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modern analog of the classic Moscow - Washington hotline

There is interest around the world in security of nuclear crisis communications, a hotline that could be used by national leaders to avoid misunderstandings that lead to war.

The files here are a proof-of-concept exploration of just how small we can make such a system. This is still a long way from a product ready for real-world use, but does contain working code that has actually exchanged a few messages. It is mainly intended to provide a basis for discussing possible approaches to then be more professionally created by an international technical team.

  • hotline cryptography.pdf - puck-to-puck protocol
  • hotline networking.pdf - puck-to-ROCCS protocol
  • puck.go - end device message handling
  • puckfs.go - network app for puck and ROCCS
  • ascon.go - lightweight crypto for puckfs.go

Our project includes both a technology effort to build a crisis communication system and a diplomatic effort to deploy it to reduce the chance of accidental nuclear war. We believe CATALINK should be strictly reserved for use by National Command Authorities at the level of leader of government and official backup leaders in any chain of succession. There are many layers of authority in any nuclear armed state, but in times of crisis any uncertainty about who speaks authoritatively for the country would undermine and negate the entire concept. Indeed, it is extremely unlikely that nuclear armed states would agree to the necessary key exchanges to make the system work unless it was so restricted.

That said, the software and hardware and network designs included in this repository are published under the extremely permissive 0BSD license, which allows anyone to use this material for any purpose. You may even create a company based on it and not pay us any royalties or get any permission. We hope you won't use it for any nefarious purpose---and given the key distribution method you would be well advised not to if you are trying to avoid attention from law enforcement---but the choice is yours. Without the keys created by, and shared between, the nuclear national command authorities, systems based on the designs could not be connected to CATALINK."


modern analog of the classic Moscow - Washington hotline







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