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Soviet Bloc and Western bugging of opponents’ diplomatic premises during the early Cold War

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-48
Number of pages20
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Issue number1
Early online date6 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


King's Authors


This article examines Soviet Bloc and Western bugging of their opponents’ diplomatic premises in the early Cold War, from 1945 to the late 1960s. It explains the process of audio surveillance, identifies significant cases of bugging and describes the countermeasures taken by Western states. The paper concludes that the Soviet Union was able to gather a considerable amount of intelligence from bugging Western embassies in Moscow during the early Cold War. In particular, bugging enabled the Soviets to break the diplomatic ciphers of the United States, Britain and West Germany.

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