×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Alleged Russian Spy Ring Exposed In US

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the bad-enough dept.

Government 279

Several readers sent in the story of an alleged Russian spy ring busted yesterday by the FBI after a decade-long investigation. The FBI says that Moscow trained and planted long-term "moles" in the US in order to infiltrate the upper echelons of US government and business circles and pass back intelligence to the Russians. Twelve people have been charged; ten were arrested in the US (one is at large) and one in Cyprus. Wired and the New York Post have colorful coverage. Wired's leans on the tradecraft and discusses steganography, while the Post favors the femme fatale angle (alleged spy Anna Chapman). The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the US actions were unfounded and pursued "unseemly" goals. One of many choice quotes from copious coverage: "They couldn't have been spies. Look what she did with the hydrangeas." From the WSJ report: "Officials said no secrets were compromised or revealed in the alleged plot, and the spy operation seems to have yielded little of value given some of the elaborate methods deployed. None of the 11 charged by US prosecutors was accused of accessing any classified or sensitive US government information."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

279 comments

finish this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736578)

Torture them to get all the information you can, then 11 bullets to the back of the head, spare us a trial

Re:finish this (4, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736742)

Make that 10 bullets, I'll take care of Anna, she's been very naughty.

Re:finish this (2, Funny)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737024)

During the Cold War, some spies were being tossed. A reporter asked "What is your name?"

"No name ... just KGB number."

Espionage has fallen on hard times, they are on their last Oleg.

Re:finish this (3, Insightful)

mmaniaci (1200061) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737038)

Torture will yield the quickest answer to make the pain stop, not the truth. Threat of murder means no one talks because, well, even if they do talk they will die. Every human being, spy, terrorist, murderer and rapist alike, deserves a trial. There is always a chance that the authorities are wrong, and without trials the Gov can execute anyone on the grounds that they may be (spy|terrorist|etc).

Sadly, 99% of America would probably still agree with you.

Re:finish this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737162)

T: Tell us X
V: I don't know X

*ZAP*

T: Tell us X
V: I don't know X

*ZAP* *ZAP*

T: Tell us X
V: I don't know X

*ZAP* *ZAP* *ZAP*

T: Tell us X
V: ::lies about X to get the torture to stop::
T: O.k., we'll be back in a few days. If you are telling the truth, we'll set you free. If you are not, the torture continues.

Repeat until
a. V is dead.
b. V gives credible information

Re:finish this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737262)

Don't feed the trolls, I know.

But...

What your scenario doesn't take into account is V may not actually know anything and is telling the truth regarding X in this context. Now you have a completely innocent person who is dead on your hands, you murderer.

Re:finish this (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737714)

No, the scenario takes that into account.

Repeat until
a. V is dead.
b. V gives credible information

Either V dies (most likely) or V makes a lucky guess (it can happen - during questioning, an innocent person may pick up enough clues, along with what they have seen but didn't recognize as suspicious before, to figure things out.)

So if V lives, he or she "MUST have been guilty" even though they weren't.

Re:finish this (2, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737310)

Possible problem identified: V doesn't know about X since his/her organization is highly compartmentalized and V only knows about his/her little part of the organization.

Second possible problem: Torture has been anticipated and V has a "cover story" for such an occasion (perhaps a clever lie about X which makes sense and which when investigated by T will seem like it's true).

Third possible problem: Torture has been anticipated and V has been trained not to give up information.

Fourth possible problem: Torture and murder of operatives by T's organization is well-known by V's organization and every operative in V's organization has been trained to commit suicide to avoid capture.

But hey, "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" is a lot more fun, right?

Re:finish this (4, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737372)

... : O.k., we'll be back in a few days. If you are telling the truth, we'll set you free. If you are not, the torture continues. ...
Repeat until
a. V is dead.
b. V gives credible information

On problem, torture isn't conducive to rational decision making. You want the torture to stop NOW, and you also probably would find an immediate (if temporary) break to be just as good as a permanent one. Also if the country who has you is of the torturing type, I doubt you trust them to actually set you free, since no country with torture really has much honor.

Re:finish this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737398)

Sadly, 99% of America would probably still agree with you.

What sort of country is this?

Re:finish this (5, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737740)

Ok, here's the things about "enemy combatants" in several forms, from Taliban militants to German soldiers. When you capture someone on the field of war, you hold them until the war is over. You don't try them for "conspiracy to kill Americans," "conspiracy to commit terrorism," or any of that other bullshit. Why? Because killing opponents on the battle field isn't a crime. Conducting military operations isn't a crime. It's not even any more morally wrong than war is in general, because that's what war is. Thus, I am not for trying taliban militants, al qaeda operatives, or anyone else we capture in Afghanistan or Iraq. Hold them until the war is over. The only problem is, the "war on terrorism" will never be over. However, when we are done fighting in Iraq, everyone captured in Iraq should be released, and when we're done fighting in Afghanistan, then everyone captured in Afghanistan should be released.

Anecdote: in the mid 1960s, my mom's parents decided to have some work done to their house, including re-doing the chimney and fireplace. The man hired to do the job was a German immigrant. He and my grandfather got to talking and discovered they had been in the same battle, on the same day, during WWII, but on opposing sides. They ended up going through a couple of bottles of scotch and crying together for a few hours. I know it's a cliche that young soldiers who come face to face with the enemy always think how 'in another life, they could have been friends,' but in this case an American and a German who had been trying to kill each other a few years earlier in part of the Ardens offensive really did come together. I have a number of friends from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and other countries in the area. They're all perfectly fine people, and it really bothers me when people who can't even pronounce "terrorist" accuse all middle-easterners and/or Muslims of being one.

Back on topic, the Russians aren't even being charged with espionage, but with acting as agents of a foreign government without proper registration. This is a normal, criminal matter that NGO-types can often run afoul of if they don't fill out the proper documents. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up getting worked out by the State department. But these 10 people are hardly Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Hmmm are we sure (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736594)

that this is real and not some kind of stunt to promote a certain crystalline-flavoring movie?

First! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736610)

I am an US spy in Russia, this is a secret message.
Lots of beautiful long legged ladies!

Leakety, leakety leak . . . (3, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736626)

I would expect that we get some wonderful counterespionage out of Russia itself nowadays.

It seems pretty wasteful for Russia to spend so much money on such an elaborate operation when it could be destroyed by one disaffected Russian official who dreams of a CIA payoff.

Madness!

Re:Leakety, leakety leak . . . (2, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736864)

Who cares? Let them spy. What are they going to learn?

Re:Leakety, leakety leak . . . (4, Insightful)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737046)

I think a lot of the reason behind secrecy is to shroud what we don't have as capabilities. If other countries knew about our failings in pervasive monitoring and command, control, coordination, and communications, and sharks with lasers on their heads or the ability to educate youths and keep old decrepit folks happy and sane, then they'd just have to assume we were awesome at all of those things.

But until then, we can charge admission for the illusion!

Re:Leakety, leakety leak . . . (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737108)

How many US jobs does on spy generate?

Re:Leakety, leakety leak . . . (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737176)

How many US jobs does one spy generate?

FTFY

Re:Leakety, leakety leak . . . (1)

Svippy (876087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737448)

Two things:

A. Should be 'FTFM', unless you refer to yourself as 'you' and B. 'on spy' is a more obscure sex position. So the former question is still accurate.

Re:Leakety, leakety leak . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737146)

Embed early, embed often. Operations like this one create the infrastructure for rings that can matter ten, twenty, thirty years from now. Right now it's about insertion and training.

Re:Leakety, leakety leak . . . (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737034)

I would expect that we get some wonderful counterespionage out of Russia itself nowadays.

In Russia... no, no, I just can't do it. Russian intelligence is enough of a joke without resorting to cliches.

Impossible! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736628)

The cold war ended!

Spy creepin' round here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736646)

That Spy's a Heavy!

Obligatory (0, Redundant)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736648)

In Soviet Russia spies expose you! These men are decoys, thanks anyway.

I wonder how many "american spies" the Russians will expose now to return the favour...

Re:Obligatory (0)

Max_W (812974) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736914)

The FSU is flooded with the US spies. All these NGOs, Peace Corps, Human Rights Groups, etc. But they will not be expeled as they pay people good salaries and hardly do any damage.

Much worse is when people are without jobs and without an income. Such people are even more dangerous.

Now when a lot of people in the USA are without jobs does it make sense to take away this too? Production moved overseas, so what people have to do?

Re:Obligatory (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737248)

The FSU is flooded with the US spies. All these NGOs, Peace Corps, Human Rights Groups, etc. But they will not be expeled as they pay people good salaries and hardly do any damage.

Much worse is when people are without jobs and without an income. Such people are even more dangerous.

Now when a lot of people in the USA are without jobs does it make sense to take away this too? Production moved overseas, so what people have to do?

Huh? LOL your post made no sense.

C'est moi un smurf (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736664)

Les nègres hómosexuel trouler.

Did they? (3, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736670)

If they didn't 'see/steal/copy' anything, was anything actually spied upon?

The mens rea was the attempt, but if there is no actus rea did they really break the law?

Re:Did they? (5, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736692)

They were acting as "agents of Russia" which is against the law in itself since they aren't registered. Why the FBI chose to arrest them now is the mystery because the FBI knew for over a decade.

Re:Did they? (4, Insightful)

Koby77 (992785) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736916)

Last week Obama met with Russian President Medvedev and is going to start pushing for an arms control treaty which will need ratification by the U.S. Senate. The timing of the arrests could have been an FBI signal that they don't trust the Russians in an effort to scuttle the treaty.

Re:Did they? (3, Interesting)

internewt (640704) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737230)

I think I heard them say on Channel 4's news this evening that one or more was going to leave the country, so the FBI acted.

They also mentioned that even though "spying" is being bandied about, none of them have been charged with espionage.

Re:Did they? (2, Informative)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736726)

It's illegal to act as the agent of a foreign government on US soil without declaring yourself as such. I believe most of them are being charged for conspiracy to do just that, while some are being charged with money laundering, which humorously enough carries a much longer maximum sentence.

Re:Did they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737066)

some are being charged with money laundering, which humorously enough carries a much longer maximum sentence.

Well duh. Money laundering typically involves drug dealers, which (as we all know) are a much greater threat to the country than spies.

Re:Did they? (4, Informative)

dreampod (1093343) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737148)

They aren't being charged under the typical set of espionage laws (Title 18, 792-798) which cover gathering or disclosing information on defense installations or plans and disclosing classified information. Rather they are being charged with 'Conspiracy to Act as Unregistered Agents of a Foreign Government' (Title 18, 951) which is much broader and covers many otherwise non-criminal activities if performed at the behest of a foreign power.

In addition there are charges unrelated to actual performance of espionage including falsifying passports and other identity documentation, money laundering, and conspiracy to defraud the US.

Over all the complaint has a wealth of specific details that make it very clear that there was intent to commit espionage and commision of crimes in furtherance of that. We still file criminal charges against individuals who have been stopped in the attempt to commit a crime even if they did not succeed to do so, though the charges may be slightly reduced (ie no murder charges if bombing is prevented, but still charged for the bombing).

Re:Did they? (2, Interesting)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737244)

Just read as:

"Nice set of undeclared spies you have there.
It would be a shame if something bad happened to it."

Yes (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737460)

Same way as it is illegal to try and murder someone, but fail. It isn't the same crime, or the same punishment, but it is still illegal.

So actually giving classified secrets to a foreign power is a very serious crime. It is the kind of thing that can earn life in prison, or even death if it is done during war time. Working as an agent for a foreign government and trying to get classified data is also illegal, though less so.

Re:Did they? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737608)

Here [justice.gov] is the official document detailing what they did, and what they're being charged with. A very interesting read, though be warned, you'll feel like laughing out loud at times.

Typical (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736698)

"Officials said no secrets were compromised or revealed in the alleged plot, and the spy operation seems to have yielded little of value given some of the elaborate methods deployed. None of the 11 charged by US prosecutors was accused of accessing any classified or sensitive US government information."

This is typical of Russian intelligence activity. The book The Sword and the Shield: Mitrokhin Archive details most of the Soviet operations up until the mid 80s. This sounds like more of the same techniques: Attempting to attract young, impressionable, college-educated people to their cause and then trying to guide them into positions where they can gain intel. Unfortunately, the Russians still do not really understand american culture and so they find it difficult to penetrate deeply into any establishment domestically.

Historically, their most successful intelligence gathering operations were either through signals intelligence or from defectors who wanted monentary compensation. Their recruiting efforts have been laughably under-planned. This is just another example. Their resources would be better spent in open source intelligence to identify vulnerable individuals who could be blackmailed than attempting to sway them on idealistic grounds. Communism just isn't that sexy. Sadly for them, I don't think they have the resources anymore to do much more than the French -- industrial espionage is as far as they get too. But at least the French make money on their intelligence operations...

Re:Typical (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737036)

Russia is no longer a communist state.

Re:Typical (3, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737050)

This is correct, the Russians always have bad luck with Russian agents placed in the West, but did really good with politically sympathetic people in power or greedy ones looking for the money.

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737288)

One disturbing aspect:
http://caps.fool.com/Blogs/breaking-news-gold-connection/413174

A copy of the complaint is here:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/33673421/Complaint-in-Mestos-Case

Re:Typical (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737326)

Communism just isn't that sexy.

I think you meant to say: Putin just isn't that sexy anymore. Our previous President may have had a huge man-crush on him, but now I think it's fair to say former President George W. Bush is totally over Putin, and has moved on to bigger and better things.

Lobbying VS Spying (2, Funny)

Mrdzone (562353) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736708)

I love how when they don't declare themselves it's "spying" but when they do it's simply "lobbying." Brilliant!

Re:Lobbying VS Spying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736866)

I don't think you know how lobbying works.

I work for lobbyists. Soulless, but not spies.

News at 11 - countries spy on each other! (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736714)

Shocking! you mean countries spy on each other in this day and age? Expect Russia to expel a few US "aides to diplomats", US to make lots of unhappy noises, and the whole thing to die down again. Heads of respective intelligence agencies nod at each other at the next major summit and agree to go back to business as normal.

I can imagine a phone has gone off in Moscow: "hi Ivan, it's Bob here from Washington. Sorry about that, the new president needed to see a bit of action. You expel a few of our small guys, our newspapers will make some noise, and all will be back to normal. See you down the club next time you're in town."

All very John Le Carre I am sure.

Re:News at 11 - countries spy on each other! (0)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736844)

Don't be a knee jerking idiot. The last thing Russia needs right now is to flex its muscle and strain relations with the USA which have been improving since the end of the cold war.

Re:News at 11 - countries spy on each other! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737062)

Don't be a knee jerking idiot. The last thing the USA needs right now is to flex its muscle and strain the relations with Russia which have been improving since the end of the cold war.

See how easy that was?

Please keep in mind that both the USA and Russia have massive nuclear arsenals, most of which are pointed at each other.

Re:News at 11 - countries spy on each other! (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737360)

The last thing Russia needs right now is to flex its muscle and strain relations with the USA which have been improving since the end of the cold war.

That's precisely what Russia has been doing pretty much since Putin came to power. A strong anti-US, anti-NATO stance, at least in material targeted at internal consumption within the country (government-backed mass media etc), is a big part of his populist "patriotic" platform.

In any case, compared to major foreign policy splits, such as over Kosovo in 1999, over Iraq in 2003, and over South Ossetia in 2008, the usual row over espionage is minor and routine.

And now the bad news (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736732)

The masterminds of the ring, Boris Badenov, Natasha Fatale, and Fearless Leader, are still at large.

They should play the AIPAC gambit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736738)

It works every time.

Spy? (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736750)

New job posting! Live in the USA. Get an absurdly high salary. Hobnob with politicians. Raise hydrangeas. Provide nearly useless tidbits of information. Pick your job title from the following list:

1) Journalist
2) Spy
3) Lobbyist
4) Politician running for office
5) Lawyer
6) Wealthy old money parasite
7) Failed CEO of HP/Compaq, Microsoft, Enron or any Hedge fund.
8) Oprah (or generic talk show host)

Spy stories (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736752)

You have to admit ./ lags at least a few days behind on spy-related stories. Oh, unless these are lated to WoW and nethack, of course...

Re:Spy stories (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736976)

It's ok, sometimes it's nice to give the story time to settle a bit before posting it. That way you can have people who are at least a little knowledgeable commenting on the subject, instead of the typical, "she's hot!" comments that you get on a lot of other sites.

Its a scam (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736784)

This is just to get free press for a new movie.

Re:Its a scam (1)

RafaelAngel (249818) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737370)

I thought the same too. It's just so strange that a movie about this topic just happens to be coming out. Salt--if you're interested.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736788)

I'm not convinced that these "spies" were doing anything all that sinister.
Without any actual knowledge of US operations, I can assure you that we have spies like these in Russia, Britain, Australia, Every Country of the EU, and Every Country of the Mid-East.
Where do you think the information in the "CIA World Factbook" comes from?

What secrets do spies hope to obtain? (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736818)

Any slashdotters in the upper echelons of our more secretive government agencies care to fill us in?

Re:What secrets do spies hope to obtain? (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737006)

Oh, but of course. See, what the Russian spies REALLY wanted, and almost got, are outlined in secret documents in the Pentagon which I will describe here...

Hey... wait a second! Damn you, mykos, but you are a clever one... almost got me that time.

Re:What secrets do spies hope to obtain? (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737056)

Hardly in the upper echelons but based on the security briefings I've received the answer is tiny, insignificant bits and pieces that you would tell anyone in passing but which can be put together to see the bigger picture. Of course, this was during a briefing about how important it was to keep secret things secret so that might be an exageration to instil a sense that the little things are important but the techniques they warned against backed up their statements. Engineers in particular are apparently susceptible to minor insults against a project they are working on. They will jump to devend it even if it means leaking non-trivial details.

As an example:
Spy - "I heard that the Air Force's new radios can't even do X"
Engineer - "What!? of course it can do X, we can even do X with Y and Z!"

Where X, Y, and Z are small details that are never the less classified information.

Re:What secrets do spies hope to obtain? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737154)

They now know what percentage of our dentists recommand various brands of gum, for those patients who chew gum.

Re:What secrets do spies hope to obtain? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737444)

Actually, I have it from a reliable source that they're very interested in the most extreme potential consequences of the obesity epidemic. Specifically, as manifested in your mom. :-P

Re:What secrets do spies hope to obtain? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737578)

Well, if you read the recently published official complaint [justice.gov], SVR gave one of the agents the following order:

in its January 2010 messages, the SVR also instructed MURPHY to buy certain computer equipment using "all necessary precausions [sic]: no preliminary order, pay cash, destroy receipts, etc.," and to bring that computer equipment to Center.

and it was carried out:

A database of sales maintained by the Computer Store reflected that, earlier that day, an individual who identified himself as "David Hiller" had paid cash for, inter alia, an ASUS EEE PC 1005HA-P laptop computer. This was the make and model of computer that the SVR had directed MURPHY to buy.

(I kid you not, it's page 28 in the PDF.)

So there. I mean, for sure, it was a cunning plan to bug it and then sneak it in as a gift to Obama alongside his BlackBerry... though as a Russian myself, I'm tempted to conclude that SVR is financed so badly that they purchase laptops for themselves indirectly through agents in the field, so they can write off the price as operative expenses. ~

Sex Sells (5, Funny)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736888)

Okay, raise your hands, how many people got to the bit about "while the Post favors the femme fatale angle (alleged spy Anna Chapman)" and immediately stopped to go do some google searches on this spy in particular?

She looks like a spy. (4, Funny)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737090)

Too good looking and too smart.

Any woman who looks like that and who has a masters degree in economics is almost certainly a spy. No ordinary woman looks that good and is that smart.

Re:She looks like a spy. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737216)

Somebody better lock up Winnie Cooper [wikipedia.org] before she steals all our secrets then. (Not to mention a host of other beautiful women who just happen to be highly educated).

Re:She looks like a spy. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737350)

Somebody better lock up Winnie Cooper [wikipedia.org] before she steals all our secrets then. (Not to mention a host of other beautiful women who just happen to be highly educated).

There aren't very many of them. Also the spy woman was over the top, she ran her own business too. How many models are smart and run successful businesses? If it's less than 1% of the people you've met then when you meet one thats probably the spy.

Re:She looks like a spy. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737426)

Well, you could argue that most actresses essentially run their own business, they have assistants to a greater or lesser extent but in the end they are selling a product. Everyone always assumes that actresses are stupid, the reality is that while they are doubtlessly attractive, even if they're in the top .01% of women that still leaves an awful lot of competition. Look at Pamela Anderson, how much money has she made over the years selling what basically amounts to her personality and appearance? That does in fact take a kind of intelligence, maybe different from a PHD in economics kind of intelligence, but certainly still intelligence.

Re:She looks like a spy. (2, Funny)

elucido (870205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737576)

Well, you could argue that most actresses essentially run their own business, they have assistants to a greater or lesser extent but in the end they are selling a product. Everyone always assumes that actresses are stupid, the reality is that while they are doubtlessly attractive, even if they're in the top .01% of women that still leaves an awful lot of competition. Look at Pamela Anderson, how much money has she made over the years selling what basically amounts to her personality and appearance? That does in fact take a kind of intelligence, maybe different from a PHD in economics kind of intelligence, but certainly still intelligence.

Anyone that hot, that smart and that successful is automatically suspect. Most successful actresses may very well be spies, but the same could be said about most successful actors. They do fit the profile.

Re:Sex Sells (1)

Koby77 (992785) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737096)

Hey, c'mon they listed her linkedin profile. It's almost not fair when they make it that easy.

let the "in Soviet Russia" jokes start... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32736908)

My lame attempt: In Soviet USA (think tea-party image of Obama ;) Russia spies you.

Re:let the "in Soviet Russia" jokes start... (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737016)

In Soviet Russia they are using line-of-sight encryption only.

Why now for the lightweight ??? (2, Interesting)

redelm (54142) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736956)

Normally western counterespionage groups are very reluctant to charge anyone because the trials will leak their methods to their adversaries.

So the FBI would only bring charges this fluffy for some other reason. What are we being distracted from?

Re:Why now for the lightweight ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737318)

The FBI was attempting to gain control of the group by impersonating as handlers. One of the group got suspicious so the FBI felt like they needed to wrap it up before they all went home.

Laptop exchange? (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 3 years ago | (#32736984)

Does anybody RTFA these days?

Part about Anna Chapman claims her drop was over line-of-sight laptop contact.

All this by person with her own online real-estate bussiness...

Of course it's bought wholesale.... By willing public.

Relayed information (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737030)

Officials said no secrets were compromised or revealed in the alleged plot, and the spy operation seems to have yielded little of value given some of the elaborate methods deployed.

But, they could have relayed important statistics gleaned from the "Daily Kos"!

Russia 0 - Wikileaks 1 (2, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737048)

"Officials said no secrets were compromised or revealed in the alleged plot."

intelligence value (1)

ebunga (95613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737072)

Just because it's not secret doesn't mean it's not valuable and just because it's not valuable doesn't mean it's not secret.

So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32737178)

THe spies were Allegedly Russian?

"intelligenct"??? (4, Funny)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737412)

to infiltrate the upper echelons of US government and business circles and pass back intelligence to the Russians

If they're looking for intelligence, the past couple of decades of US government and business decisions should be enough to convince anyone with a few ounces of brain that that's not the place to look for it.

see how powerful hollywood is? (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32737724)

they have a stupid angelina jolie spy theme movie coming out, where she is a russian spy deep under cover in the usa:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(film) [wikipedia.org]

with the recent bombing of tom cruise and cameron diaz's knight and day

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_and_Day#Critical_response [wikipedia.org]

hollywood is worried about how another star vehicle film will perform at the box office

so they pull a few strings, make a few calls, and create anticipatory buzz in the press and the public by forcing the cia to prematurely close its multiyear investigation of russian spies at work in the usa

now that's power

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...