Technological advancements and intelligence have revolutionized the workings of modern military and other intelligence organizations. Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) has contributed immensely to these progressive developments. In this article, we’ll discuss how SIGINT works for various organizations.
SIGINT entails the interception of signals in a bid to gather intelligence. Each intelligence agency that deploys SIGINT needs a signal decoder. Here are the three SIGINT categories;
Communications Intelligence (COMINT)
This is all about the interception of communication between people, agencies, or groups.
Electronic Intelligence (ELINT)
While electronic signals are used for communications, some are not. Electronic intelligence is mainly used those electronic signals that aren’t used for communication purposes.
Foreign Instrumentation Signals Intelligence (FISINT)
Organizations that develop various weapons need to test them. FISINT focuses on intercepting electronic emissions from such tests.
History of SIGNIT
SIGNIT isn’t a recent phenomenon. It’s been there since the First World War. As the wars were being fought, the British had SIGINT systems in place, which helped to intercepts signals coming from German radios. This is how cryptography, which is a technique of hiding the contents of transmissions from radios, was born. For this reason, cryptanalysis was integrated into SIGINT.
AS of today, strong world militaries deploy unmanned aerial vehicles to gather and decode signals. An excellent example of these UAVs includes Reaper Drones and Global Hawks. These are powerful gadgets with built-in cameras and red infrared sensors.
Modern SIGINT has made massive strides. For instance, the NSA can intercept data such as text messages, emails, phone calls, and so on. What’s more, these can be done in real-time.
Intelligence officers have to interpret this information and use it to make strategic decisions.
Applications of SIGINT
SIGINT has many uses, including monitoring and intercepting communications signals from suspicious people, groups, or agencies. Such information is important in stopping criminal activities. Mostly, this is for warfare or investigations.
Also, SIGINT plays an integral in deciphering encrypted signals. Agencies rely on cryptanalysis to understand what one group or individual is saying to the other in encrypted messages. Analysts undergo rigorous training to read such communications and uncover the message conveyed. They require various advanced equipment to get their jobs done.