Real-Life 007: Wristwatch Camera, Tiny Tools

Another revolution of surveillance: the development of the tiny film camera. (Remember film?) The T100 (it even has a James Bond-esque name) was so small it could fit into an ink pen or a wristwatch, quite a feat in the 1970s when it was developed.

"There were no such things as a Xerox machine," Wallace said. "[We asked], 'Can we make a camera small enough that we can take an entire picture to put it into a concealment device that would be completely unalerting to security folks who are watching the agent?'"

Spies who spotted top-secret documents in an embassy, for example, could snap photos to send back to their handlers, while they appeared to be taking notes. Agents could grab between 50 and 100 frames on a piece of film that was no more than 15 centimeters.

"I characterize it as the camera that won the Cold War," Wallace said.

BUSTER: First Ever Text-Messaging

One of the biggest problems for spies, or agents, according to Wallace, was falling out of communication with their "case ops" or handlers, particularly in the bulky technological era of the 1970s.

To combat this, the CIA tech office created what was essentially the first form of tech messaging: BUSTER.

With the BUSTER system, agents had a keypad about the size of a few cigarette packs on which they typed a message to their handler.

"Once you get within a quarter of a mile of a receiving unit, you could push the button and then that [transmitted] the message to the receiving unit," Wallace said. "Nothing like it had ever been seen before."

BUSTER of course is no longer used and many of these gadgets could end up, if they haven't already, in the ultimate spy gadget graveyard: the CIA Museum.

Of course, not every CIA gadget got a book mention. Wallace vetted the book with the CIA to make sure he wasn't revealing any state secrets.

"Adversaries of the intelligence service will read 'Spycraft' with a great deal of interest," he said.

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