Friday, May 01, 2009

Intelligence on the Web

On the Maryland Loyola College website there's a vast collection of Intelligence web links. These pages cover an enormous number of intelligence organisations worldwide and various subjects and document, related to intelligence. If you don't find it here, it's probably more secret than the NSA. The links are divided into three main groups:

The Strategic Intelligence page covers the intelligence and security organisations from all over the world, documents to strategic intelligence and related laws, reports and journals, terrorism and counter terrorism. It also includes many links to historical documents and subjects.

The Military Intelligence page includes information regarding US military intelligence agencies, military intelligence units, defense intelligence documents and historical references.

The Economic Intelligence section contains links to economic espionage, competitive intelligence, government economic and business intelligence and journals, articles, papers and other documents, related to economic and business intelligence, as well as commercial sites related to intelligence.


mosherubin said...


Kudos for this excellent link. As you say, the Loyola College website leads to a vast collection of web links that will keep me busy for many an evening -- great!

Just skimming the top, I browsed through the Military Intelligence page and already caught two fine fish:

(1) Follow the link to, section "Historical Reference Sites", entry "Funkaufklaerung im 2. Weltkrieg" (translation: Radio Reconnaissance in the 2nd World War). This leads to a picture labelled "Amerikanische Entzifferungsmaschine 'Purple'" (translated: the American enciphering machine 'Purple'). If this is the American analog of the Japanese Purple machine, it is a picture I have never seen before. Can you verify that this is an authentic photo of the American Purple analog?

(2) I've known about The U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association (USNCVA: and their CRYPTOLOG newsletter. I see they offer back issues on CD (searchable PDFs) for $5.00 a CD, making it possible to get all back issues for $45.00. I'm seriously considering it.

I'm sure I'll find more great finds when I dig deeper. Many thanks for the rich link.


Dirk Rijmenants said...

Hi Moshe,

I found the image, and the literal translation of "Entzifferungsmaschine" would be DE-ciphering machine. In this case, the machine to deciphere the Japanese Purple messages. If I recall well, Rear Admiral Showers mentioned in spycast that they deciphered Prurple even before it came on the desk of the Japanese ambassador. I presume they used this machine to do it.

Moshe Rubin said...

Hi Dirk,

Yes, the US Army Signal Corps, under Friedman and Rowlett, broke the Japanese PURPLE diplomatic cipher in 1940 using only cryptanalytical techniques. They build an analog, i.e., double, of the PURPLE machine for deciphering Japanese messages. I have seen pictures of isolated parts of the Purple machine (e.g., the stepping switch banks) but never a full picture of the US PURPLE analog. It would be good if someone could confirm that this photo is indeed the US Purple analog machine.

Regarding, I encountered many "Error 404" (not found) messages. I checked the site for dead links using Sure enough, 240 out of the 700 outgoing links are dead. Just be aware of that as you browse through it.

But there's some good news: you can view dead sites using the Internet Archives site's Wayback Machine ( This will show you the snapshots of the particular site as captured by the Internet Archive. You can find many files referred to on a dead site by searching for it via Google. For example, one dead site refers to "Documentation containing information relating to Unidentified Flying Objects. (UFOs)" and has a link to "ufo1.pdf". Google shows the existence of this file on the FBI site. So all is not lost, all one needs is a lot of patience and researching spirit. :-)

Moshe Rubin said...

Yup, a search on Frode Weierud's CryptoCellar ( shows that he believes it is the US PURPLE analog. Mystery solved. :-)

Moshe Rubin said...

Here's another corroborating photo of the PURPLE analog machine.

Note the woman on the right: she is typing ciphertext into the right-hand typewriter of the US analog.

Dirk Rijmenants said...

Thanks for finding those images. Most interesting, also the articles. I'm sure there's a treasure on information behind the many links on intelligence. Keep me posted! I'll do my best to check out some links too, when time allows me.

By the way, I already know the Internet Archive, and I must admit I was a bit embarrased when I saw my website from five years ago. I hope the visitors agree it is improved over the years :-)

PS; check out my new website fag "Focus", with all previous IOTM's.

All the best,