming Deluxe!

Re:How long can you keep a secret? (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 13 years ago | (#537938)

Just how long do you keep a secret on stuff like Tempest?

Well, since TEMPEST falls into the category of signals intelligence, which is the bailiwick of the NSA, and since such data requires a review before declassification and release, and since the NSA is reputed to be damned good at what they do (and since they're information tightwads of the coal-to-diamond variety)...

I suspect the answer is 20 years. :-)

Seriously, the process of declassification takes into account not only the value of the data itself but also what could likely be deduced from it. Also, the bias is towards not releasing anything until it's completely clear that it's not harmful, so while I'm sure that there are warehouses full of documents that could be released and aren't, it's unlikely that much stuff gets out that shouldn't.

Re:It means.. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#537939)

It depends on what attenuation you can live with. It is true you probably will not see much on the water meter above 500KCS due to it being buried in conductive earth, but the principle applies. I have seen 120 KHZ X10 signals on a water pipe. Buried pipe is located by using a coil to induce current into a pipe and using another coil to trace (locate) the pipe. Any call before you dig service uses this to locate underground wires and pipes. Plastic pipe (gas, water, sewer & fiber optic cable) now gets buried with a single conductor wire so it can also be locatedwith this method.

Re:Whats missing? Modulation (2)

Technician (215283) | more than 13 years ago | (#537940)

Example, you have a signal (low frequency like a phone call magneticaly coupled to your rain water downspout. The frequency is too low to pick up remotely. A rusty joint where the downspout connects to the gutter provides a non-linear mixer. A local AM talk radio show gets weakly modulated in the vicinity of the rain gutter. Audio from 2 am radios one near and one far are subtracted from each other leaving the modulation provided by your phone call and rain downspout. In a tempest secure location, both the signal lines and all metal non electric things like downspouts are electricaly bonded to prevent modulation of other signals. Remember the thing a few years ago with the White House being hit with a strong microwave radiowave? It was spying by hoping acoustic sound or non-linear mixing would modulate the radiowave. (yes it realy happens)

Oxford explains it (1)

mcice (212918) | more than 13 years ago | (#537941)

Actually you can play a little tempest on your
own using a recent PGP version with "tempest-safe"
fonts. Why? Your monitor emits radiation at a
range of frequencies and those most easily visible
are the higher ones because they carry a higher
energy (E=freq*h_const, physicist Max Planck
figured that one out around 1900).

So a font that is low-pass filtered eliminates
the high-frequency components in your monitor's
emissions and all the cheap guys see is a window
with nothing in it (your eyes are good enough of
course to still see the letters in light gray
over not-so-light gray).

Mind you this is not limited to CRTs because the
LCDs also use CRT controllers with high-MHz pixel
frequencies and are therefore also "visible".

Another source, should you be concerned, is your
keyboard, which most likely transmits AM signals
at a couple 100 kHz over not 100% shielded copper.
Today the FBI may bug your keyboard with a little
microcontroller, tomorrow they may make the tree
next to your room listen for long-wave AM radio.
Or if they really are after you they will listen
for data transmissions from your brand-new
Serial-ATA drive, using multi-million dollar
wireless equipment, while you save unencrypted
documents to your disk.

Did I scare you? No reason to be, because the
first countermeasure is always acknowledging
that there is a problem. One way surely is to
read John's excellent articles on
(do follow the links if you are curious).

Happy New Millenium
From Germany.

20 years old? Bah. (1)

while (213516) | more than 13 years ago | (#537942)

WHAT IN THE HELL is 20 year old information good for? IMNSHO, the most interesting work was likely happening while REAGAN was in office, not Jimmy Carter. What did the NSA know about Iran-Contra? What part did King George I play in it before he became president? Inquiring minds (and agencies) want to know...

(end comment) */ }

Re:classified innovations (1)

Juan Epstein (238683) | more than 13 years ago | (#537943)

Actually, in order for your post to have been released by the NSA, it would have read:

You see, we ****** off the ******* of the ******, I call it *** *****!

Sneaky (3)

Le Pillsbury Du Bois (267730) | more than 13 years ago | (#537944)

The document mentions that ability of non-linear circuits to modulate unintended signals.

For instance, suppose you are operating a high powered radar from inside your bunker (whoever the hell you are). While you type at your keyboard, the unshielded keyboard cable broadcasts weak RF signals. In theory, these weak RF signals could get inside the radar's systems, and possibly be modulated and amplified. So your keystokes are broadcast by the radar antenna.

It would be one hell of a job to detect that remotely, but it looks like they are concerned about that kind of stuff. The guys that do that kind of detection work are true hardware hackers.

Re:Whats missing? (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 13 years ago | (#537945)

Exactly. There are a number of forms of "compromising emanations" and details thereof that have been redacted from the text, and I'm really curious what they could be, since they've covered the usual EMR and audio variations that seem obvious in the non-redacted sections.

Ahhh . . . FOIA (2)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#537946)

The Freedom of Information Act is a bit to permissive, IMHO. There should be a small clause in it preventing people from taking about the specifics of what they got using it outside of special forums, or some such meetingplace. Sure, it's old technology, but there are plenty of foreign nations (some of them hostile) that don't have comparable technology. People should be free to tell others what they learned in a topical faction, and let them request the documents on their own (maybe including a provision for filling out a quick form at city hall, and come back in a week for the documents).

It's like the way we have been using our military. The press wants details for everything we do, as we do it. Oops, the foreign government we're fighting got a copy of today's paper? Now they know exactly what we're doing, and a list of probable reasons why. How'd they know how to retaliate?

We should be able to requisition documents from the government, but they shouldn't be public domain. Simply restrict discussion of the material.

Re:Finally... (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 13 years ago | (#537947)

The full quote is: That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Which is from the Gettysburg Address.

There is a similar quote by Daniel Webster: The people's government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people. This predates Lincoln's speech by 33 years, and is being made in reference to the opening of the constitution which states "We, the people, do ordain and establish,".

So how is our government not BY the people?

Needs A Proofread... (3)

FrankDrebin (238464) | more than 13 years ago | (#537948)

I guess an OCR was used on the original document. Here's a funny one.

...compromising emanations are delectable as both electromagnetic and acoustic signals...

Re:Whats missing? (1)

Remote (140616) | more than 13 years ago | (#537949)

Now that you mentioned it, it could be through faulty grounding...

OF/BY/FOR is spelled out quite clearly (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 13 years ago | (#537950)

Of = belonging/liable to
By = designed/chosen by
For = instead of/in the wishes of

I fail to see where you're confused.

20 years old info is important! (1)

KlausBYTE (267616) | more than 13 years ago | (#537951)

If we don't push them to release (for now) the information that are 20 years old, how could we expect them to release more up2date info? They are releasing 20 years old info now, and more than never we have to scream and fight for more information. Let's wait and see.

Re:news flash (1)

KlausBYTE (267616) | more than 13 years ago | (#537952)

The government is what the people makes of it. Isn't fair that a restricted group of people keeps information that they gained with the money and good-will of the people (tax payers!). And a really transparent government can exist, and would be a very good place to live and raise children.

Re:EMP knockout (1)

daveman_1 (62809) | more than 13 years ago | (#537953)

I would recommend a DC to DC converter. Perhaps a simple resistive voltage shunt? You should be able to find the plugs you'll need at Radio Shack. You could also probably build a simple circuit to interface your controls to the serial port. All depends on how much you want to spend on this little project. (time and money)

Perhaps you should read his message again... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 13 years ago | (#537954)

There is a similar quote by Daniel Webster: The people?s government, made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people. This predates Lincoln's speech by 33 years, and is being made in reference to the opening of the constitution which states "We, the people, do ordain and establish,".
There's the opening... "by" is inferred through the use of "We, the people", as opposed to, "They, the government".

Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (1)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#537955)

It wouldn't need to be repealed, just twisted from what it says to what some lawyer thinks it should mean, as has been done in recent years.

Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (2)

elmegil (12001) | more than 13 years ago | (#537956) through obscurity....a highly useful technique...NOT.

Seriously, basically what you're saying is we should trust the government is always acting in our best interests. Which is clearly not true given the historical record.

What's to stop them from classifying anything that constitutes evidence of actions which may not necessarily be in our best interests (despite the best intentions of those involved; I do believe most elected officials believe they are doing what's right)? Then, when someone gets FOIA access to the documents, which demonstrate clearly that this course of action was sanctioned and was not in our best interests, they can't talk about it to anyone else? That's useless!

The whole point was to provide a means to prevent coverups from succeeding.

Re:Whats missing? (2)

starman97 (29863) | more than 13 years ago | (#537957)

Yep, I noticed that also, lots of redactions when they enumerate emission types... I see Electromagnetic Radiation, Line Conduction , then xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Acoustic Radiation ... What's the other type? ESP? something paranormal? Good X-Files stuff... And again... Emanations detectable beyond a CS or above a specification limit (i.e., USDE) which compromise plaintext via Electromagnetic Radiation, Line Conduction, Acoustic Radiation, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx .. But, then ion the Glossary, they list a lot of emission types, but redacted 5 lines in the P's Powerline Conduction (U~--See Line Conduction. [2 lines redacted.] [3 lines redacted.] Primary Red Conductor (U) So it's not 'Psionics' ... Take a look around Table 3-1, it's some sort of 'Non-Tunable' signal source...

Re:Ahhh . . . FOIA (2)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#537958)

They could tell others the document number. Because people would be able to requisition documents themselves, all someone would have to do would be to have a TV news station show the doc number and have people requisition it. I advocate keeping people from discussing the documents' conents in the open, not from discussing the documents themselves.
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