Especially if it is a telegraph. It reminds me of a story set in Russia probably before 1940. The operator was intentionally trying to prevent someone from being sent to Siberia. So he changed the telegraphed orders from, "Pardon impossible, to send to Siberia." to "Pardon, impossible to send to Siberia.". Or something to that effect.
I just found a story on snopes that was probably it next to the last paragraphs http://www.snopes.com/language/mistakes/noprice.asp. My details were on slightly off but that was how I was told the story.