An electric teapot given to the Queen as a present by Russia has reportedly been removed from Balmoral as a possible security threat. …
The samovar was identified as a potential bugging device following a recent sweep by the security services.
The ornate red and yellow urn was presented to the Queen by a Russian aerobatics team about 20 years ago, at the tail end of the Soviet era.
It reportedly became a favourite of the Queen Mother, who put it in a corner of a room in the Aberdeenshire estate and apparently showed it off to visitors.
Security services apparently suspected that the complicated eastern European wiring could have concealed a listening device.
If true, the teapot could have listened in to the Queen’s conversations with prime ministers, world leaders and members of her family.
One retainer told the Daily Express: “The samovar was always a bit of an enigma. No one could work out what the Russians thought we were going to do with it.
“The wiring looked as if it came from a Second World War tank and it was not exactly pretty. … “No one ever considered it a security risk until a recent sweep by these spooks with their electronic devices. They swept everywhere imaginable, public and private rooms, and the first thing to go was the samovar.” …
Meanwhile, a former US Navy intelligence officer has claimed that America snooped on the private life of former prime minister Tony Blair.
David Murfee Faulk told an ABC News investigation that Mr Blair – President George Bush’s chief ally in the so-called War on Terror – was given the codename Anchory and that his private telephone calls were monitored and recorded and that a file on him was compiled by the US National Security Agency. … – sky
I once heard that the Russians created an art piece with no electronics which was somehow a bugging device. Based on its shape, it would allow someone outside the room to pick up what was being said.