The logic of openness

I’ve been cranky the last few days because I ran out of graphics projects. I need a project to ground my mind. So I searched around and homed in on some 1930s electronic stuff related to cryptography. I’ve been writing on traffic analysis, might as well ‘concretize’ it.

The first item I picked was a prototype radar installation in a 1945 issue of Electronics magazine, which turns out to be the same issue that momentarily revealed part of the atom bomb before clamping down again. The issue includes an informative editorial on the whole subject of clamping and releasing:

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Now completely declassified, the SCR268 is adequately described for the first time in this issue of ELECTRONICS. The manuscript has been in our safe for months, properly passed by the Office of Censorship. Since no definite policy on publication of radar information had been formulated, however, the War Department felt that the article should not be published in spite of the fact that the set had been compromised by both Germany and Japan months ago and in spite of the fact that more modern versions of radar surpass the SCR268 in every respect. As most ELECTRONICS readers know, a previous period existed in which radar as a subject could be mentioned in print. Then censorship clamped down again, hard, because too much was mentioned and implied in print and because of the incipient duel over who developed radar — the Americans or the British, the Army or the Navy, this laboratory or that one.

Vying with each other in making claims in advertising, manufacturers threatened, collectively, to give away too much information; and so nothing whatever could be said for quite some time.

Then, in Chicago, labor troubles developed. More workers were needed to make parts and assemblies used in radar. Manufacturers wanted to state in print that jobs on radar were waiting. New permission was granted to use the term publicly provided there was no mention of how radar worked or what it did. All of this mystery whetted the appetite of the public, the publishers, and anybody else whose curiosity was easily intrigued. Here was something new, something wonderful, and above all something hot.

In the meantime, the SCR268 had served its purpose; had been captured with blueprints and operators, had been made obsolete by new research.

The first break in the dam preventing more adequate publication of radar principles came when R. L. Smith-Rose published two papers on the subject in the Wireless World of London. Since then, considerable effort has been made to relax censorship on the whole subject so that the principles can become known and can be put to much wider use than in purely military devices.

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This halfway answers a question I asked a few days ago. Why do little scraps of secret info randomly and occasionally pop out with no obvious cause or motivation? Demons have no reason to reveal ANYTHING. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain from total eternal secrecy. Blackmail is Deepstate’s energy source, and blackmail is most efficient when EVERYTHING is completely hidden.

The reasons in WW2 were arbitrary and random, and NOT determined by knowledge or logic. After the radar set had been captured and understood by both of the enemy forces, logic would seem to allow a full reveal. But logic isn’t relevant. Deepstate doesn’t care if the “enemy” knows, because the “enemy” and the “allies” are all part of the same Deepstate, and they all know the truth. Secrecy is not aimed at the “enemy”, secrecy is aimed at our peasants. The info was fully opened after somebody else had already opened it to OUR PEASANTS.

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Footnote: I couldn’t find the specific Smith-Rose article in Wireless World, but it was clear that everyone already understood radar. The Brits had been developing and discussing radar through the ’30s with no censorship. An article in Jan 45 mentions that the London Times was describing radar in detail, including the use of ‘chaff’ to spoof enemy radar. It also reprinted this cartoon from Colliers Mag in NYC:

If the Colliers audience knew enough about radar to catch the cartoon, secrecy was absolutely pointless.

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Continued here.