Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Brief Spy Technology Retrospective

Government surveillance is nothing new. The United States started tracking telegraphic information entering into and exiting the country in 1945. The technology associated with spying, however, has become much more advanced. History shows a steady evolution of the ways governments secretly gather information.

More info about The Thing.
"Spying has gone on throughout history," says Peter Earnest, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer and executive director of the International Spy Museum. "Since globalization, spying has increased because countries want to know what other countries are doing.The discipline of intelligence has already increased a great deal in the post-Cold War world."

Briefcase recorders in the 1950s led to transmitters hidden in shoes in the 1960s. By the early 1970s, bugs hidden in tree stumps intercepted communication signals. Devices continued to become more compact. In the 1980s, tiny transmitters with microphones were hidden in pens.

The advent of the Internet ushered in the Web bug, which tracked who viewed websites or e-mails and provided the IP address of an e-mail recipient. In 2013, drones and computer programs continue to develop as surveillance tools.

So how does the future look for spying?

"It looks good,"
Earnest said. (more, with photos of spy gear)