1 of 2
1
Queen’s Electric Teapot ‘Bugged’
Posted: 27 November 2008 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5147
Joined  2005-01-27

An electric teapot given to the Queen as a present by Russia has reportedly been removed from Balmoral as a possible security threat.

The samovar was identified as a potential bugging device following a recent sweep by the security services.

The ornate red and yellow urn was presented to the Queen by a Russian aerobatics team about 20 years ago, at the tail end of the Soviet era.

It reportedly became a favourite of the Queen Mother, who put it in a corner of a room in the Aberdeenshire estate and apparently showed it off to visitors.

Security services apparently suspected that the complicated eastern European wiring could have concealed a listening device.

If true, the teapot could have listened in to the Queen’s conversations with prime ministers, world leaders and members of her family.

One retainer told the Daily Express: “The samovar was always a bit of an enigma. No one could work out what the Russians thought we were going to do with it.

“The wiring looked as if it came from a Second World War tank and it was not exactly pretty.

“No one ever considered it a security risk until a recent sweep by these spooks with their electronic devices. They swept everywhere imaginable, public and private rooms, and the first thing to go was the samovar.”

During the Cold War, Western countries and their Eastern Bloc enemies went to great lengths to bug each other and to uncover each other’s listening devices.

In his controversial 1987 book Spycatcher, former MI5 assistant director Peter Wright described his part in bugging the embassies of Britain’s foes - such as the Soviet Union and Egypt - and allies, including France.

One plan devised by MI5 apparently involved offering the Soviet ambassador to London the gift of a paperweight - which would secretly act as a radio transmitter.

The paperweight would have been a small model of the Kremlin as spooks thought the ambassador would be more likely to put it on his desk if it was considered ideologically sound and also reminded him of home.

Meanwhile, a former US Navy intelligence officer has claimed that America snooped on the private life of former prime minister Tony Blair.

David Murfee Faulk told an ABC News investigation that Mr Blair - President George Bush’s chief ally in the so-called War on Terror - was given the codename Anchory and that his private telephone calls were monitored and recorded and that a file on him was compiled by the US National Security Agency.

There is an unwritten rule that the UK and US do not collect information on each other. A spokesman for Mr Blair declined to comment.

Full Story

 Signature 


“By the sweat on our brows, and the strengths of´╗┐ our backs…Gentlemen. Hoist the Colours! And you, madam, I warn you, I know the entire Geneva Convention by heart!”
Trust me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 November 2008 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14

There is an unwritten rule that the UK and US do not collect information on each other.

Ummmmm. . .yeah.  Right.

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 November 2008 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7525
Joined  2005-04-23
Accipiter - 27 November 2008 04:53 PM
Beasjt - 27 November 2008 04:39 PM

There is an unwritten rule that the UK and US do not collect information on each other.

Ummmmm. . .yeah.  Right.

Ditto

 Signature 

Smerk the cutest dragon
Lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist
In Western Australi

Little Accipiter loved that girl enough
He told her jokes and crazy facts
And other forum stuff

Smerk the cutest dragon:
Traveled cross the sea,
To hunt her prey in foriegn lands,
And snuggle with Acci!

Smerk the cutest dragon
Is getting married now they say
Though little Accipiter
Has yet to name the day.

http://www.veshearman.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 November 2008 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Five Star Member
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1167
Joined  2005-06-15

I’m sure the US and UK knows more than they both will let on

 Signature 

Beerrun all we need is a 10 and a fiver a car, keys, and a sober driver

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 November 2008 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14

Basically the unwritten agreement is that they both play nice and be polite about their information gathering.  No shooting, no sabotaging or selling of secrets, no damaging of things, none of that sort of stuff.  And if somebody is caught, they’re generally just scolded and sent home.

James Bond leaves his gun at home when he drops by Washington, and says “please” when he wants in the door of the secret facility.

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2008 04:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6927
Joined  2005-10-21

I’m reminded of the bug found in the moudling of a painting. Fairly sophisticated too, as nobody (else) had thought of doing burst transmissions at the time.

 Signature 

1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If it does what it says, you should have no problem with this.
2: What proof will you accept that you are wrong? You ask us to change our mind, but we cannot change yours?
3: It is not our responsability to disprove your claims, but rather your responsability to prove them.
4. Personal testamonials are not proof.

What part of ‘meow’ don’t you understand?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2008 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  61098
Joined  2005-04-14
Robin Bobcat - 28 November 2008 09:11 AM

I’m reminded of the bug found in the moudling of a painting. Fairly sophisticated too, as nobody (else) had thought of doing burst transmissions at the time.

One of my favourites was done by the US government with the cooperation of the Xerox company.  Xerox was the copier making company at the time, and so the CIA got them to make something like a dozen special copiers that had cameras hidden inside.  These copiers were then shipped to various governments who ordered them, such as the USSR.  The purchase contract required the buyer to only let designated Xerox employees service and repair the machines.  The camera would take a picture of every document that was copied, and then when the official Xerox worker came by on his yearly machine servicing visit, he’d just slip the film canister out and replace it with a fresh one.  Apparently nobody figured out the secret while it was still in use.

And some of those machines are still possibly out there being used today. . .

 Signature 

“If any man wish to write in a clear style, let him be first clear in his thoughts.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2008 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1194
Joined  2005-02-22
Accipiter - 28 November 2008 08:57 PM
Robin Bobcat - 28 November 2008 09:11 AM

I’m reminded of the bug found in the moudling of a painting. Fairly sophisticated too, as nobody (else) had thought of doing burst transmissions at the time.

One of my favourites was done by the US government with the cooperation of the Xerox company.  Xerox was the copier making company at the time, and so the CIA got them to make something like a dozen special copiers that had cameras hidden inside.  These copiers were then shipped to various governments who ordered them, such as the USSR.  The purchase contract required the buyer to only let designated Xerox employees service and repair the machines.  The camera would take a picture of every document that was copied, and then when the official Xerox worker came by on his yearly machine servicing visit, he’d just slip the film canister out and replace it with a fresh one.  Apparently nobody figured out the secret while it was still in use.

And some of those machines are still possibly out there being used today. . .

Just an after-thought… I’d like to see the film canister that would last for a whole year of snapping photos of copies made on the machine. Especially considering it probably got lots of use… I mean, you’re talking about a canister the size of a 55 gallon drum or something…

smirk

That’s just what popped into the brain when I read that… see what I have to live with???

 Signature 

Canadian Bacon Rules !!!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2008 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6927
Joined  2005-10-21

You’re not thinking spy-ish enough. It’s not a standard ‘fits in your 35mm camera’ type of film. It’s microfilm, as in ‘fit twenty pages of text on the head of a pin’. Very doable, and probably no bigger than a *roll* of 35mm film for a year’s worth of photocopies. Even if it runs out of film in a month, that’s still a hideous amount of classified documentation that’s now in other hands.

 Signature 

1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If it does what it says, you should have no problem with this.
2: What proof will you accept that you are wrong? You ask us to change our mind, but we cannot change yours?
3: It is not our responsability to disprove your claims, but rather your responsability to prove them.
4. Personal testamonials are not proof.

What part of ‘meow’ don’t you understand?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 May 2009 02:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
New Member
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2009-05-16
Mark-N-Isa - 03 December 2008 05:41 AM
Accipiter - 28 November 2008 08:57 PM
Robin Bobcat - 28 November 2008 09:11 AM

I’m reminded of the bug found in the moudling of a painting. Fairly sophisticated too, as nobody (else) had thought of doing burst transmissions at the time.

One of my favourites was done by the US government with the cooperation of the Xerox company.  Xerox was the copier making company at the time, and so the CIA got them to make something like a dozen special copiers that had cameras hidden inside.  These copiers were then shipped to various governments who ordered them, such as the USSR.  The purchase contract required the buyer to only let designated Xerox employees service and repair the machines.  The camera would take a picture of every document that was copied, and then when the official Xerox worker came by on his yearly machine servicing visit, he’d just slip the film canister out and replace it with a fresh one.  Apparently nobody figured out the secret while it was still in use.

And some of those machines are still possibly out there being used today. . .

Just an after-thought… I’d like to see the film canister that would last for a whole year of snapping photos of copies made on the machine. Especially considering it probably got lots of use… I mean, you’re talking about a canister the size of a 55 gallon drum or something…

smirk

That’s just what popped into the brain when I read that… see what I have to live with???


The machines were rigged to breakdown (deliberately) so the CIA and MI5 could get intelligence faster. Also, no machines remained when the project was terminated.

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 May 2009 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  10731
Joined  2008-02-21

One of my favorite spying techniques was when both the USSR and the US would use small metal plates in the concrete of the buildings themselves to act as speakers.  these were then rigged to a small burst transmitter that sent out the info when activated by a remote reciever.  Because the signal was SO weak and there was only thread-like wiring, it was some time before it was discovered.  After that, they simply learned how to use the vibrations of the glass panes in the windows of a building to act as ‘microphones’.  By pointing a small laser at them, they could detect the micro-vibrations that speaking caused in the glass.  This was then sent through a modulator and turned back into speech.

Oh yeah!  Tech for espionage is WAAAAY more sophisticated than they ever had in a James bond film… wink

(Maybe the tinfoil on the windows thing isn’t such a bad idea after all…..)
hmmm

 Signature 

“Always, I Do What Is Necessary” - Rissa Kerguelen
Go to my Blog. It’s lonely.

I Am Still The Black Swan Of Trespass On Alien Waters
To the believer no proof is required; to the skeptic no proof is sufficient.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 May 2009 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Five Star Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7356
Joined  2005-06-23

I’m always impressed that, no matter how sophisticated technology gets, spies usually wind up sticking to the classic, tried-and-true espionage methods (hair across the door-frame, dead letter boxes, etc).

Because let’s face it, technology only gets you so far. Take those British spies who were caught in Moscow a couple of years ago. There was a papier mache rock containing a transmitter. The spies would walk past it at a certain time of day to get orders Bluetoothed to their palmtops.

That’s it. Anyone could do that.

People think that because the technology is there, spies will use it. Which overlooks the fact that there are easier and simpler methods of doing the exact same thing.

 Signature 

“We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.”
- Voltaire

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1