Thursday, December 11, 2008

How Did Feds Listen In on Blagojevich?

Court records from the investigation into Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich are filled with recorded conversations of the governor allegedly offering to sell an appointment to President-elect Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat. How did the government find out what he was saying?

Federal investigators tapped Blagojevich's home phone and bugged his personal office and a conference room in the Friends of Blagojevich campaign headquarters. Officials began listening to conversations in late October, the court documents say.

Former law enforcement officials and security experts, who were not familiar with the details of the investigation, said it may be easier than one would think to listen in on private conversations, even those of a governor...

"It's amazing to me how easy it is to get into most places," said Kevin Murray, a security consultant. "Locks and alarms are not really good enough to deter espionage." [speaking about covert entry into commercial buildings]

Listening devices can be very small and easily concealed, with some so tiny they can "fit underneath your fingernail," said Murray. Bugs have been placed inside walls, in light fixtures, lamps, phones and coasters. (