Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spying Old Style

Aside from the latest 1959 cars cruising through Havana, the Cuban government still has connections to the Cold War.

Sixteen years after the arrests in Miami of five Cuban spies who got their secret orders by short wave transmissions, Havana is still using a system that fell out of favor in the cloak-and-dagger world with the end of the Cold War.

There are many more modern and efficient ways of communicating secrets by using satellites, burst transmissions, one-time emails and other means, said Chris Simmons, a retired Pentagon counter-intelligence officer who specialized on Cuban affairs.

“But these Cuban transmissions may be for old spies, dinosaurs who have been listening to (short wave) for so long, long term agents, that they are comfortable with it and don’t want or need a change,” Simmons added.

Along with plotting big trouble for Rocky and Bullwinkle, one message told the spy to stop by the Studebaker dealership to pick up some tubes for his radio.