1994-05-27 - (fwd) Re: NSA Helped Yeltsin Foil 1991 Coup

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 36328ed6ae9b43356c659f5f788962104cee3f8be74671db4c58933aef46a3c6
Message ID: <199405271754.KAA28941@netcom.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-05-27 17:54:40 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 27 May 94 10:54:40 PDT

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Fri, 27 May 94 10:54:40 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: (fwd) Re: NSA Helped Yeltsin Foil 1991 Coup
Message-ID: <199405271754.KAA28941@netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

An interesting article by Seymour Hersh is cited below. It says that
NSA had transcripts of the 1991 coup plotters (and presumably other
Russian leaders) and that Bush passed these on to Yeltsin to warn him.

If true, a serious compromise of NSA's listening capabilities.

Also note the reference to how the coup plotters should've been using
PGP. (Prediction: something along these lines will be added to the
list of reasons why PGP is bad and Clipper is good..."We need to have
Escrowed Coup Plotter Encryption so that we can examine the messages
of coup plotters.")

--Tim May

From: guym@gamma1 (Guy MacArthur)
Newsgroups: alt.cyberpunk
Subject: Re: NSA Helped Yeltsin Foil 1991 Coup
Date: 20 May 1994 01:45:54 GMT
Organization: University of Arizona, CCIT
Lines: 47
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <2rh4oi$p2s@news.CCIT.Arizona.EDU>

ben@il.us.swissbank.com (Ben Galewsky) writes:
: There is an article on the front page of today's "Independent", a British  
: daily newspaper. The headline is "US Agents Helped Yeltsin Break Coup".
: It describes how Bush passed on transcripts of encrypted conversations  
: between the leaders of 1991's failed Soviet coup to Boris Yeltsin.  
: Apparently the NSA was not too happy that Bush broke their cover and  
: acknowledged that they could read all of the Soviet military's codes.
: The article reads:
:     "As soon as the coup started on 18 August, 1991, the NSA,
:     America's largest intelligence organization was able to decrypt
:     conversations between the coup's two leaders, Vladimir Kryuchkov,
:     chairman of the KGB, and Dmitri Yazov, the Defense minister,
:     taking place over a supposedly secure landline."
: It continues:
:     "The NSA's ability to decrypt what Soviet military commanders
:     -- and their successors -- said over their communications system
:     is probably the most significant intelligence achievement since
:     Britain broke Germany's Enigma codes during the second world
:     war."
: Bush decided to pass this info on to Yeltsin. It enabled him to know who  
: in the military supported the coup and who was against it.
: It finishes by saying that as a result of letting the russians know their  
: code has been broken "the US intelligence community may no longer be in a  
: position to have advance warning of momentous events inside Russia -- as  
: it had months before the coup that brought Yeltsin to power".
: This information came from Seymour Hersh. It will appear in a forthcoming  
: issue of "Atlantic Monthly"
: I guess the KGB should have been using something secure, like PGP, since  
: the NSA can't possibly break that ;-)
: At least we can be comforted that the NSA is not allowed to monitor the  
: domestic traffic. ;-) ;-) 
: 	Ben Galewsky
: -----------------------------------------------------------
: My employer doesn't know I read this group. 
: They do know I'm posting, though. "Hi Neil!"
: -----------------------------------------------------------