Wow… it seems that hacking, and hacker pranks, got their start well before the first computers were created.
I can’t imagine how Marconi could have thought any clear-text wireless signal was secure against eavesdroppers. Even if his patented tuning system worked to keep the signal on a very narrow band, all it would take to listen in to it would be someone else creating one and scanning the airwaves — something that could easily be done by any eight-year-old with a radio experimentation kit today, and which I doubt would have been that much harder to do even without pre-made components. And if it was patented, the schematics for it would have to be available, if the patent system was anything like today’s.
But then, I can’t see a security system without trying to figure out its flaws. Maybe Marconi really couldn’t imagine such a thing.
(Via Schneier on Security)