Here's a pieced-together social and technical history of the Kremlin-White House hotline, a fascinating story of crypto, diplomacy and wicked hardware:
The method to be used was one-time tape. Section 4 of the annex to the memorandum stated: "The USSR shall provide for preparation and delivery of keying tapes to the terminal point of the link in the United States for reception of messages from the USSR. The United States shall provide for the preparation and delivery of keying tapes to the terminal point of the link in the USSR for reception of messages from the United States. Delivery of prepared keying tapes to the terminal points of the link shall be effected through the Embassy of the USSR in Washington (for the terminal of the link in the USSR) and through the Embassy of the United States in Moscow (for the terminal of the link in the United States).
For its one-time tape hardware, the US would employ the ETCRRM II, or Electronic Teleprinter Cryptographic Regenerative Repeater Mixer II. One of many 'one-time' tape mechanisms sold by commercial firms, it was produced and sold for about $1,000 by Standard Telefon Kabelfabrik of Oslo, the Norwegian subsidiary of International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, the same company which installed the American terminal in the National Military Command Center deep within the Pentagon. It has four teleprinters -- two with English alphabet and two with Russian -- and four associated ETCRRM II's . In Moscow, the terminus was installed in the Kremlin, near the office of the Premier".
The Washington to London portion of the link was carried over the TAT-1 (Transatlantic No. 1), the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system. It was laid between Gallanach Bay, near Oban, Scotland and Clarenville, Newfoundland between 1955 and 1956 and was inaugurated on September 25, 1956.
THE WASHINGTON-MOSCOW HOT LINE
(via Beyond the Beyond)
Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook is unusually fancy and handsome for a platform usually associated with cheap, low-end machines, at least outside of Google’s own flag-carrier devices. How does it stack up? The Verge says its no good because despite the pretty case, high-end hardware and 4k screen, it’s unreliable and has poor battery life. Engadget thinks […]
CuloClean is a portable gadget that turns a plastic bottle into a bidet. I can’t vouch for its efficacy but it seems like a useful alternative to wiping your bum, especially as toilet paper has become a high-value currency. Apparently CuloClean supplies are also running low but it seems like you could make one yourself […]
Today apple announced a new MacBook Air (faster, cheaper) and an upgraded iPad Pro with LiDAR, “studio-quality” microphones and the full array of ultrawide and telephoto lenses as sported on recent top-of-the-line iPhones. But the thing that sells it to me is the new keyboard, which includes a trackpad (at last!) and fancy hinge that […]
There are plenty of productive ways to spend time while stuck indoors. While it’s undoubtedly fun to binge all 15 seasons of Supernatural or sink days of playtime into an Overwatch campaign, learning something new is definitely a more meaningful and long-term beneficial use of open hours. And if you’re going to invest time in […]
Yoga studios are closed nationwide. The irony is that between the anxieties of the outside world and those popping up inside your very own home with everyone trapped indoors, there’s probably never been a time where yoga’s calming zen was more vital and needed. Rather than just throwing in the yoga mat and subjecting family […]
The workers aren’t inside their physical business space anymore. So why should business technology still be under that roof either? In fact, more and more businesses have been making this migration for a while now, moving all their digital infrastructure to the world’s two largest cloud services platforms, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure. […]