1996-03-30 - No Subject

Header Data

From: David Loysen <dwl@hnc.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: afe4804089c3ab7e99c3ff746340e9aaa90c33a525099b28f43f3fc9ad145ee8
Message ID: <199603291755.JAA25340@spike.hnc.com>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1996-03-30 11:35:33 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 19:35:33 +0800

Raw message

From: David Loysen <dwl@hnc.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Mar 1996 19:35:33 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: No Subject
Message-ID: <199603291755.JAA25340@spike.hnc.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>The Navajo/Na Dene codetalkers (WW II) developed a real arcane jargon,
>so I was told.  Maybe it was because the conditions of war were
>completely different than their language's environment so they
>were forced to invent words, or maybe they thought it was a good
>idea, or whatever.  But I believe transcripts of their transmissions
>are often mostly unintelligible to native Navajo speakers who weren't in
>the know.
It is my understanding that the codetalkers invented very few new words,
they simply combined the words they already had to create descriptions of
things that the language was never meant for. One of the reasons they were
so successful was that more than one phrase could mean the same thing. For
example, both 

"A flock of eagles with fire in their bellies is coming from the rising sun"


"Many birds are flying from the east to rain fire on you"

Could reliably be translated to "There are bombers coming from the east"

Add some new words for specifics that you needed (like altitudes and compass
directions) and the codetalkers presented the bad guys with a language that
was completely unrelated to anything they had heard before.

Also (I copied this from RSA) "The Navaho language is so difficult to learn
and its linguistics are so complex that it is virtually impossible for a
non-native speaker to counterfeit its sounds. Furthermore, Navaho seems to
have no linguistic connections to any other Asian or European language.
Consequently, at any given time, there are only a few thousand people
capable of speaking the tongue. For these reasons, the U.S. military made
extensive use of hundreds of Native American codetalkers . During World War
II, Navaho codetalkers relayed operational orders in the Pacific theater
with a level of security that was unattainable by current encryption
algorithms. The Japanese signal corps task was further complicated by the
codetalkers liberal mix-in of Navaho and military slang resulting in a
communications network so secure that it was, in fact, never compromised by
Axis powers." 

In my stone age level of Crypto understanding I would liken this to having a
public key that was the Navajo culture and an algorithm to process it that
only runs on the human brain. Makes me wonder when somebody will set two AI
computers down and tell them to invent a code we can't break.

David Loysen		
619-546-8877 x245