Thursday, January 19, 2012

007 Rocks!

 UK - In a television program aired on Russian state television in 2006, Russia's FSB security service accused Britain of using the gadget for top secret communications in Moscow, but London did not admit to the charge at the time.

Now Jonathan Powell, who was chief of staff to then Prime Minister Tony Blair, has confirmed the Russians were correct.

"They had us bang to rights," Powell says in a BBC documentary to be aired on Thursday...
A combination of video grabs from footage broadcast by Russian state-run television in 2006 allegedly shows a man, said to be a British spy, in a park outside Moscow collecting a fake rock being used as a high-tech version of the spy's traditional letter-box or dead drop in which agents can anonymously deliver or retrieve information. (more)

Russian television claimed there was proof British spies used electronic equipment hidden inside a fake rock to exchange information between agents and embassy staff.

An agent would pass by and download data from his portable computer, while a diplomat would later collect it in a similar way. Four Britons involved in the spy ring have been identified by the Federal Security Service.

Christopher Pierce, the diplomat who was said to have installed the secret link, was also responsible for financing Russian non-governmental organizations with British grants, and so was one of the other alleged spies, Mark Doe...

Britain expressed “concern and surprise” over the allegations at the time. The “spy rock scandal” was taken with skepticism by many people, including Russians. They said it was either a scam or simply blown out of proportion in what was described as a Kremlin assault on NGOs. (more)
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