The Fact Behind the US-Russia 'Purple Telephone' Fable

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New tensions between the USA and Russia have resurfaced an previous fable concerning the Chilly Struggle foes' emergency communications hyperlink, referred to as the "Purple Telephone."

However it isn't a telephone. It by no means has been.

That false picture, perpetuated in widespread tradition ("Dr. Strangelove," "Fail Safe,") and marketing campaign advertisements ("3 a.m.") masks a much less evocative actuality: safe teletypes, faxes and pc hyperlinks transmitting encrypted textual content messages between the Kremlin and Pentagon.

Image: DR. STRANGELOVE,  Peter Sellers

Peter Sellers, enjoying President Muffley, talks on the telephone wit his Soviet counterpart in a scene from 1964's Dr. Strangelove.