UK: Yeah, We Used Lame Fake Rock in Spying

Former official admits Russia caught it red-handed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2012 2:46 PM CST
UK: Yeah, We Used Lame Fake Rock in Spying
Britain admits using a fake rock in trying to spy on Russia.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Oh, the shame from the land of James Bond: A former British official admits that the nation used a fake plastic rock stuffed with hidden equipment to try to spy on Russia. Moscow actually exposed the ruse in a 2006 documentary—complete with footage of agents kicking the rock in a Moscow park when it didn't work—but the Brits had never copped to it until now, reports the Guardian.

"The spy rock was embarrassing ... they had us bang to rights," a former aide to Tony Blair told the BBC. "There's not much you can say, you can't really call up and say, 'I'm terribly sorry about that, it won't happen again.'" What's worse, Vladimir Putin apparently knew about the pseudo-rock for a while, but he saved it for just the right moment, notes AP: To justify a crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs, which increased his authoritarian power. (Read more espionage stories.)

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