The study of a collision between the U.S. Navy and the Federal Communications Commission during World War II reveals a complex story about the boundaries between civilian and military agencies, the role of the regulatory state in wartime, and the challenges of balancing the nation’s privately held international communications capabilities against the government’s wartime requirements across the boundaries from peace to crisis to war. Unresolved during World War II, the collision laid bare questions that continue to challenge policy makers concerned with protection of information networks in the present era.