Jamming and the Law of International Communications

The Soviet Union began to jam Western radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union in 1948. Jamming has continued to be a problem since then, though not a constant one; over the years, the level of jamming has varied in relation to East-West tensions but more particularly in consonance with internal and external crises. As the post-war international debate concerned with virtually all aspects of modem communications has evolved, jamming has become one focus of the free flow of information- national sovereignty debate. Though seldom completely effective, jamming is a sufficiently large-scale and controversial practice to warrant international attention today, as the resumption of jamming by the Soviet Union in 1980 demonstrates.