WW2(?) steganography

Peter Fairbrother peter.fairbrother at ntlworld.com
Thu Apr 4 08:23:39 EST 2002

Just been reading "Garbo - the spy who saved D-day", which is an MI5 account
released by the  UK public records office of the Garbo case (the Germans
thought Garbo, a Spaniard real name Juan Pujol, ran a ring of spies in
Britain and was one of their best agents - in fact Garbo was a double agent,
and there were no spies, just a lot of MI5 officers).

They communicated largely by using secret inks in letters to Spain/Portugal,
and the book gives some tales of inks and developers, "striping", which is a
technique whereby the censor applies a stripe of reagent to test for
invisible inks - but the striping can be detected from examining innocent
mail, so you use better secret inks - or you stripe with ineffective
developers - and so on, in a maze of deception and double-cross.

The interesting thing is that, even though the report, written in 1945, has
now been released, the only things redacted (so far - I'm half way through)
are the names of the inks and developers...

-- Peter Fairbrother

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