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NATO Psyops Broadcast Over Libya Caught by Amateur Eavesdropper

EC-130 Commando Solo
It used to be that spying on military aircraft required the sort of technology and training that only a government-backed espionage outfit could manage. Those days are long gone. Now, with a few hundred dollars' worth of radio gear and a little Web savvy, a private citizen can gather a surprising amount of information about supposedly secret government and military operations. Dutch radio enthusiast and digital forensics specialist "Huub" (also known as "BlackBox" and @FMCNL on Twitter) snagged a rather interesting recording of a Commando Solo psyops plane flying over Libya, broadcasting a not-so-subtle threat to Libyan ships in the harbor: "If you attempt to leave port, you will be attacked and destroyed immediately."

The broadcast from the radio-happy EC-130 was just part of Huub's discoveries. He was also able to identify the call signs and tail numbers of numerous NATO craft, and even track their movements. Huub relies on a number of sources for his information, including broadcasts from air traffic control and NATO itself. But there is also a fair amount of data-mining and trickery involved in pinpointing transponder data and eavesdropping on secret transmissions.

Some are concerned that Huub's decision to share NATO military movements could be endangering pilots and others taking part in Operation Odyssey Dawn. Then again, if this crafty Dutchman could gather this intelligence with some equipment purchased from Radio Shack, we're sure the Libyan government and military would have no problem tracking the flights on its own.

Tags: blackbox, CommandoSolo, fmcnl, huub, libya, military, nato, OperationOdysseyDawn, politics, psyops, spy, top