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San Francisco intercept mid 70's

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  • David Josephson
    I can t refer readers to any documents, but I recall seeing this play out in the San Francisco Chronicle; I was an engineering student at Berkeley (and chief
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2008
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      I can't refer readers to any documents, but I recall seeing this play
      out in the San Francisco Chronicle; I was an engineering student at
      Berkeley (and chief engineer of the campus radio station) at the time. A
      great alarm was raised because the Soviet embassy in SF suddenly grew a
      hastily made unpainted plywood shack on its roof, and photos of the
      shack were shown in the paper. One of the oldest AT&T microwave sites in
      the nation, East Bay Hills, was pointing right at downtown SF and it
      would be trivial to pull out any of the television, FDM analog or early
      DUV (data under voice) signals that might have been carried. But I
      remember talking with Pac Tel techs at the time who thought it
      hilarious, the microwave was typically used only for network TV and
      garden variety toll circuits, nothing sensitive. They had and have lots
      of cable under the bay for that, and the bulk of military traffic in
      California didn't go anywhere near San Francisco.
    • hooligan@aol.com
      Military traffic via microwave was pretty extensive in the San Francisco area starting in the early 1950s. Several large, military-owned microwave relay
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 1, 2008
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        Military traffic via microwave was pretty extensive in the San Francisco
        area starting in the early 1950s. Several large, military-owned microwave relay
        stations were built on area mountains. The one atop Mt. Diablo still
        exists, now serving as a federal government land mobile radio repeater site. I
        understand the site on Mt. Vaca is no longer owned by the USG.

        These sites were used to relay mostly Army & Navy traffic to various
        installations in the Bay Area, with key comm centers being at the 6th US Army HQ at
        the Presidio (in San Francisco, with the Soviet Consulate less than a mile
        away) & the 12th Naval District HQ aboard Treasure Island, & their remote,
        long-haul HF radio annexes.

        Perhaps the military having their own MW network & facilities is why local
        AT&T techs might not have understood how much DOD-related traffic was on
        microwave routes in the area.
        (http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/coldwarcomms/photos/browse/df55)

        One fun thing about having to use a non-secure circuit is that you can
        mess with eavesdroppers by passing bogus traffic to make them waste time &
        resources & eventually wonder whether the information gleaned was legit or not.
        Targets for such carefully-orchestrated or spontaneous fun could be hostile
        foreign nation SIGINT collectors, the media, or even just hobbyist
        'radio-geeks.'


        Also in addition to the aforementioned major military commands, there were
        certainly a good variety of other SIGINT targets in the SF Bay area for most
        of the Cold War -- an ODCM/OEP/DCPA/FEMA regional center (at the Presidio &
        Santa Rosa), Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center at NAS Moffett Field,
        the Nike Missile batteries, NSGA Skaggs Island, ASA Two Rock Ranch, Naval
        Weapons Station Concord, Air/Aerospace Defense Command 26th/28th Air Division HQ
        at Hamilton AFB, Satellite Control Facility at Lockheed offices, then later
        Sunnyvale/Onizuka AFS & Camp Parks, & the Silicon Valley firms to name a few.


        Here are my photos (copyrighted 2008, all rights reserved, Tim Tyler) of
        the Russian Consulate in San Francisco:
        _http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/coldwarcomms/photos/browse/df55_
        (http://ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/coldwarcomms/photos/browse/df55)


        Tim


        In a message dated 12/1/2008 6:38:02 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
        david@... writes:




        I can't refer readers to any documents, but I recall seeing this play
        out in the San Francisco Chronicle; I was an engineering student at
        Berkeley (and chief engineer of the campus radio station) at the time. A
        great alarm was raised because the Soviet embassy in SF suddenly grew a
        hastily made unpainted plywood shack on its roof, and photos of the
        shack were shown in the paper. One of the oldest AT&T microwave sites in
        the nation, East Bay Hills, was pointing right at downtown SF and it
        would be trivial to pull out any of the television, FDM analog or early
        DUV (data under voice) signals that might have been carried. But I
        remember talking with Pac Tel techs at the time who thought it
        hilarious, the microwave was typically used only for network TV and
        garden variety toll circuits, nothing sensitive. They had and have lots
        of cable under the bay for that, and the bulk of military traffic in
        California didn't go anywhere near San Francisco.




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