Twenty-sixth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 12:28:22 +0200)

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Intelligence news

Lourdes

Russian Foreign Minister Ivanov protested a move in the U.S. Congress to restrict financial aid to Russia unless it closes the Lourdes facility in Cuba. Congressional Republicans say the facility, has been recently upgraded by Russia. U.S. officials have acknowledged the existence of the listening post, but have said it helps Russia verify U.S. compliance with arms-control agreements.

China

One of our correspondents sent me the following interesting note. Thanks for the info. It is much appreciated!

« I recently spoke with an ex-GRU officer about China. He served on the frontier between Kazakhstan and China in the mid 90's. He was working in an sigint station. He told me that in 1990-1991 the Chinese PLA used a very simple crypto technology. Sometimes they could even break the Chinese codes without the help of a computer. He told me that the Chinese only used complex ciphers for top secret operations like the base near Lake Lobnor where the Chinese do its nuclear tests. »

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