Just when everyone got used to hearing Firedrake, China's most well known music used to maliciously interfere with foreign broadcasters, the world has been hearing THIS! The recording was made on
The sound you hear in the recording resembles one of several digital communication modes that can be heard across the high frequency bands from 160meters (1800Khz) to about 10meters (28500Khz) and usually in SSB (Single Side-Band) mode. What you are hearing is someone knowingly, willfully, and maliciously interfering with international broadcast services.
At first, it seemed as though the BBC was the only victim of this nasty behavior, but the VOA (Voice of America) has also been a target of a well organized and well-resourced country. The guess at this time, given the timing of these instances of interference is that the malicious radio interference is originating from China.
"The BBC said that while it is not possible to know who is doing the
jamming, "the extensive and co-ordinated efforts are indicative of a
well-resourced country such as China." says an article at VOA's website. The BBC is incorrect that there is no way to know who is performing the illegal and malicious broadcast interference. Triangulation and other RF Direction Finding techniques are available. There has been no news about if the BBC and / or the VOA are seeking such remedies.
Consistent with the recordings out here of the now famous malicious interference which has affected just about every part of the world on the shortwave bands, VOA says this:
"At VOA headquarters in Washington, engineers say that while the agency's
Chinese-language broadcasts are routinely jammed in China, its English
broadcasts usually are not. They noticed the jamming of the English
programs about a month ago and say it appears to use a new technology."
The technology being used is not new, but is a combination of digital modes based on something similar to RTTY and possibly SSTV. Shortwave America is making efforts to identify this mode and how it was written in an attempt to decode it to see if there is anything such as a message or other identifiers being sent in the data stream. Even if there are only zeros and ones being carried, it tells us something about who wrote this digital mode, what their mindset was, what their technical abilities are, and might even tell us about the sort of equipment being used. Just like when police use ballistics to test bullets, we in the communications circles can do a sort of analysis of these signals to identify specific characteristics of it.
This specific digital mode is definitely military in nature because of the wobbly weebly sound that is heard in the recordings. If you scan across the HF bands in any mode, you can hear a digital mode that has nothing but THAT "wobbly weebly" make up to it. It's simply a shifting of tones which is a variance of phase shift keying with data attached to it. Now, listening further, you can hear what almost sounds like a characteristic of what we have known for decades as the "Russian Buzzer"; only it's in a fast high pitch that comes in bursts of sound in a 1-2-3 beat pattern.
All of these details of the mode being used would tend to indicate someone who has knowledge of radio technical arts specific to digital, data, ciphers, code writing and decoding, transmitter and antenna capabilities in high-power environments, antenna radiation patterns, signal propagation, and communications warfare. The offender is going to be a male between 30 and 50 years old, has a background in high level government communications with military experience, holds a certification or license for radio work, likely has an electronics degree or holds advanced mathematics understanding whether documented by an educational institution or not.
The offender is operating voluntarily as opposed to being under duress due to the sort of time and concentration needed to create and then pre-record the digital product. Those affected should know that this is going to be someone of either an Asian or Middle-Eastern culture who holds communist or other extreme beliefs. It appears to be a fact that whoever is performing this interference is someone specifically assigned to run the sound on a repeating loop until the program being interfered with is over, or someone who is actively sitting by a receiver and operating the signal direct from a single site.
Since China has recently had a change in administration, it would make sense if this is someone wanting to show the higher leadership that they have foreign broadcasting under control, someone who wants to project a favorable image to higher leadership. This would be consistent with comments made on certain internet sites who carried the story of the targeted BBC/VOA interference to programs directed to the East and Southeast regions. The comments are pro-Chinese Government, communist in nature / tone, and openly sympathizes with such. This observation of comments and comment posting behavior at these websites was made by retired RNW member, Andy Sennitt.
According to Keith Perron at PCJ Radio:
Shortwave America has learned from PCJ that the Chinese Government employs upwards of 300,000 special agents who do nothing but internet police work aimed at censoring web based communications and creating propaganda. This includes posting their propaganda on internet sites, and comments sections of internet sites with phony accounts.
More information from PCJ says that Sina Weibo has had postings that reveal english broadcasts that were free from interference along with the frequencies and times.
Additionally, an anonymous source inside China says word has gotten around that there is indeed an uncomfirmed order to
BBC Statement regarding interference to BBC World Service Broadcasts
BBC China Crew Detained By Chinese Military After Filming Cyber-Warfare Headquarters
Shortwave America will have more on the renewed Chinese war against foreign communications as it develops.