By Nicola Tallant
July 01, 2007
A former top CIA agent has claimed Belfast and Dublin are world centres
of industrial espionage where top corporations can buy secret
information on their rivals.
Bob Baer, whose life inspired the spy movie Syriana starring George
Clooney, said Ireland was "just like Berlin during the Cold War".
In an interview for RTE radio documentary Highway 101, Baer says Dublin
is now the place where firms go if they need solutions to problems with
the Russian Mafia.
"When I was in the CIA, Ireland was never a target, but, since then, I
know that it has become a centre for commercial spying, which is very
interesting," said Baer
"There is also a lot of data available in Northern Ireland. I don't know
why that is, but I know it is going on.
"If I want to know about you, if I want cellphone records for example, I
get your landline and do a data search to get your cell number in
Ireland very easily. If I want to know everyone you have talked to in
the last six months, there is a service in Dublin where I can buy that
"Every time you make a phonecall, it is registered in this service. It
is just like Berlin during the Cold War, Dublin, because you have
Russians coming through Dublin and the police sort of turn a blind eye.
"This is post-CIA stuff that I know about because ex-colleagues work
there. This is the real espionage now when the big corporations do it.
"There is also a lot of telephone data available in Northern Ireland.
You can check out people worldwide through Dublin and Northern Ireland."
* Highway 101 will be broadcast on RTE Radio 1 next Saturday 9.10am.
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