Knowing that those pesky Yanks have been monitoring all my phone calls, Emails, and daily blogs, has reminded me of this (I hope) amusing little story.
My late Father-in-Law was a senior diplomat with the British Foreign Service. He started his career in Ankara, then moved to Kathmandu, and then on to Moscow (where this tale took place).
The Embassy in Moscow was riddled with 'bugs', but they always kept one small room entirely 'bug free'; just for those important secret conversations. Otherwise they simply accepted the fact that every word spoken was being listened to, written down, and analysed. Most Embassy work was pretty banal anyway, so it didn't bother them.
At one Christmas party glasses were raised and a toast offered to the KGB. A matter of seconds later the phone rang, and a Russian voice said "And a happy Christmas to you too".
His next posting was to Washington DC, where, of course, no such spying activities took place (ahem).
We have all been carrying out this sort of espionage (industrial, in this case) for years, and about 20 years ago, us Brits publicly stated that the U.S. had been given the freedom of GCHQ to do it in comfort.ReplyDelete
Because of the grilling that some ambassadors have received, the U.S. is now accusing us, the Germans and the Swiss of manipulating international currency.
Swift revenge has always been their first resort.
It's all a bit of a joke really. Everyone monitors everyone else; that's what foreign embassies etc are for!Delete
I wonder what sort of pervert can enjoy monitoring other peoples supposedly private conversations?ReplyDelete
Depends on how much you're being paid, I guess!Delete
They are welcome to spy on me...listen in to my conversations....I woul probably be guilty of murder by boredom.ReplyDelete
Great story Cro!ReplyDelete
They would have a blast listening first thing this morning. "Pew, which one of you three did that? Right then all of you out doors till you air that out. Stomp, stomp, stomp and slamming of door. More slamming and then oh gross Max just threw up on the kitchen carpet."ReplyDelete
I quite expect they have to listen to some equally disgusting stuff; they certainly do if they listen in to me!Delete
I love the great fuss and diplomats scurrying about and tsk tsking. The usual procedure.ReplyDelete
Is that really true?!? If it is I love the story!ReplyDelete
100% true story!Delete
I remember hearing that our phone conversations could be tapped, and that there was a gizmo that would listen in if certain words were heard. This was in the 1970's, and as a sort of protest, in the middle of the most boring phone conversations i would say, "marijuana, marijuana, marijuana." Just because i was sure that was one of the words that would perk up their eavesdropping ears. I still do it on occasion. Although i have to wonder what they do when i'm talking about a clincial trial for pain meds and one of the drugs is medical marijuana.ReplyDelete
Try mentioning the word 'Jihad', and see if anyone turns up at the door.Delete
Just goes to show the Soviets had a wry sense of humour too and knew damn well that everyone knew that everyone was spying on everyone else.ReplyDelete
An Angolan businessman friend of mine once told me that every fax I sent (remember faxes?) a copy would roll off a machine in SINFO, the Angolan intelligence service HQ. When they built the new Angola Telecom building, SINFO had one whole floor to themselves.