Black room

Black room

__NOTOC__While a black room or black chamber is often now used to refer to any place or organisation dedicated to code-breaking, its more exact meaning is a secret room in a post office, and, later and by extension, a telecommunications center used by state officials to conduct clandestine interception and surveillance of communications. [ Black Chamber at espionageinfo] ] Typically all letters or communications would pass through the black room before being passed to the recipient.

This practice had been in vogue since the establishment of posts, and was frequently used in France by the ministers of Louis XIII and his followers as Cabinet noir (French for "black room").

In a modern American Network Operations Centers, optical splitters divert a percentage of the laser light from all incoming and outgoing fiber-optic cables to the secret room. [ AT&T’s Implementation of NSA Spying on American Citizens] (PDF)] An example is Room 641A in the SBC Communications building in San Francisco. Activities in a black room do not fall under the concept of lawful interception, as all data is intercepted and no court order will be obtained for its interception as it is at least arguably an extralegal procedure.Fact|date=February 2007

ee also

* Cabinet noir
* Secrecy of correspondence
* Black site
* Postal censorship



External links

* [ Back when spies played by the rules] by David Kahn, originally published in the New York Times - a history of black chambers
* [ AT&T Whistle-Blower's Evidence]
* [ Discussion of cabinets noirs and Napoleon]

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