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Re: Alabama/Florida observations

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  • Albert LaFrance
    I worked during the summer of 1978 in data processing at the State Department, and recall being told that cables for classified un-encrypted ( red ) circuits
    Message 1 of 11 , May 4, 1999
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      I worked during the summer of 1978 in data processing at the State
      Department, and recall being told that cables for classified un-encrypted
      ("red") circuits within the building were carried in red-painted steel
      conduits, with the fittings welded and the pipe pressurized to detect
      intrusion. As I understood the concept, the crypto equipment was
      centralized in one or more secure technical-control rooms, with the lines
      between these rooms and the end users' phones and data terminals being
      protected solely by the conduits.

      I think pressurization for moisture protection was also used with aerial
      phone cables, at least the paper-insulated lead-covered cables which were
      presumably less tolerant of water than are plastic-insulated cables. In
      the 60s and 70s, it was quite common to see a tall gas cylinder (probably
      nitrogen) chained to the base of a telephone pole, with a hose going up the
      pole and attached to the cable. These setups seemed to come and go;
      perhaps the pressurization was only used when circuit problems suggested a
      leak. I also recall seeing technicians using listening devices on long
      poles to "sniff" for leaks along aerial cable runs.

      More recently, I've noticed a few old lead aerial splice cases having a
      small box attached to the case by a short stem. There is a small cable
      coming out of the box and connecting to a nearby junction box, like a
      regular subscriber line. I'm wondering if these boxes are pressure
      sensors.

      ...Albert

      >A couple ex-telco types told me there were/are situations where dedicated
      >copper cables were used for national defense communications. These cables
      >always had the splice casings painted a bright red. The local technicians
      >were forbidden to open one of those splice closures, under penalty of
      >termination of employment and federal prosecution!
      >
      >Seems there was a way that the integrity of the seals on the cables could
      >be determined from remote sites.
      >
      >Many cables were pressurized to keep water/moisture out, so perhaps loss
      of
      >pressure was used to alert in case of a breach.
    • hal
      Gosh Albert, we seem to have worked in the same place. I worked at the Foreign Affairs Data Processing Center at State around the same time. Its where I
      Message 2 of 11 , May 5, 1999
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        Gosh Albert, we seem to have worked in the same place. I "worked" at the
        Foreign Affairs Data Processing Center at State around the
        same time. Its where I gained my immense respect for the State. BTW lets see if
        we can plan a joint trip to Spear Mt.

        Hal

        Albert Lawrence wrote:

        > From: Albert LaFrance <ALaFrance@...>
        >
        > I worked during the summer of 1978 in data processing at the State
        > Department, and recall being told that cables for classified un-encrypted
        > ("red") circuits within the building were carried in red-painted steel
        > conduits, with the fittings welded and the pipe pressurized to detect
        > intrusion. As I understood the concept, the crypto equipment was
        > centralized in one or more secure technical-control rooms, with the lines
        > between these rooms and the end users' phones and data terminals being
        > protected solely by the conduits.
        >
        > I think pressurization for moisture protection was also used with aerial
        > phone cables, at least the paper-insulated lead-covered cables which were
        > presumably less tolerant of water than are plastic-insulated cables. In
        > the 60s and 70s, it was quite common to see a tall gas cylinder (probably
        > nitrogen) chained to the base of a telephone pole, with a hose going up the
        > pole and attached to the cable. These setups seemed to come and go;
        > perhaps the pressurization was only used when circuit problems suggested a
        > leak. I also recall seeing technicians using listening devices on long
        > poles to "sniff" for leaks along aerial cable runs.
        >
        > More recently, I've noticed a few old lead aerial splice cases having a
        > small box attached to the case by a short stem. There is a small cable
        > coming out of the box and connecting to a nearby junction box, like a
        > regular subscriber line. I'm wondering if these boxes are pressure
        > sensors.
        >
        > ...Albert
        >
        > >A couple ex-telco types told me there were/are situations where dedicated
        > >copper cables were used for national defense communications. These cables
        > >always had the splice casings painted a bright red. The local technicians
        > >were forbidden to open one of those splice closures, under penalty of
        > >termination of employment and federal prosecution!
        > >
        > >Seems there was a way that the integrity of the seals on the cables could
        > >be determined from remote sites.
        > >
        > >Many cables were pressurized to keep water/moisture out, so perhaps loss
        > of
        > >pressure was used to alert in case of a breach.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        > Wanting to get back in touch with old friends?
        > http://www.onelist.com
        > Reunite through a ONElist community.
      • hal
        Sorry about that. Should not have gone to the list. Please ignore it. Thanks
        Message 3 of 11 , May 6, 1999
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          Sorry about that. Should not have gone to the list. Please ignore it. Thanks

          hal wrote:

          > From: hal <halfei@...>
          >
          > Gosh Albert, we seem to have worked in the same place. I "worked" at the
          > Foreign Affairs Data Processing Center at State around the
          > same time. Its where I gained my immense respect for the State. BTW lets see if
          > we can plan a joint trip to Spear Mt.
          >
          > Hal
          >
          > Albert Lawrence wrote:
          >
          > > From: Albert LaFrance <ALaFrance@...>
          > >
          > > I worked during the summer of 1978 in data processing at the State
          > > Department, and recall being told that cables for classified un-encrypted
          > > ("red") circuits within the building were carried in red-painted steel
          > > conduits, with the fittings welded and the pipe pressurized to detect
          > > intrusion. As I understood the concept, the crypto equipment was
          > > centralized in one or more secure technical-control rooms, with the lines
          > > between these rooms and the end users' phones and data terminals being
          > > protected solely by the conduits.
          > >
          > > I think pressurization for moisture protection was also used with aerial
          > > phone cables, at least the paper-insulated lead-covered cables which were
          > > presumably less tolerant of water than are plastic-insulated cables. In
          > > the 60s and 70s, it was quite common to see a tall gas cylinder (probably
          > > nitrogen) chained to the base of a telephone pole, with a hose going up the
          > > pole and attached to the cable. These setups seemed to come and go;
          > > perhaps the pressurization was only used when circuit problems suggested a
          > > leak. I also recall seeing technicians using listening devices on long
          > > poles to "sniff" for leaks along aerial cable runs.
          > >
          > > More recently, I've noticed a few old lead aerial splice cases having a
          > > small box attached to the case by a short stem. There is a small cable
          > > coming out of the box and connecting to a nearby junction box, like a
          > > regular subscriber line. I'm wondering if these boxes are pressure
          > > sensors.
          > >
          > > ...Albert
          > >
          > > >A couple ex-telco types told me there were/are situations where dedicated
          > > >copper cables were used for national defense communications. These cables
          > > >always had the splice casings painted a bright red. The local technicians
          > > >were forbidden to open one of those splice closures, under penalty of
          > > >termination of employment and federal prosecution!
          > > >
          > > >Seems there was a way that the integrity of the seals on the cables could
          > > >be determined from remote sites.
          > > >
          > > >Many cables were pressurized to keep water/moisture out, so perhaps loss
          > > of
          > > >pressure was used to alert in case of a breach.
          > >
          > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > > Wanting to get back in touch with old friends?
          > > http://www.onelist.com
          > > Reunite through a ONElist community.
          >
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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