WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Russian President Vladimir Putin presented President Donald Trump with a World Cup soccer ball at the joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland on Monday.
- Now, people in the US are thinking—is it a nice gift or is it a listening device?
- Russia has been known for its spycraft and ingenuity and has been successful in stealing US secrets via bugs, according to history.
President Donald Trump received a commemorative soccer ball from Russian President Vladimir Putin during their joint press conference on Monday in Helsinki. The gift serves as a remembrance as Russia has just successfully hosted the 2018 World Cup.
But back in the US, people are suspicious if the ball is actually a listening device or some kind of spy gadget. Some people say Trump should probably stash it in a museum while one senator said he should not get that ball inside the White House.
“If it were me, I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said.
There’s enough reason to assume that the ball has been bugged because Russia has proven to be a genius in creating some of the most clever spy devices. The ball will surely be examined by the Secret Service, but according to history, Russia intelligence can be very creative.
In 1945, the USSR gave the US a gift, called “The Thing”—a large, hand-carved wooden Great Seal of the United States. It was presented to the US Ambassador by a group of Soviet children.
“The Thing,” also known as the Great Seal bug, was installed in the Ambassador’s office, not knowing that it was a covert listening device. It stayed there for seven years until being discovered by dumb luck.
“The Thing” broadcasted conversations held in the Ambassador’s office to the Soviets, using absolutely no power and emitting no frequencies of its own. Soviet inventor Leon Theremin was pressured to design the device.
The bug was undetected for seven years until British agents, spying for the Russians, began overhearing the conversations in the Ambassador’s office too.
Just as the US remained clueless about “The Thing,” it is also oblivious to the “sonic attacks” that happened in Cuba and China. Americans overseas experienced a range of symptoms after hearing a strange sound.
Basically, something is hurting US diplomats with sound in some of its former Cold War rivals, and the US has no idea what it is, or if it’s even an attack, the Business Insider wrote.
The soccer ball may be just a simple gift but if the US government learns from history, it should be thoroughly examined.
Source: Business Insider