Maxwell Smart’s Cone Of Silence Is Real! How SCIFs Compare To The TV Show

From 1965 until 1970, there was a popular spy-themed show on TV. It was about a bungling spy by the name of Maxwell Smart, working for a covert organization in the U.S. Many of his spy gadgets were cheeky and somewhat ridiculous, but apparently, the concepts were not so bad that the real U.S. government agencies were not reluctant to copy them.

His spy car was certainly loaded with devices that are quite common today; a computer and computer screen, a car phone, etc.. Probably the most memorable and most hilarious of all devices on the show was the "cone of silence." What is most interesting about this is that the U.S. government has adopted such a similar device for keeping top secret information, well, top secret. It is called a SCIF, and here is how it compares to the "cone of silence."

What a SCIF Is

A SCIF is a Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility. While that is the name given to a location where this exists, the true nature of such a place includes a room where only the President and military officials with high-ranking clearance are allowed to enter. The purpose of such a room is to isolate certain people from any and all prying eyes, ears, and tactical forces that would attempt to uncover what is being discussed in that room, while simultaneously providing top secret information to individuals in that room. 

How It Is Similar to a Cone of Silence

In the TV show, the cones of silence were lowered to over the characters' heads to protect sensitive, top secret information. The characters were free to discuss the information because the cones silenced out the rest of the world while the cones were in use. The SCIF is like that, except it does not involve transparent cones going over people's heads.

It is just a sound-proof room where everyone present has to pick up their phone line that has been secured and cleared for information transmission. Each person gets his/her phone, and the information is relayed separately so that absolutely no one in the room utters a word and no one hears what everyone else in the room hears.

How It Is Not Like the TV Show

Even though all the top priority people are sitting in one sound-proof room, none of them speak. None of them hear the same information on their phone lines, which are all landlines and not cell phones. When the meeting, or briefing, is over, everyone knows exactly what the situation is and what their role is. No one mentions a thing to anyone else in the room because it is a matter of national security. It is taken very seriously.

To learn more, contact a company like Allegiance Security Integration.