Hard though it may be to believe, the invisible listeners who electronically eavesdrop on foreigners through Moscow's walls seem to have a sense of humor. At one New Year's party in the Soviet capital, there was a champagne-fueled debate on how agents manning the microphones and tape recorders were spending the holiday. "Imagine the poor devils down at the KGB sitting listening to all the parties tonight and not a drop to drink," said one Western diplomat, raising another glass. A few minutes later the phone rang and the host answered. He heard no voice—only the unmistakable pop of a...

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