Freedom Folks

Friday, January 27, 2006

Spy Vs. Spy

This is kinda cool...

MOSCOW - The spy drama unfolding in Russia has all the cloak-and-dagger tension - as well as exotic gadgetry - of a James Bond thriller.

Authored by Russia's security service and given huge play on national TV, the narrative involves a fake rock packed with high-tech computer gear, planted in a Moscow park by the British MI6 intelligence service. Cameras hidden by the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) caught alleged Russian spies uploading secret data into the rock with palm-held computers and British embassy staffers later retrieving the data.
This, not so much...

But the tale veers ominously away from standard spy-versus-spy fare with the FSB's insistence on a direct link between the alleged MI6 espionage and the British government's approximately $1 million annual support for Russian democracy-building groups.

Coming two weeks after President Vladimir Putin authorized the creation of a new state agency to scrutinize the activities and funding of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), some see the espionage charges as part of an escalating effort to clamp down on foreign-funded civil society groups.
I just can't get a bead on Putin. Good guy? Bad guy? I just can't tell.

What do you think?



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