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史上第一宗电信欺诈案

How The First Ever Telecoms Scam Worked

Around the world, big financial companies have spent huge amounts of money
世界各地的大型金融企业已经耗费巨资
setting up private high-frequency trading networks.
建造私有的高速贸易网络
Rather than use public data links,
他们摒弃公用网络
they send stock market news flashing through the air between towers like this.
通过一个个这样的信号塔发送股市信息
Actually, this tower was built for floodlights,
实际上 这座塔最早是用来照明的
but it’s the tallest thing for a long way around,
但是 因为它是周围最高的建筑物
so the trading companies paid to have their antennas put on it.
所以那些贸易公司花钱把他们的天线安在了上面
Getting financial news just a hundredth of a second faster than your competitors
比竞争对手更早百分之一秒获取金融信息
can give an advantage to your company.
可以给你的公司带来优势
Or, rather, it can give an advantage to the computers that make your company’s decisions.
或者说 让你们公司的电脑更快做出决策
Now, this could be an artifact of our weird, 21st-century,
这可能是21世纪狂热资本主义技术竞赛
hyper-capitalist technology race.
所遗留下来的古物
Or it could be part of a tradition that goes back to 18th-century France.
也可能是18世纪的法国的一种传统
It is warm here.
这里真暖和
The optical telegraph sounds a bit ridiculous,
光电报机听起来有点可笑
like one of those things you find in lists of failed Victorian inventions,
就像维多利亚时代的一个失败的发明
or something made up by some steampunk enthusiast.
或者像是被一些蒸汽朋克的爱好者编造的
But for a few decades in the late 18th and early 19th century,
但是在18世纪末到19世纪初的几十年里
semaphore lines were the fastest way of getting information between major cities.
旗语线是大城市之间传递信息的最快方式
There would be a chain of towers, like this one,
它是由一连串高塔形成的 像这个
on hilltop after hilltop after hilltop, each a few miles apart.
它在小山之中绵延不断 每隔几英里就会有一座
An operator at the start of the line would use gears and levers
旗语信号线起点的操作员 使用齿轮和杠杆
to move the semaphore arms into a position to convey the start of a message.
将机械臂移动到某个位置 表示开始发出信息
When they locked in, the next tower along the line would copy them.
当机械臂锁定时 信号线上的下一座塔会复制机械臂的动作
When they’d locked in, the next tower would copy that,
紧接着下一座信号塔又会复制这个动作
and the first tower could start
这时第一座信号塔可以开始
on the next position in the sequence,
做出信号序列中的下一个动作
and so on and so on, all the way down the line.
如此往复 一直传递到信号线的末端
It wasn’t lightspeed, but it was fast.
这虽然不是光速 但还是很快
Britain had a line for the Admiralty, from London to Portsmouth.
英国海军有一条从伦敦到朴茨茅斯的专用信号线路
In Russia, Tsar Nicolas had a line 750 miles long.
在俄罗斯 沙皇尼古拉斯有一条750英里长的信号线路
And this system, here in France, was invented by Claude Chappe,
法国的这个系统是由克劳德·沙浦发明的
and at its peak, it had more than 500 stations like this
在全盛时期 有500多个像这样的基站
across 3,000 miles of France.
横跨法国3000英里的土地
And while it depended a bit on the weather and the operators,
虽然这个系统有点依赖于天气和操作员
on a good day a message could travel at hundreds of kilometres an hour.
但天气好的时候 信息的传播速度是每小时几百公里
There was just one problem for anyone who wanted to use it for profit:
对于想用它来获利的人来说 有一个棘手的问题:
these lines in France were for official government use only.
在法国 这些信号线路只供政府使用
You could not pay to send a message through them.
它不提供付费发送信息服务
But that didn’t stop two French brothers with a plan. Now,
但这并没有阻止法国两个兄弟的计划
Now there are a lot of versions of this story in the English-speaking world.
在英语国家 这个故事有很多不同版本
It’s been copied from author to author,
它在写作者之间传播
from article to article, retold and retold,
在不同的文章里描述 被大家一遍遍复述
until there are a lot of seemingly-reliable English sources,
从而产生了很多看起来可靠的英语资料
all with different details.
但它们描述的细节都不一样
So, I hired a French-speaking researcher,
我雇佣了一名法语研究员
who went to the archives in the city of Tours
他去了图尔市的档案馆
and translated the original documents.
把原文件翻译了过来
Here was how the first telecoms scam worked.
这就是最初的电信诈骗案的运作方式
The Paris stock exchange influenced every other stock exchange in France.
巴黎证券交易所影响着法国的每一个证券交易所
The faster you knew its movements,
你越快知道它的动作
the more money you could make elsewhere in the country.
你就能在法国其他地方赚到越多的钱
So François and Joseph Blanc, down in Bordeaux in the south of France,
因此 法国南部波尔多地区的弗朗索瓦与约瑟夫·布兰科
hired someone up in Paris.
在巴黎雇了一些人
I do like how classy French names sound in English, by the way;
顺便一提 我很喜欢优雅的法国人名在英语里的发音
those names translate as Frank and Joe White. But,
那些名字被翻译成弗兰克和乔·怀特
anyway, François and Joseph Blanc hired someone up in Paris.
总而言之 弗朗索瓦与约瑟夫·布兰科在巴黎雇佣了一些人
If there was a major movement of the Paris Stock Exchange,
如果巴黎证券交易所有什么重大动作
that agent in Paris sent parcels with coded messages
巴黎的代理人就将写有加密信息的包裹
to the telegraph operators in the town of Tours,
发给图尔市的电报操作员
about half way down the telegraph line to Bordeaux.
包裹会发到前往波尔多地区的信号线中途
Those were actually packages of clothes, so they looked innocent,
那些包裹实际上就是一包包衣服 所以看上去很不起眼
but the type and colour of the clothes
但是 衣服的类型和颜色
told those operators what the news was.
让操作员获取到了新闻
And those telegraph operators had also been bribed by the Blanc brothers.
那些电报操作员也已经被布兰克兄弟收买了
Now, there are 96 possible positions of those two telegraph arms.
那两个电报机操作臂有96个可能的位置
So the semaphore operators weren’t sending individual letters or characters. Instead,
电报操作员不会发送单个字母或字符
each pair of two symbols in a row meant a different word or phrase,
每两个连续的符号代表不同的单词或短语
and there were more than 8,000 possible phrases written in a big codebook.
厚厚的密码本中写上了8千多个不同的短语
And the code books were only held by senior officials in the big towns.
密码本只有大城镇的高级官员才有
So if you were just somewhere in the middle of France, like here,
所以 如果你身处法国像这里一样的一个地方
you were just looking at the previous tower and copying it.
你只需要把前一座塔的信号重复发送一遍
You didn’t know what you were sending.
你并不知道发送的是什么内容
But there were a few arm positions that everyone knew,
但是 有一些机械臂位置是每个人都熟悉的
and those were reserved for control signals, like’please wait’,
这些是留给控制信号的 像“请稍等”
or ‘backspace, I messed up the last position’.
或者“退一格 最后一个位置我弄错了”
So now that the operators in Tours
这样 图尔市的操作员们
knew how the stock market had moved,
知道了股市的走势
they added specific, deliberately wrong signals
于是故意加上一些特定的错误信息
and sent those down the line to Bordeaux,
发送给波尔多
then immediately they used the’backspace’ signal to correct them.
然后立即使用“退格”信号来纠正
‘Whoops, sorry, just messed up there.’
“糟糕 对不起 我弄错了”
That wrong signal with the hidden message would still go down the line,
那些隐藏着信息的错误信号仍然随着线路发送了出去
it just wouldn’t show up in the official transcripts.
只是不会出现在官方的记录中
In Bordeaux, at the end of the line,
在线路的终点波尔多
the brothers paid another person to watch the sempahore tower for the mistaken signal,
兄弟俩请了另一个人盯着信号塔 收集错误信号
which gave them the news way ahead of anyone else.
这样他们就比其他人更早知道股市信息
And they used that news to make a spectacular amount of money.
他们使用那些消息赚了很大一笔钱
Now that does seem a bit overcomplicated,
这看起来很复杂
but the brothers couldn’t use the telegraph
他们兄弟俩无法一直这样
to send the signal all the way from Paris down to Bordeaux,
用电报机将信号从巴黎一路送往波尔多
because in Tours, half way down,
因为在线路中途的信号塔里
there was a telegraph manager who would check the signal,
有一位电报管理员会检查信号
and decode it to make sure it still made sense.
并解码信号 确保信号合理无误
The mistake and correction would be removed there.
在那里 错误信号和纠正信号会被删除
The scam worked for two years,
这个骗局持续了两年时间
until people started to get really suspicious about their success.
直到人们开始怀疑他们的成功
And one of the telegraph employees who had been bribed confessed on his deathbed,
其中一个被贿赂的电报员工在他弥留之际承认涉事
either to ease his soul or to recruit a replacement.
不知是要解脱他的灵魂 还是为了请人代替他
Everyone involved – everyone involved who was still alive, at least – was arrested.
最后 所有还活着的涉事者都被捕了
The Blanc brothers were found guilty of bribery,
布兰克兄弟被判行贿罪
and the telegraph operators were found guilty of receiving bribes,
电报操作员被判有受贿罪
but there wasn’t actually any law about misusing the telegraph system,
但是 由于当时没有关于滥用电报系统的法律
so the brothers were just ordered to pay the costs of the trial and nothing else.
所以兄弟俩只是被令支付诉讼费用而已
They got away with the money.
他们携款逃走
And the French government, very soon after, approved new laws
很快 法国政府就通过了新法律
that not only banned private signals on these lines,
不仅禁止在这些线路上发送私人信号
but banned the idea of private semaphore networks altogether.
而且禁止使用私有信号网络
You couldn’t even build your own.
你甚至不能自己修建信号塔
These weren’t lightspeed, high-frequency trading network microwave towers.
这些不是光速的高频贸易网络微波信号塔
But even now, when it comes to the stock market,
但是即使是现在 对于股市来说
time is money.
时间就是金钱
The Blanc brothers were a good century and a half ahead of their time.
布兰克兄弟比他们的时代超前了一个半世纪
Thank you to Victoria Harrison who
非常感谢维多利亚·哈里森
spent a lot of time in the archives researching and translating sources;
她在文档的研究和翻译上花了很多时间
any errors in retelling are mine and not hers.
在复述上的任何错误都属于我个人 跟她无关
Pull down the description to see some of the original documents that we worked from.
我们所参考的文件正本都在简介中

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视频概述

18世纪末19世纪初电信欺诈案的真相

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

cxh

审核员

审核员B

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPeVsniB7b0

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