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.
That was one of the big differences between the USSR’s and the USA’s spying techniques. The US tended to depend more on the technology: telephone intercepts, spy cameras in space, hidden microphones, that sort of thing. The USSR, though, would just send a beautiful woman over to seduce some American government official and get the information from him.
Not to say that the Americans never had people sneaking around in the night picking locks, or that the Soviets never hacked computers. But each side had a tendency to rely more on their own way.