Odyssey of an Eavesdropper: My Life in Electronic Countermeasures and My Battle Against the FBI

Martin L. Kaiser, III, Author, Robert S. Stokes, With with Robert S. Stokes. Carroll & Graf $26 (312p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1546-6

Modesty aside," says electronic surveillance expert Kaiser, "I was to the FBI, and the CIA, and the rest of the intel community, what 'Q'—the British Secret Service technical genius—was to James Bond." And Kaiser, who consulted on the 1998 film Enemy of the State , which he says is loosely based on his story, first made his name in the late 1950s and early '60s, when he helped develop a missile-directing system. Eventually he began making "bugs" for the FBI and CIA as well as private companies. But after his 1975 testimony before the House of Representatives about his work in government intelligence, the FBI, he says, came after him. He was indicted for illegal wiretapping and other crimes, and while he was acquitted on all charges, his business was ruined and he suffered an emotional breakdown that he attributes, in part, to childhood abuse. Kaiser ends the book with a chapter about the lack of privacy in America today—and while some of his warnings seem alarmist, his background will make readers of this compelling and sympathetic book (written with journalist and novelist Stokes) think twice. Agent, Bob Diforio. (Jan. 10)

Reviewed on: 11/07/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
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