"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
There are several mentions of message cylinders in the Dune novels. The idea is that these metal cylinders are locked; the message tape itself typically corrodes quickly and becomes unreadable when exposed to air.
This does not seem to be one of the more highly developed technologies - many times, they are described has having been captured and read by the enemy.
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