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I participated in a number of black bag jobs, including a 1957 burglary of the Japanese consulate in Seattle. And in that operation, the top burglar flew out from Washington. He used radioactive cobalt to bring out the arrangement of the locking mechanism. And after a period of hours, was able to open the safe. The contents were photographed and returned to their exact position in the safe.
In these kinds of operations, elaborate measures were taken to insure the security of the black bag job participants. In the first place, we were instructed never to take anything that would identify us with the FBI in the event that an unfortunate mishap occurred.
Just like in a bank robbery, the premises were thoroughly cased . to make sure that the identity of the regular occupants were known and their normal movements were known. And when the black bag job was about to take place, surveillances were put on them in order to make sure that they didn't double back to the premises.
A further precaution was to station an agent at the police radio conosle to make sure the complaints of a burglary in progress were not answered.
The FBI agents who made a specialty of black bag jobs were frequently rewarded by meritorious cash awards, which of course would not be identified as to their reason.
Now getting into the area of the actual technical surveillances, as it is called, and the FBI referred to it as Tesurs, the FBI refers to wiretaps as Tesurs, which is a contraction of technical surveillance. And it refers to microphone or bug surveillance as Misurs.
There are two kinds of telephone taps: the direct and indirect A tap-transmitter in which a phone line is tapped and the conversation strictly limited to the telephone conversation is sent over the air to a receiving point and is, as I say, the tap-transmitter. The advantage of this to the tapper is the tremendous security because, if the device is found, it is not traceable to him. If the wires lead direct to a monitoring post, why the lines are of course traceable.
An additional element of security is afforded by what the telephone company in its construction practice calls the multiple appearacne. Multiple appearances means that your particular telephone line will appear not only in the pole box nearest to your premise, but will appear in another one perhaps in a radius of a mile simply to allow for the two-party subscriber. And usually that other pair is vacant. If the tapper knows where to go to find it, this involves the cooperation of the telephone company cable records, of course, he can tap at that site in relative security.
Again, getting into the problem of control of wiretaps, a few years ago again when the FBI was contending that there were perhaps 100 taps nationwide, Ronald Kessler did a very thorough investigation for the Washington Post. And in that particular investigation he disclosed that the FBI had 450 special service lines feeding into the Washington field office from all over the city.
Obviously perhaps on a kind of multiple phone, a rotary phone, one tap would involve maybe 10 lines if you are tapping one establishment. But I think that the fact of those very many lines indicates again the need for some kind of outside authority to look into
unilateral statements on the part of agents who engage in electronic surveillance.
The question of microphones and bugs, again they fall into two categories: wired and wireless, which is the bug transmitter or the microphone transmitter
The wired simply means that the microphone is connected to that listening post by a run of wire. For example, the installation in Seattle, where we picked the lock to enter the dwelling, in that installation, the technique that was used there was simply to run a very thin wire concealed behind a baseboard from the microphone down into the celler, run it behind rafters in the celler, drill a hole, and the FBI already had furnished me with a telephone company drop wire that was especially built and that had two very fine wires running through it. And they were connected on. The telpehone drop wire then carried it out to the pole box.
I had one problem after we hooked up that because there was a nearby commercial radio station interfering. Apparently the bug wire was acting somewhat like an antenna so it was simply a simple matter to design a low pass filter and filter out that radio frequency.
The wireless type I think at this stage is the most common. It can be planted strategically, and again if it is discovered, it is not traceable to the eavesdropper. He is simply out the $50 or so a decent one costs.
And the wired type again is very vulnerable to detection because of the necessity for wires to run all of the way from the installation to the monitoring point.
I have in my black bag here [indicating) an illustration of a very modestly priced bug. And since the law at the current stage forbids possession, I should point out that this equipment is all disarmed much like an automatic weapon with the barrel plugged.
This one [indicating] very simply is a small pillbox with a pretty good circuit inside. I should point out that every bug in order to operate with any range at all requires an antenna. So again the element of looking for a particular bug would involve, if you suspect one, that there has got to be an antenna somewhere, which adds to the bug's insecurity.
This one [indicating] is just a little 9-volt-battery type with a 9-volt battery that hooks in there. And the way it operates, as you can see, if you found this, it wouldn't be much loss to the tapper,
It can be received simply in a radio this small [indicating], which is an ordinary transistor radio. It is an FM radio. The upper band here [indicating], well the whole band has been slid down a little and the commercial ends right about here [indicating] and then here [indicating] is your bug band, right here [indicating], right at the top:
And this kind [indicating] of a bug is very difficult to trace. These are just standard components that any kid perhaps with a high school electronics shop experience could put together.
Here is one [indicating] that is a little more mass-manufactured. This is an FM wireless microphone. And again, it is the same situation. This one would cost in the neighborhood of $70 and a couple of little 9-volt batteries.
Mr. KASTENMEIER. And the way that operates is that that is placed or situated in, for example, a room and it is live 24 hours a day?
Mr. TURNER. Yes.
The bugs again, as you point out, carry all conversations; pillow talk as well as relevant conversations. And I would place them in a little more insidious category for that reason.
One of the problems of course, is that your batteries will run down. Again, whenever you hide something like this, you have to have some air conduction in order to get a good pickup. So there are technical problems confronting the bugger.
Nonetheless, if I had some room and could install a number of batteries in parallel, if the bugger could do that, he would get very long battery life and this could go on for some time.
There is also the advanced bugger who has a remote switching device where he can turn it on and off simply when he wants to monitor, again conserving battery life. Otherwise, he would have to reenter and replace the batteries.
The other thing that he may do is, if he want to plant a very small device in a wall with say a very limited range, he may have a repeater somewhere nearby; a kind of booster station that will boost his signal along. Then if he is monitoring in a car somewhere, you have the same problem of enforcement that you would have in the case of say narcotics where you have to catch somebody with the narcotics. In other words, how do you catch this man with the bug. He is not connected to it in any other way except the airwaves. And it is a very difficult problem of enforcement.
I have another device here and I think this is very illustrative of what the 1968 law meant. In fact I think the legislative history brings this out. I have a device primarily useful for aural acquisition. It is called a spike-mike and it is employed usually from the room next door or from some outside area. Here it is sindicating].
It simply is a contact microphone. It is a crystal microphone of very good fidelity. And the tapper then takes one of the spikes and screws it in here [indicating). Well, actually first he puts this into the wall and this makes contact with the inner wall. This [indicating] will go through. I have another size here if it is a thinner wall.
And that mike as I say is very sensitive. It then is plugged into an amplifier. And he can either feed into a recorder or he can listen with his earset. And this as I say is an example of something that I can hardly conceive of being used as a baby-sitter device or something for party fun or the other kinds of reasons that are now given for making these kinds of devices that are not primarily useful. They mav have double or triple purposes.
Then vou have the stethescopelike device, which you can affix to a wall. These are usually very transient types of installations.
Somebody checks into a motel room for instance, this is the ideal kind of piece of equipment to use in that situation. It is not like the permanent leased line situation, which is for a long-term intelligence gathering.
There has been much made lately about the state of the technology. And indeed the technology, aided and abetted by space-age developments and all, has gone on and gone forward. .
I think another committee in the past looking into this problem was regaled with the olive-in-the-martini type transmitter. And while such a device exists, I think it is highly impractical and not one of the main problems confronting legislatures in this area for the simple reason that the thing is so impractical. It will hardly transmit more than a few feet. You know, you have to be a few stools down to pick anything up.
And there is talk about the CIA having perfected a laser device that aimed at a room window will pick up the room conservations from the minute vibrations of the glass pane. I am sure if that isn't in a perfected stage, it is very close to it.
But again you are getting to the problem that this type of device would be available simply to the agency that would perfect it and so it would take immense amounts of. money needed to purchase one.
Tiny integrated circuits have been developed for the aerospace programs and these obviously don't bode well for future privacy as they are the breadboard unon which a bug can be made.
There is also a device called the infinity transmitter, or harmonica bug. And for example if I went into an apartment in Honoluluwell, let's use another example. I am not sure whether we have direct dial to Honolulu.
In Los Angeles, if I installed a little device in a telephone and I came back to Washington, if I had this infinitv transmitter, I would simply direct dial that phone, and then, as soon as the line clicked on, I would activate this device which would then freeze the ringing system on that phone and it would at the same time activate the bug in the phone so that in Washington, D.C., via the telephone longdistance line, I would be monitoring the room conversations in that apartment in Los Angeles.
This state of the art is available to the bootleg eavesdropper. That particular device was marketed in the past before the 1968 law. And since it has now been disseminated throughout the eavesdropping underworld, I am sure that anybody who wanted to pay the price could lay their hands on it.
Next, prevention and detection. It is getting to an area here where again we have problems. If a telephone subscriber suspects a tar, he can request the telephone company to conduct an inspection, but, if the device is found, the telephone company merely turns it over to the proper law enforcement authority. It generally will not advise the customer that he has been invaded.
I think this is an area for legislation, because I don't know that in the 1968' law that under the civil recovery provisions, I don't know whether the plaintiff in a civil suit, the plaintiff having been injured in this fashion, has the availability of the law enforcement testimony and of the law enforcement evidence if a criminal case has not been brought.
And I think that is one area that might be considered in future legislation.
Most law enforcement taps that are conducted under court authority are in the telephone company's central office, which makes detection by the citizens or a private sweeping outfit on his behalf very difficult if not impossible to locate. And contrary to the mythology, a properly installed telephone tap will not cause clicks and noises.
I have gone to the trouble of trying to outline a number of preliminary checks that a citizen can make for devices in the book that I wrote on this.
He can check his premises for such things as fresh plaster marks and alien wires, check for antenna wires of a bug transmitter.
He can hire at considerable cost a professional sweeper, but he should be aware of someone who advertises their services and shows up with simply a kind of wand they call a hound dog or field strength meter, and then declares the premises "clean". Some unscrupulous operators in this field have even planted their own bugs, and then discovered them. This is a prelude for their sales pitch for their periodic services.
A truly professional search requires anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 worth of equipment and somebody that knows how to use that equipment, who should have gone to the manufacturers' school.
And it should also be noted that bugs that can be remotely turned on and off are very difficult to detect. And, the eavesdropper may plant a decoy bug that is easily found, to lull the victim into a sense of security.
Also the private citizens should beware of delivery men bearing gifts which may contain a bug. And repairmen and utility men who want to enter the premises uncalled for and the salesmen who drop by and leave a briefcase in the conference room and this kind of thing.
There was another area that was brought up and that is the area of voluntary conversations being surreptitiously recorded. And I draw a distinction between interception and that type of voluntary conversation. In other words, if I am talking to a second party faceto-face and the conversation is recorded surreptitiously, by me, I don't find that too much different than if I were taking notes or mentally recording it and later dictating it except of course, as has been brought up already, in the area of again the recording can be used as evidence against him. It does contain his exact words and his inflections.
But again, looking at it the other way, the fact that it does contain exact words and inflections, I think make a more valuable record of what was actually said and I feel that it is not right to legislate against a person protecting himself by recording a free and voluntary conversation.
And I am not talking about a third person being under the table, because that is an interception electronically as opposed to by notes or by mental retention.