What is the interaction of factual and fictitious crisis communication? How does this trigger fear and deterrence concepts? To answer these questions, the EU-funded CODE project will study crisis communication from the Cold War to the War on Terror and beyond. It will investigate the chain of operations in politics and discuss how media become political. The project will show how both factual and fictitious channels of communication characterise the Cold War as a conflict determined by actual events and political concepts as well as fictions of nuclear war. Today, in fiction, it is the networked hotline that must protect itself from attacks. In real life, digital diplomacy emerges along with the establishment of new media.