Monday, August 22, 2016


It's a matter of days before the law will attempt to prevent UK citizens watching live tv or BBCiPlayer recordings on any sort of device without a TV Licence.

Former BBC new media guru James Cridland has attempted to explore further how the BBC might know when you're being naughty, but sadly has written his piece without reference to the process known as "Van Eck Phreaking".

Dutch computer scientist Wim Van Eck worked with the BBC in 1985, and produced a paper showing that video screens produce radio frequency electro-magnetic radiation which can be 'eavesdropped' from several hundred metres, and reproduced on another screen. Even the BBC reported on the phenomenon, on Tomorrow's World.

Old hat ? Preventable now by astute use of tin foil ?  Well, the experiment was repeated in 2006 by a scientist working on computer security at Cambridge University - in the middle of the CeBIT 2006 in Hanover. In the middle of the world's biggest computer exhibition, he picked out one pc amongst hundreds, and reproduced a powerpoint from that (Russian) screen.

Now we need to know if Van Eck phreaking can pick up screens on smartphones and tablets.

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