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Did the NSA really use Twitter to send coded messages to a Russian?


On June 20 last year, the official Twitter account for the US National Security Agency (NSA) issued the following innocent-looking tweet:

Samuel Morse patented the telegraph 177 years ago. Did you know you can still send telegrams? Faster than post & pay only if it’s delivered.

On August 17, the same theme was taken up again:

The 1st telegraph communications exchange occurred between Queen Victoria and President Buchanan in 1858.

At the time, only a handful of people responded to either message. The tweets might have rested in obscurity indefinitely had the New York Times and The Intercept not alleged last weekend that the messages had an extraordinary purpose unconnected to remarking on telegraphic history. Explains The Intercept:

Each tweet looked completely benign but was in fact a message to the Russians.

As part of a sequence of 12, the tweets are now claimed to be a coded back-channel used to communicate with a Russian who was negotiating to sell to the NSA a...(continued)

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