This site always praises good technique.

So let’s hear it for the FBI, who have done a most impressive number on cracking open a sophisticated Russian spy ring.

Most of the lurid media reports this morning simply rehash what is in the US Justice Department published material. Check out the two PDFs at the link to read the originals.

One of the accused is one Vicky Pelaez, who appears to be a non-Russian (born in Peru) who married one of the ‘illegals’ (‘Juan Lazaro’) and was a prominent anti-imperialist New York journalist. Here she is in full neo-Marxist rant, on Honduras.

This pro-Castro site forlornly tries to froth up a conspiracy theory: because Pelaez was the only Spanish language journalist in New York worth a damn, something had to be done about her!

It will be. The detailed Justice Department accounts of her complicated manoeuvres to help ‘Lazaro’ contact the Russians and carry large amounts of cash too and fro are most instructive.

This one will run for a long time, revealing all sorts of fascinating details about the Russians’ spycraft. It’s worth recalling that the key problem with having spies is getting from them any useful information they may have picked up, and indeed communicating with them to set targets and follow progress. How to do that regularly without arousing suspicion?

Hence the mysterious world of Steganography, the art of hiding digital information in a publicly available image.

The FBI reveal many other hi-tech ruses used in this case.

Here is an earlier alleged British attempt to effect clever communication which was very smart – until it wasn’t.