I remember reading a number of years ago that the NRO/NSA was the largest consumer of magnetic tape, utilized for pre-detection recordings of various spans of spectrum, all over the world.
I’m wondering if those tapes become declassified at some point, and if they are available through FOIA requests. Were they just bulk erased, destroyed or sold at GSA auction along the way.
Do you know if anyone has ever queried into their existence, and if they have been electronically preserved to some other digital medium?
The idea that our government records huge chunks of spectrum, fuels thoughts in my mind of huge spans of non-classified spectrum from across the years. All the DX shortwave outlets captured for posterity.
Thank you for sharing this note, Chip.
Of course, I’ve always been interested in adding recordings like this to the Radio Spectrum Archive. If these recordings exist, I would love to see them added to the Internet Archive–who stores Radio Spectrum Archive recordings– so that they could be shared and enjoyed by all.
Post readers: If you have any information on this, please comment!