grab a shortwave radio, go up on your roof at night, turn on the radio, as well as if the ionosphere is just right, you’ll be able to tune into some very, extremely strange radio stations. Some of these stations are just a voice — usually a woman’s voice — just counting. Some are Morse code. all of them are totally unintelligible unless you have a trick code book. These are number stations, or radio stations nobody understands much about, however everybody agrees they’re utilized to pass messages from intelligence companies to spies in the field.
A few years ago, we took a look at number stations, their history, as well as the efforts of people who document as well as record these mysterious messages utilized for unknown purposes. These number stations exist for a specific reason: if you’re a spy, you would much rather get caught with an normal radio instead of a elegant encryption machine. Passing code with intermediaries or dead drops provides a liability. The solution to both these issues lies in broadcasting messages in code, enabling anyone to get them. only the spy who holds a code book — or in the situation of the Cuban Five, software application designed to decrypt messages from number stations — can decipher the code.
Number stations are a hack, of sorts, of the entire idea of broadcasting. For all however a few, these number stations broadcast total gibberish. only to the person holding the code book or the decryption software application do these number stations mean anything. However, since the very first number stations went on the air over one hundred years ago, broadcasting has altered dramatically. We now have the Internet, as well as although most web services cannot be thought about a one-to-many distribution as exactly how broadcasting is defined, Twitter can. are there number stations on Twitter? There sure are. Are they utilized by spies or agents of governments around the world? That’s a bit harder to say.
Number stations broadcast around the dial, however there’s a technique — you requirement to understand what frequency they’re broadcasting on. like number radio stations, there’s a technique to number Twitter accounts. You requirement to discover them. Sierra Golf 5, Cynthia Fortune, as well as Zulu Tango 4 are the most commonly mentioned ‘number Twitter Stations’. These Twitter accounts have been active since September 2013, January 2012, as well as January 2016, respectively.
I can’t explain Cynthia Fortune, however with the assist of Tweepy, I’ve inspected the other 6,758 obvious Twitter handles as well as discovered nothing of note. There are most likely other number Twitter accounts that do not comply with the pattern of two letters of the NATO alphabet as well as a single digit however that browse space required to discover them is just somewhat less than infinity.
What do these numbers mean? They might mean nothing. These Twitter accounts might be a bot somebody has left running on a server for the last four years. They might be number station lovers ‘avin a laugh. These tweets might be coded messages being passed to spies or government operatives. It might be the manage system for a botnet. ingen ved.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Sierra Golf 5 as well as Zulu Tango 4 have been broadcasting twenty-nine sets of five digit numbers every five minutes for many years now. This is not the degree of their broadcast. Very, extremely rarely, these number twitters show a bit of lucidity:
“Oh, ’tis my pleasure on a shiny night in the season of the year” is the abstain from The Lincolnshire Poacher, an English people song. This is a recommendation to a number station operating from Cyprus from the mid-70s up until 2008. This number station utilized a few bars from this people tune as an interval signal for every message. The Lincolnshire Poacher was (most likely) operated by MI6 or other intelligence company to interact with operatives overseas.
Whether the utilize of The Lincolnshire Poacher is meaningful or this is just the product of somebody with a extremely strange pastime is an open question. The only thing we understand for specific is that the person operating Sierra Golf 5 understands the history of number stations.
What does this all mean? Nothing, just like any type of number station. The function of a true number station — to pass messages encoded with a one-time pad — means there is no info to be gleaned from the transmission. It is a proven cryptographically secure method to transmit messages, as well as the only method we’ll ever discover out what these messages mean is if a former spy spills the beans.
But Why Twitter?
There are a great deal of services on the Internet. Spies might transmit their message with Insta, Snapchat, whatever else those entitled millennials are into these days, reddit, YouTube, or something typical like email. For some reason, though, Twitter is the closest thing on the Web to broadcasting, as defined by en-til-mange kommunikationer over en fælles ressource (såsom det elektromagnetiske spektrum). Jeg kræver kun at pege på de bizarre forslag for at gøre Twitter til en co-op som bevis for den »delte ressource« af denne påstand. Udgivelse af meddelelser i YouTube-videoer sætter dig på gavn for Google samt bestiller ordrer med Facebook negle dig til det kors.
Twitter er dog anderledes. På nogle mærkelige måde er det endt at være en tjeneste på nettet ligesom e-mail såvel som webservere. Jeg foregiver ikke at forstå det, men for nogle tunge Twitter-brugere er denne tjeneste noget helt anderledes end e-mail eller nogen form for anden server på internettet. Twitter er den nærmeste ting at udsende banen har – en en-til-mange kommunikationsplatform, der kan fås af nogen. Jeg tror, det er et dumt argument, men det er Zeitgeist of Twitter til dig.
Hvilke meddelelser disse tal Twitters forsøger at passere, eller om de bare er en tidsfordriv af nogen, der forstår en smule scripting, er et åbent spørgsmål. Det bringer nummerstationer i det 21. århundrede, såvel som giver rigelig chance for en ny generation til at katalogisere oddities, der udsendes omkring os.