Spy Squirrels Captured



Iranian news agencies this week reported 14 squirrels equipped with espionage systems were captured along their border. The squirrels were reportedly embedded with GPS, cameras and listening devices.

National Public Radio (listen), talked to Robert Baer, who worked for the CIA in Iran, intelligence expert James Bamford and wildlife professor John Koprowski, who co-authored the book North American Tree Squirrels, to discuss historical attempts to use animals in intelligence gathering and the likelihood that the U.S. or any other country could count on squirrels to retrieve any useful information.

It wouldn’t be the first time the CIA has “bugged” live animals.

During the Cold War, the Acoustic Kitty went under the surgeon’s knife to accommodate transmitting and control devices so it could listen to secret conversations in Moscow. The first cat mission was eavesdropping on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C.. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and killed by a taxi almost immediately.

A bravery medal was awarded to a pigeon which flew vital intelligence out of occupied France in World War II.

Join professor Tom Eisner of Cornell, one of the world s foremost entomologists, in a walk through Central Park, looking for insects (ra).

“If I check the soil under my shoe for pieces of DNA, most of them would be pieces of microorganisms that we don’t have the slightest idea what it is. So if we say “is there life on Mars…possibly…but nothing compared to life under your shoe…”

Scientists have learned how to build radar transponders small enough to fit onto bees, but only God can make a dragonfly, despite the best efforts of DARPA. And then there’s Rex Cocroft, a bioacoustic scientist from the University of Missouri. He listens to the secret world of insects (ra).

The major chip manufacturers are designing Wibree into their next generation of Bluetooth chips at little or no extra cost. That means the next generation of mobile phones will be able to connect to a multitude of sensors, then transmit information over the Internet (pdf). EZURiO is the leading supplier of short range wireless Machine 2 Machine solutions via Bluetooth and WiFi. Crossbow’s tiny wireless modules support ZigBee on 2.4 GHz. Hotspots might be drafted for nano/femo parks.

The Roar of the Cicada has got nothing on the song of a leafhopper or a humpback whale. Wouldn’t it enrich our environment if we could see — and hear — the insect world around us as readily as a local phone call?

Natural Areas like Tualatin Hills (near a Clearwire WiMAX tower), might be a good place to unwire nature. Self-guided tours might utilize hypersonic acoustic lenses to beam live insect sounds while cellphones could display live webcam images of birds, frogs and insects. TwitterVision on a nano-scale. Make your own GEEK FAIR!

It’s all right in your own backyard (Insect Communications, Part 2).

DailyWireless has more on GPS Tracking: In a Shoe, On a Bike and Bluetooth + Wibree Merge.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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