Spy News from New York
Kevin's Security Scrapbook
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Quotes & Excerpts
"Get a good night’s sleep and don't bug anybody without asking me."
- Richard M. Nixon, 37th US President
(To re-election campaign manager Clark MacGregor, recorded on tape later made public, Christian Science Monitor 8/14/80)
"By that pseudo line of logic you could dispose of the whole Bill of Rights." - 1953, James Lawrence Fly (Federal Communications Commission Chairman (1939-1944) responding to a statement that an innocent person need not worry about being tapped. U.S. Senate, Wiretapping for National Security, 192.
"The habit of eavesdropping and spying, so characteristic of Puritanism, became a natural safeguard, for if a man was not at his neighbor's keyhole it is probable that his neighbors would be at his." - 1924, The Philosophy of Witchcraft, Ian Ferguson
"A special feature of the structure of our book is the monstrous but perfectly organic part that eavesdropping plays in it." - 1958, A Hero of Our Time, Vladimir Nabokov
... First, trade secret theft is not surrounded by the same intensity of concern and secrecy that typically prevails in cases of treason... Second, there is a good deal more trade secret theft than treason. (Explaining why trade secret theft is easier to research.) 1994, Citizen Espionage, Gilbert Geis
"What do you think spies are: priests, saints and martyrs? They're a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives." - 1963, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, John le Carré
"For the most part, the town has deserved the name it wears. I find our annals marked with a uniform good sense. I find no ridiculous laws, no eavesdropping legislators, no hanging of witches, no whipping of Quakers, no unnatural crimes." - 1883, Historical Discourse at Concord, Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Beautiful women, whose beauty meant more than it said ... was their brilliancy always fed by something coarse and concealed? Was that their secret?" (The disillusioned protagonist reflects bitterly on the treacheries of women after discovering - through eavesdropping - that Marian Forrester, whom he has idealized, is having an affair.) - 1923, A Lost Lady, Willa Cather
"There are some who become spies for money, or out of vanity and megalomania, or out of ambition, or out of a desire for thrills. But the malady of our time is of those who become spies out of idealism." - 1952, The Tragedy of the Rosenbergs, Max Lerner
"But what he sought to exclude when he entered the booth was not the intruding eye - it was the uninvited ear." ... "The 4th Amendment and the personal rights it secures have a long history. At the very core stands the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion." (Katz had been eavesdropped upon while using an enclosed telephone booth.) Katz v. United States 389 U.S. 347, 88 S.CT.507 (1967) , Justice Potter Stewart (Wiretapped later in his career by the FBI.)
"Stonewalling, wiretapping, cover-up, Lord’s sake, if there isn't one of us here at this table that hasn't dabbled in that mystery." Alan K. Simpson - US Senator
"I cannot think that espionage can be recommended as a technique for building an impressive civilization. It's a lout’s game." - 1942, The Meaning of Treason, Rebecca West
"From infancy on, we are all spies; the shame is not this but that the secrets to be discovered are so paltry and few." - John Updike
"There are more secrets, but there is not more secrecy." - 1986, NY Times, Steven Garfinkel - Director, US Information Security Oversight Office
"Even the bugs have bugs."
(On police and organized crime spying.) - NBC Evening News NBC TV 9/8/96
"Consider that a divorce." - Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Total Recall, shooting his wife, who was spying on him for the government (1990).
"It's nothing but an eight-story microphone plugged into the Politburo."
(On new US embassy building in Moscow found riddled with Soviet spying devices) - 1987, Richard Armey, US Congressman
"Today’s difference between Russia and the United States is that in Russia everybody takes everybody else for a spy, and in the United States everybody takes everybody else for a criminal." - 1970, Sentences from America, no. 37, Friedrich Dürrenmatt
"'What is it?' I asked in amazement, gazing at the wonderful little instrument before us.
'A vocaphone,' he explained, moving the switch and cutting off the sound instantly, 'an improved detectaphone something that can be used both in practical business, professional, and home affairs as a loud speaking telephone, and, as I expect to use it here, for special cases of detective work.'
... 'Sh!' I cautioned, 'they might hear us.'
He laughed. 'Not unless I turn the switch further.'"
(A novel describing early electronic eavesdropping.) - 1916, The Ear in the Wall, Arthur B. Reeve
"There is in America considerable public awareness of wiretapping, but most people are completely confused about it. Conflicting data about wiretapping have come to them through popular magazine articles and through newspapers reporting on testimony at public hearings and trials. They have read, for instance, that wiretapping is rampant and wiretappers swarm all over the city, wildly tapping every phone within their reach. At the same time, they have read that the telephone company says wiretapping does not exist, and people are only imagining that phones are tapped." - 1959, The Eavesdroppers, Samual Dash
"Rockefeller and his associates did not build the Standard Oil Co. in the board rooms of Wall Street banks. They fought their way to control by rebate and drawback, bribe and blackmail, espionage and price cutting, by ruthless..efficiency of organization.." - 1902 - The History of the Standard Oil Company, Ida M. Tarbell