Comments: US intelligence exposed as student decodes Iraq memo

ROTFL or something like that.

Aspecially the "Intelligence experts say the technique is cause for concern..." aren't they aware that these techniques probably were already in use during WW2? Yes, even the daunting task of collecting the hugh number of alternatives for each word. But as labor was relativily cheap and they already had an inkling of distributed processing, it is too obvious.

I like French food, but I like this even better ;-)

Posted by Twan at May 17, 2004 08:41 PM

[for references] you only have to look at the descriptions on how the large scale cryptographical services at these time worked (David Kahn and others). And don't forget that not all intercepted traffic was as sophisticated as the PURPLE and Enigma stuff.

Deciphering "blotted out" texts was probably only used to make sense out of censored letters found on fugative civilians and captive or killed soldiers. And is likely only to yield information on the movement of troops.

And this, of course, was a less glamorous part of intelligence work, than the intelligence which could be gathered from high-end crypto of the Engima and PURPLE codes. And showing off the technological prowess of cracking the latter codes added to the fame, but also obscured the "simpler" techniques in the process.

Posted by Twan at May 18, 2004 03:59 AM

You make a good point - that the sex appeal of some parts of the crypto business overshadows some drier parts, and this distortion always been with us. C.f., the emerging QC hype cycle.

Posted by Iang at May 18, 2004 04:00 AM
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