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UK used plastic rock to spy on Russia

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posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 07:55 AM
This is an embarrassing story for the UK, and a revealing look at some of the practices countries use to spy on each other. I'm sure they also use much more complicated means of videoing foriegn countries, but this is still pretty interesting.

Britain was behind a plot to spy on Russians with a device hidden in a fake plastic rock, a former key UK government official has admitted.

Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to prime minister Tony Blair, admitted in a BBC documentary that allegations made by the Russians in 2006 - dismissed at the time - were in fact true.

"The spy rock was embarrassing," he said in the BBC2 documentary series, Putin, Russia and the West. "They had us bang to rights. Clearly they had known about it for some time and had been saving it up for a political purpose."

A diplomatic row was sparked six years ago after Russian state television broadcast a film claiming British agents had hidden a sophisticated transmitter inside a fake rock left on a Moscow street. It accused embassy officials of allegedly downloading classified data from the transmitter using palm-top computers.

The TV report showed a video of a man slowing his pace and glancing down at the rock before walking quickly away; another man was shown kicking the rock, while another walked by and picked it up. The Russian security service, the FSB, broadcast X-rays of a hollowed-out rock filled with circuitry and accused four British men and one Russian of using it to download information.

edit on 21-1-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:06 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:07 AM
There is not really much to say because they already claimed it was true. Well anyway me and my friends right now is having a good laugh about it. Still in the back of our minds we wonder... What are the information and data stored in the rock seized by the Russians???

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:14 AM

Originally posted by BMorris
Looking for for flags much by necroing a REALLY old story (circa 2006)?

Why not try and find more relevant news?

The incident happened in 2006, but it is new reporting about the incident
and the UK admitting that it was true.
edit on 21-1-2012 by isyeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:41 AM
even if this is old news, i only heared about it recently.
is that THE rock? how long was it really there before they got suspicious of the little stoner?

whats next, a suspicious looking gnome readin the paper at a EU conference.
edit on 21/1/2012 by listerofsmeg because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by BMorris

It was released on the 19th?


If there was a hidden rock found clearly there has to be other, probably more unusual things hidden about Moscow? It's interesting to see Britain take over the USA's job of harassing Russia with spies over the last 20 years.. between spying rocks and assassinations and political sparing, their relationship is very complicated.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:52 AM
hi op

im not suprised lol
of the top of my head i remember reading something like this

a fake tree was made so a man could fit inside
they placed this person inside (an artist)
and during the night they went across no mans land and placed the tree close to jerry trenches
this person sat there for a few days drawing pictures of jerry movements, brass,and other valuable info
cant find a source at the mo

reminds me of blackadder lol pink elephants

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 09:19 AM
LoL that is embarressing for MI6... however you have to admit, the best hiding places are always right in front of you. That was a damn convincing rock.

I suppose getting data safely out of the country is the hard part.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 09:25 AM
I have to say that I was very impressed that MI6 could use a 'plastic' Rock for spying..........!

I mean most of his films prove his acting skills are rubbish so being a spy was obviously a better career move for him .....


posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 12:35 PM
You think that only happened in Russia?

A couple of years ago, somewhere, maybe on ATS, there was a story and pictures of a fake rock that somebody had found somewhere in the states. The poster claimed that somebody else had found it and showed it to him. Actually, the poster claimed to not know what the "rock" was and was asking if anybody knew.

Granted, most of us have never seen a fake rock fashioned for an intelligence/surveilance agency. However, most of us probably have seen a rock, frog, or object that sets outside a front door and makes a noise when a body approaches and sets off the hidden sensor inside. So, it doesn't take much imagination to make a small leap from there to where spy agencies are involved.

The fake rock I recall seeing evidently was not battery or solar powered. It had a standard, high quality, two-point connector where a power and sensing line could be plugged into it. There was no visible openings for a mic to pick up sounds. We pretty much agreed on that list that it was a motion sensor such as reported surrounding the hills of Area 51 to detect intruders.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 12:38 PM
Big deal. Afghanistan is full of fake rocks, literally. This is an extremely common method of tracking enemy movements. The US has been using them for decades.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 01:24 PM

Originally posted by truthinfact
LoL that is embarressing for MI6... however you have to admit, the best hiding places are always right in front of you. That was a damn convincing rock.

I suppose getting data safely out of the country is the hard part.

Nothing new in such activity by various intelligence agencies. The CIA revealed in a recent book some of the methods such as freeze dried rats for use as dead drops along with fake bricks and rubble. Anything that most people wouldn't give a second glance to or think out of place. Even the Russians used them in the US. In one case the Russian agent instructed the potential spy to conceal the metal film canisters within bricks made out of plaster of paris.

The rumour at the time was that the Moscow Rock was malfunctioning and it had to be checked out. Obviously surveillance was good at the time resulting in the technical team being observed checking out the electronic dead drop. That was one discovery. How many are still operating without detection? The Russians will be using such devices just like every other intelligence agency.
edit on 21-1-2012 by tommyjo because: (no reason given)

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