Russian authorities accused a U.S. diplomat of spying. Nabbing him and an arsenal of covert tools, they were surprised to find that his spy kit looked more like Austin Powers' than James Bond's.
Among the items confiscated by Russia's Federal Security Service were a couple of really hairy wigs, which would make a spy stand out among the crew-cut Russian population. But even if he sticks out like a sore thumb in the street, a great big wig could help hide his face from security cameras. They also found several pairs of sunglasses, none of which were equipped with any high tech Things like cameras or listening devices.
The diplomat also had a map of Moscow in his possession. A paper map. But if you think about it, the paper map makes sense if you don't want to use a smart phone to inquire about sensitive installations in the city. And since he clearly wasn't using GPS to find his way to secret locations, he also had an old fashioned compass.
Authorities also found a recruitment letter and piles of cash. Keeping the cash I can understand: after all, you can't just drop a huge load of foreign currency in your bank without a few eyebrows being raised. But why hold onto the recruitment letter? A souvenir? Was he going to frame it and hang it in his study when he came home? Some Things might turn out to be a bit higher tech than the Things in Austin Powers' spy kit after all. The diplomat also had a couple of untraceable SIM cards, a keyholder with a what seems to be a radio scanner, an RFID shield and some pepper spray, which might have been a defense against aggressive stray dogs that roam the streets of the city.
Except for the letter, I'd say it would be hard to prove the diplomat a spy. After all, I own most of those Things myself. And so do some of you!
See you next week,