In this picture taken on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, visitors view the exhibition "The Technology in Dictatorships," at the National technical Museum in Prague, Czech Republic. The exhibition, the first of that kind here, marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution by looking back at the surreal repression of a nation and resistance against it. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Prague museum displays totalitarian-era surveillance tech

November 16, 2019 - 2:03 am

PRAGUE (AP) — A new exhibition at the National Technical Museum in Prague marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution by looking back at the surreal repression the nation underwent and at how it resisted.

It focuses on the technology used by the totalitarian regime to control its citizens — and the innovative means they used to undermine the omnipresent control.

There are typical James Bond-style spy gadgets, such as a microphone concealed in a watch or tiny cameras. But the most commonly-used surveillance equipment was much bulkier and had to be hidden in suitcases, pieces of luggage or even baby carriages.

The secret police known as StB — with about 15,000 staffers and a network of up to 100,000 collaborators — could simultaneously spy on and bug 600 people.

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