Transmitters found in Canadian coins



& ordm;WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Defense Department is warning its American contractor employees about a new espionage threat seemingly straight from Hollywood: It discovered Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden inside.
In a U.S. government report, it said the mysterious coins were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.
Top suspects, according to intelligence and technology experts: China, Russia or even France -- all said to actively run espionage operations inside Canada with enough sophistication to produce such technology.
Canada's physically largest coins include its 2 "Toonie," which is more than 1-inch across and thick enough to hide a tiny transmitter. The CIA has acknowledged its own spies have used hollow, U.S. silver-dollar coins to hide messages and film.
The government's 29-page report was filled with other espionage warnings: unrelated hacker attacks, eavesdropping with miniature pen recorders and the case of a foreign spy who seduced her American boyfriend to steal his computer passwords.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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