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The spy game has existed since ancient history, and Russian spy equipment is among some of most creative in modern history. As technology advanced, so have spy gadgets become more sophisticated. In the end, regardless of the gadget, the ultimate goal of a spy is to collect critical data and pass it on safely and undetected. While advances have been made well beyond Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone, the reality is, low-tech, human intelligence is still the most trusted information. As such, there is still a market for ways to pass sensitive information.
Historically, messages were passed secretly using ciphers that could only be decoded by an individual with the complementary code. Even as early as 500 B.C. messages were passed secretly by means of a ‘skytale.' Writing a message on papyrus, wrapped around a slender rod, the message would be unfurled and used as clothing (belt, turban, etc). When the message reached its destination, the papyrus would be wrapped around a rod of the same diameter to reveal the secret message. Today, computers author ciphers that are virtually impossible to decode without proprietary knowledge.
Although today, most spies, including the Russians, use digital means to pass sensitive information, there are still cases when the low-tech, old school methods are still used. Invisible ink is still used to pass messages. The FBI has found that WiFi is one of the most prevalent means of passing sensitive information because if the network is not being monitored at a specific time the information is retrieved, there is no way to track the exchange. Disposable cell phones are another updated version of an old technique. In pre-cell phone days, Russian spies used a Blackberry-like device to send messages to specific receivers. With so many high tech spy gadgets, the fact is that old fashioned leg work is still the best way to catch a spy in action.
Today, with so many spy gadget websites, anyone with the funds can own almost any covert tool. While most are expensive for the casual interloper, there are a few Russian spy equipment gadgets that can be purchased just for fun.
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1. Russian Spy Disappearing Ink Pen
This is the first true disappearing ink, developed by the KGB during the Cold War and it shows true innovation in Russian spy equipment game. The ink is now available in a ‘gel-ink’ formula for about $19.99 per pen. The ink, not intended for use on legal documents, remains vivid for 15 minutes. Just enough time to write and run. By the time 24-48 hours pass, the ink actually degrades and disappears completely. Used originally to pass messages without fear of interception, the revised formula in the form of a Russian spy disappearing ink pen is now available at Amazon as cheap spy gear to the general public.
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2. Russian Spy Bug Digital Audio Recorder
About the size of a paper clip, the Russian Spy Bug digital audio recorder has a price that is anything but small. With a retail price of $699, it isn't for the casual covert operation. Voice activated, the Spy Bug stores up to 300 hours of digital recording, and can be downloaded via USB cable. The rechargeable batteries allow for 140 hours standby and 25 hours actual recording time. Truly one the best high tech spy gadgets, the Spy Bug is a testament to the advanced technological triumphs of Russian spy equipment.
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3. KGB Dead Drop Spy Bolt
Designed during the Cold War to sneak messages, the Spy Bolt looks like a standard bolt, but opens to allow storage in the hollow tube. The KGB Dead Drop Spy Bolt serves as an inconspicuous tool, only recognizable by the parties that know of its true purpose. With a retail price of $29.95, the bolt makes a great gift for the James Bond in your life. Simple, yet effective, this was a standard piece of Russian spy equipment during the Cold War.
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4. Advanced Night Vision Monocular
At nearly $275, the Russian Night Vision Monocular is intended for professional investigators and covert operatives alike. With a 20-hour battery life and 100-yard range, the monocular is a handy tool for night work. With this piece of Russian spy gear you'll be able to find out what the dog keeps barking at every night.
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Resources & Screenshots Courtesy Of:
- Eye Spy Supply: http://eyespysupply.com/world39s-smallest-tiny-micro-audio-recorder-russian-spy-b39.html
- Spybase: http://www.spybase.com/Spy-Bolt-from-Spy-Base-p/dead%20bolt%20sh.htm
- Espionage Unlimited: http://www.espionage-store.com/surveillance.html
- Huffingtonpost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/02/russian-spy-suspects-used_n_633550.html