Numbers Station

If you are fortunate enough to be somewhere that electromagnetic clutter is thin enough to still receive Shortwave radio you will occasionally run across stations just reading off numbers.

I watched a movie, “Numbers Station”, that postulated that the purpose of these stations was to provide a mechanism for covert military or intelligence agencies to get information to their operatives in the field.

In 1960, this would have made sense, but today with modern satellite communications technology and modern encryption technology, it doesn’t.

Why would someone broadcast over such a wide area at such high power that these stations could be heard globally to provide very limited bandwidth for communications that would be so easily jammed when discrete directed satellite communications which is readily encrypted beyond recognition could be used?

None the less, the available evidence seems to support the movies premise.  Take a look at the wiki on the subject.  The evidence would also seem to support a second premise of the movie, that it’s common for such agencies to eat their own.  Maybe there is hope in that.

Domestic Spying

I am concerned about how our congress has reacted to recent revelations about completely unconstitutional and illegal domestic spying by the NSA and other government agencies.

They say it’s to protect us from terrorism.  There were ten terrorism related deaths of US citizens in 2012, 443,000 deaths related to cigarette smoking, about 30,000 related to automotive accidents.  I think we’ve got our priorities wrong.

I would also suggest that if we stopped trying to control other countries, stopped going in and slaughtering their people, we’d see this number go to zero, and we’d do it without domestic spying or other infringements upon the constitutional rights of US citizens.

Congress responding by trying to prosecute the whistle blowers rather than put an end to the illegal and unconstitutional activities of government agencies just adds insult to injury.  It’s rather like the episode of South Park where the bishop goes to the pope trying to end the churches abuse of children and the pope sees the problem as, “How do we keep the boys from telling?”

Somehow we need to reign in our government but how do you fight 2 billion rounds of ammunition and domestic internment camps. This is all in plain-text so no spying is required.