Cover: On Distributed Communications:

On Distributed Communications:

IX. Security, Secrecy, and Tamper-Free Considerations

Published 1964

by Paul Baran


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One in a series of eleven Memoranda detailing the Distributed Adaptive Message Block Network, a proposed digital data communications system based on a distributed network concept. It considers the security aspects of such a system, in which secrecy is of great importance. Present security concepts are based on an implied assumption that any "cleared" person must be trusted and that any "uncleared" person is a potential spy. Further, information is either classified or not. From time to time one wonders if these binary attitudes are really a valid basis on which to predicate a military communications systems. This Memorandum, in which the underlying concepts and resulting safeguards to be built into the network are described, is written on the basis of fully anticipating the existance of spies within our ostensibly secure communications secrecy protection structure; hence, our primary interest is in raising the price of espied information to an excessive level.

This research is sponsored by the United States Air Force under Project RAND-Contract No. AF 49(638)-700 monitored by the Directorate of Development Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Hq USAF.

This report is part of the RAND research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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