Thermal Imaging Decision Applicable to TEMPEST?

John Young jya at
Tue Jun 12 11:57:34 EDT 2001

The Supreme Court's decision against thermal imaging appears 
to be applicable to TEMPEST emissions from electronic devices.
And is it not a first against this most threatening vulnerability
in the digital age? And long overdue.

Remote acquisition of electronic emissions, say from outside a 
home, are not currently prohibited by law as far as I know. And
the language of the thermal imaging decision makes it applicable
to any technology not commonly in use.

Conventional wisdom of security wizards are that the emissions
are very difficult to acquire from more than a hundred yards or
so, but James Bamford claims in his recent "Body of Secrets" that
NSA was able to acquire leaky emissions from Russian crypto 
equipment 6 miles offshore Cuba in the 1960s. Advances in 
technology would presumbably increase that capability.

The Cryptography Mailing List
Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to majordomo at

More information about the cryptography mailing list