Codes and Ciphers

Codes and ciphers are forms of cryptography, a term from the Greek kryptos, hidden, and graphia, writing. Both transform legible messages into series of symbols that are intelligible only to specific recipients.

Codes, Fast and Scalable Scientific Computation

A code is a system for concealing a message by replacing words or phrases with symbols. Codes are used on computers for a number of purposes relevant to espionage and security, among them the development of large-scale scientific simulations.


COINTELPRO (for Counter Intelligence Program) was a set of programs commenced by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1956 and officially terminated in 1971. COINTELPRO included programs variously named Espionage COINTELPRO; New Left COINTELPRO; Disruption of White Hate Groups (targeting the Ku Klux Klan); Communist Party, USA COINTELPRO; Black Extremists COINTELPRO; and the Socialist Workers' Party Disruption Program.

Cold War (1945–1950), the Start of the Atomic Age

The Cold War was an ideological, political, economic, and military conflict between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.), which began in the aftermath of World War II and ended in 1989. From the outset, the Cold War was inextricably linked with the development of the atomic bomb and its use as a military deterrent.

Cold War (1950–1972)

The Cold War, a contest between antithetical ideologies, democratic capitalism and Soviet socialism, emerged shortly after World War II and dominated global politics for the latter half of the twentieth century. Its origins, however, go back to the late nineteenth century when the United States decried Russia's colonial claims on the Manchurian region of China.

Cold War (1972–1989): the Collapse of the Soviet Union

By the early 1970s, the Soviet Union was at the peak of its power. The Communist Party remained the sole political force in the Soviet Union, but decades of post-Stalinist economic reforms left the Soviet empire with a seemingly robust economy and an increased standard of living for Soviet citizens.

Colombia, Intelligence and Security

Colombia emerged as an independent nation in 1830, following the collapse of Spanish rule in the region, then known as Gran Colombia. Large-landowning and military interests alternately dominated the nation's politics, causing long-standing political tension.

Colossus I

Colossus I was the world's first programmable computer. Colossus I was created during World War II by the British to speed up the decryption of German messages encoded by the Lorenz Schlüsselzusatz (SZ) 40 and 42 machines.

COMINT (Communications Intelligence)

COMINT or communications intelligence is intelligence gained through the interception of foreign communications, excluding open radio and television broadcasts. It is a subset of signals intelligence, or SIGINT, with the latter being understood as comprising COMINT and ELINT, electronic intelligence derived from non-communication electronic signals such as radar.

Commerce Department Intelligence and Security Responsibilities, United States

In addition to promoting trade and industry, the United States Department of Commerce (DOC), through it various bureaus, conducts the census, maintains standards of weights and measures, and monitors the oceans and atmosphere. The department has a number of intelligence and security functions, ranging from protecting computers against hackers to overseeing exports of suspicious transfers to hostile nations.

Commission on Civil Rights, United States

Established under the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the United States Commission on Civil Rights serves in an investigative, fact-finding role with regard to allegations of discrimination or denial of equal protection under the laws. The commission, as it is known, has no enforcement powers, but works closely with the federal, state, and local agencies that have powers of enforcement.

Communicable Diseases, Isolation, and Quarantine

Isolation and quarantine remain potent tools in the modern public health arsenal. Both procedures seek to control exposure to infected individuals or materials.

Communications System, United States National

The United States National Communications System (NCS) brings together representatives of numerous government departments, using a wide variety of technologies, to provide a single, integrated communications network in the interests of national security. Created in 1962, when Cold War tensions highlighted the need for reliable intraand international communication, NCS underwent significant changes in 1984, but its core mission—to provide for the communication needs of the president and the national security apparatus—has not altered significantly.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) is an international agreement designed to end the testing of nuclear explosives. As of March, 2003, the United States is one of the 166 states that have signed the treaty, but the CTBT will only "enter into force" (i.e., take on the force of law for all ratifying states) when 44 "nuclear-capable" countries specifically listed in the treaty have all ratified the treaty.

Computer and Electronic Data Destruction

Computers are often the repository of an astounding amount of information. Even in a stand-alone computer that is not linked to the Internet, millions of conventional pages of text and images can be stored in the hard drive and on peripherals, such as a floppy disk or on a compact disk (CD).

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986

The United States Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 served to define criminal fraud and abuse for computer crimes on the federal level. The act specified a misdemeanor crime for the trafficking and misuse of passwords, and two felony offenses for unauthorized access to federal information systems and private computers deemed to have a "federal interest." The act removed several legal ambiguities that surrounded computer information theft, such as the lack of specific legislation mentioning computers and the slightness of legal precedence in such cases.

Computer Hackers

Computer hackers are people who gain remote access (typically unauthorized and unapproved) to files stored in another computer, or even to the operating system of the computer. In the 1950 and 1960s, hackers were motivated more by a desire to learn the operating characteristics of a computer than by any malicious intent.

Computer Hardware Security

A phenomenal amount of information now resides on computers. Individual computers as well as computers that communicate with each other in geographically-restricted local networks as well as globally, via the Internet, contain billions of pages of text, graphics, and other sources of information.

Computer Keystroke Recorder

A computer keystroke recorder, as its name suggests, is simply a device for sequentially recording all the keys pressed on a computer keyboard. Keystroke recorders are available commercially, but much more sophisticated devices are used by government agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Computer Modeling

Modeling, in the technical use of the term, refers to the translation of objects or phenomena from the real world into mathematical equations. Computer modeling is the representation of three-dimensional objects on a computer, using some form of software designed for the purpose.

Computer Security Act (1987)

The Computer Security Act of 1987 is the first major United States government effort to legislate protection and defense for unclassified information in governmentrelated computer systems. The act mandates the National Bureau of Standards to develop and implement procedures that improve the security and privacy of sensitive material and creates a means for establishing minimum acceptable security practices.

Computer Software Security

Computer software security refers to the use of software to prevent damage to computer files, programs, and operating systems, as well as to monitor a personal computer (PC) or laptop for theft.

Computer Virus

A computer virus is a program or segment of executable computer code that is designed to reproduce itself in computer memory and, sometimes, to damage data. Viruses are generally short programs; they may either stand-alone or be embedded in larger bodies of code.

Concealment Devices

The need for concealment strikes at the heart of intelligence and covert operations work, as well as a number of military activities. Concealment devices have been used to disguise film, documents, and other items containing intelligence material, which of necessity must be transported from a dangerous location—in or around the spot where they were gathered—to a safe haven, namely the intelligence bureau that commissioned the activity.

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), United States

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal agency designed to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products. Congress established the commission in 1972, as part of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)

Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) also operates as, or is known as, the Continuity Army Council.

Continuity of Government, United States

The Continuity of Government (COG) program ensures the survival of essential federal government leaders and agencies in the event of a severe crisis. Created at the height of 1960s public and government concern about the possibility of nuclear warfare, COG provides a network of disaster relief, emergency assistance, law enforcement, and information services to the general citizenry of the United States.

Continuous Assisted Performance (CAP)

In order to extend the physical capabilities of soldiers and the mental acuity of pilots and other operators of technical equipment, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsors research into continuous assisted performance (CAP) technology and pharmacology.

Coordinator for Counterterrorism, United States Office

The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism is a section of the United States Department of State charged with coordinating efforts to improve cooperation between the U.S. government and its foreign counterparts in battling terrorism.

Copyright Security

The term copyright security refers to the protection of, and measures taken to prevent the unauthorized duplication of, copyrighted materials. With the increasing digitization and computerization of society, efforts aimed at maintaining and protecting copyright security have likewise become increasingly high-tech.