Why tech was key to the KGB being good at espionage

The KGB Espionage Museum's Agne Urbaityte explains various technologies and methods of eavesdropping used by the intelligence service, including Deadly Kiss and cameras in rings.

Why tech was key to the KGB being good at espionage The KGB Espionage Museum's Agne Urbaityte explains various technologies and methods of eavesdropping used by the intelligence service, including Deadly Kiss and cameras in rings.

CNET and CBS News Senior Producer Dan Patterson spoke with the KGB Espionage Museum's Agne Urbaityte about various technologies and methods of eavesdropping used by the intelligence service, including Deadly Kiss and cameras in rings. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Agne Urbaityte: KGB Espionage Museum has the biggest collection in the whole world of KGB spy technologies, gadgets, secret cameras, recorders, different types, I'm going to show you later what we have here. So we have 3,700 artifacts that are all original and authentic. We just have two replicas, I can show you where. And yes, everything is authentic, original, and has been used by agents and spies. 

Dan Patterson: What made the KGB so particularly good at espionage?

Agne Urbaityte: Technologies. How much money and gold were invested to create these technologies? And smart brains were used to create spying objects. A lot of money was invested and all the smartest people were working for this organization to create spying technologies. And talking about different countries' intelligence services we cannot say that that one organization was better than another one. They were always competing. Sometimes the Stasi were better, sometimes KGB was better. They were just trying to get others' items analyzed and make some improvements.

SEE: Special report: Cyberwar and the future of cybersecurity (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

We have female agent's objects like Deadly Kiss, a weapon that looks like lipstick. For photography professionals, we have different kinds of cameras, small cameras, camera in the ring, cameras in cigarette packs. Of course, it blows your mind how many different ways of eavesdropping there were, bugs in plates and ashtrays, in birds' houses. The whole tree that looks like a real tree actually, this one is a recent one. When you open the tree, I can show you later, you can see that it's really packed with technologies.
So there are a lot of interesting things to see for different categories of people, starting with children going back to the older ones.

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