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  Library Treaties USA-USSR Agreement Direct Communications Link, July 17, 1984

Agreement Between the United States of America and the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to Expand the US-USSR Direct Communications Link, TIAS 11428

Signed at Washington July 17, 1984
Entered into force July 17, 1984

The Department of State, referring to the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics regarding the Establishment of a Direct Communications Link, signed June 20, 1963; to the Agreement on Measures to Improve the Direct Communications Link, signed September 30, 1971; and to the exchange of views between the two parties in Moscow and Washington during which it was deemed desirable to arrange for facsimile communication in addition to the current teletype Direct Communications

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History: The Cold War

Link, proposes that for this purpose the parties shall:

1. Establish and maintain three transmission links employing INTELSAT and STATSIONAR satellites and cable technology with secure orderwire circuit for operational monitoring. In this regard:

    • (a) Each party shall provide communications circuits capable of simultaneously transmitting and receiving 4800 bits per second.
    • (b) Operation of facsimile communication shall begin with the test operation over the INTELSAT satellite channel as soon as development, procurement and delivery of the necessary equipment by the sides are completed.
    • (c) Facsimile communication via STATSIONAR shall be established after transition of the Direct Communications Link teletype circuit from MOLNIYA to STATSIONAR using mutually agreeable transition procedures and after successful tests of facsimile communication via INTELSAT and cable.

2. Employ agreed-upon information security devices to assure secure transmission of facsimile materials. In this regard:

    • (a) The information security devices shall consist of microprocessors that will combine the digital facsimile output with buffered random data read from standard 5 inch floppy disks. The American side shall provide a specification describing the key data format and necessary keying material resident on a floppy disk for both parties until such time as the Soviet side develops this capability. Beyond that time, each party shall provide necessary keying material to the other.
    • (b) The American side shall provide to the Soviet side the floppy disk drives integral to the operation of the microprocessor.
    • (c) The necessary security devices as well as spare parts for the said equipment shall be provided by the American side to the Soviet side in return for payment of costs thereof by the Soviet side.

3. Establish and maintain at each operating end of the Direct Communications Link facsimile terminals of the same make and model. In this regard:

    • (a) Each party shall be responsible for the acquisition, installation, operation and maintenance of its own facsimile machines, the related information security devices, and local transmission circuits appropriate to the implementation of this understanding, except as otherwise specified.
    • (b) A Group III facsimile unit which meets CCITT Recommendations T.4 and T.30 and operates at 4800 bits per second shall be used for this purpose.
    • (c) The necessary facsimile equipment as well as spare parts for the said equipment shall be provided to the Soviet side by the American side in return for payment of costs thereof by the Soviet side.

4. Establish and maintain secure orderwire communications necessary for coordination of facsimile operation. In this regard:

    • (a) The orderwire terminals used with the information security devices described in Paragraph 2(a) shall incorporate standard USSR Cyrillic and United States Latin keyboards and cathode ray tube displays to permit telegraphic exchange of information between operators. The specific layout of the Cyrillic keyboard shall be as specified by the Soviet side.
    • (b) To coordinate the work of the facsimile equipment operators, an orderwire shall be configured so as to permit, prior to the transmission and reception of facsimile messages, the exchange of all information pertinent to the coordination of such messages.
    • (c) Orderwire messages concerning facsimile transmissions shall be encoded using the same information security devices specified in Paragraph 2(a).
    • (d) The orderwire shall use the same modem and communications link as used for facsimile transmission.
    • (e) A printer shall be included to provide a record copy of all information exchanged on the orderwire.
    • (f) The necessary orderwire equipment as well as spare parts for the said equipment shall be provided by the American side to the Soviet side, in return for payment of costs thereof by the Soviet side.

5. Ensure the exchange of information necessary for the operation and maintenance of the facsimile system.

6. Take all possible measures to assure the continuous, secure and reliable operation of the facsimile equipment, information security devices and communications links including orderwire, for which each party is responsible in accordance with this agreement.

The Department of State also proposes that the parties, in consideration of the continuing advances in information and communications technology, conduct reviews as necessary regarding questions concerning improvement of the Direct Communications Link and its technical maintenance.

It is also proposed to note that the Memorandum of Understanding between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics regarding the Establishment of a Direct Communications Link, signed on June 20, 1963, with the Annex thereto; the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics on Measures to Improve the Direct Communications Link, with the Annex thereto, signed on September 30, 1971; those Understandings, with Attached Annexes, reached between the United States and Union of Soviet Republics, Shall constitute an agreement, effective on the date of the Embassy's reply.

Kenneth W. Dean
Department of State,
Washington, July 17, 1984

1 Note : Soviet Charge d' affaires Isakov initialed the Soviet diplomatic note and the notes were exchanged on July 17, 1984.