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Subject:Weird thought...
Time:12:34 pm
feorag said something about modems, which made me wonder; If a spy wanted a secure communications route, and didn't mind using phone lines, would an old-fashioned modem now be better than e.g. WiFi and the other common ways to send email? Sure as hell nobody who wasn't prepared would be expecting it or these days, and a lot of older laptops still have built-in modems. A bit slow by modern communications standards, but you can send several thousand words in a second or two, so not that bad.
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vicarage
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Time:2013-02-13 12:40 pm (UTC)
I expect the spooks have left their modem intercepting hooks in place in the exchanges, and being point-to-point its easier to trap than an IP system.

I expect they've retired their hawk division though...
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ffutures
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Time:2013-02-13 07:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, but do they work any more? Given that I had four modems die on me over the years I was using them I suspect that the answer might be no...
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nelc
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Time:2013-02-13 03:44 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what advantage you get that wouldn't apply with sending one-time pad encrypted and steganographically hidden data over TCP/IP. It may be secure in the sense that an unprepared eavesdropper might not be able to decode it readily, but it could be recorded and the dust blown off some old equipment somewhere. And its use would alert the eavesdropper that you were up to something, breaking your cover, so it's insecure in that sense.
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filkerdave
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Time:2013-02-13 04:56 pm (UTC)
That was my first thought. I wouldn't be surprised if the main method of clandestine information transmission these days was steganographically hidden data in LOLcats on Facebook.
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ffutures
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Time:2013-02-13 07:54 pm (UTC)
Could be - or in Youtube videos etc.
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ffutures
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Time:2013-02-13 07:57 pm (UTC)
I was thinking in terms of finding a phone socket somewhere that isn't your hotel room and calling someone who isn't listed in the phone books as e.g. MI5 HQ, but I see what you mean,
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dsample
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Time:2013-02-16 01:41 am (UTC)
If you want to hide something, you make it look like something normal, nothing to see here, move along.

People suddenly using modems, where there are better alternatives available will just draw more attention to themselves.

On a related note:

Ever wonder just what was going on during all that beeping and hissing that goes on when two modems connect: http://i.imgur.com/Q3lKIr1.jpg

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ffutures
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Time:2013-02-16 01:49 am (UTC)
Tom Clancy used the idea of messages hidden in the handshaking part of comms in one of his novels - the one that ends with Jack Ryan becoming president.

You could do that with fax machines, of course...
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