Secret CIA spy gadgets uncovered

Some of the CIA's favorite spy inventions from the last half century are now available for public viewing. And you thought 007 gear was cool.

The "Belly Buster" hand-crank audio drill was used in the 1950s and 1960s to put holes in masonry so CIA agents could implant audio devices. Click on the photo for more spy gear. CIA

When you think CIA, one of last words likely to come to mind is "open." And yet the U.S. spy organization has begun to lift the lid on its operations--albeit ever so slightly--in a bid to cultivate public support. In fact, the agency recently launched a retooled Web site, complete with YouTube and Flickr channels.

The following gallery shows some of the mementos the agency is now sharing with the public for the first time. If you thought James Bond had cool tech toys, get a load of some of this stuff, which includes a tiny intrusion detector and a pigeon-cam.

This gallery originally appeared on

About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)
CNET's 15 favorite How Tos of 2014
CNET's 15 most popular How Tos of 2014