Moles Who Burrow for Microchips

How high tech has raised the stakes of Soviet espionage in the U.S.

Were it not for a few telltale antennas and a curious whitewashed rooftop coop, the handsome brick edifice in San Francisco's tony Pacific Heights could be easily mistaken for a small, posh hotel. In fact, the owner is the Soviet Union and the occupants are at least 41 Soviet officials. That is an unusually large number of diplomats for a consulate in a medium-size American city, but the Soviets did not come to the Bay Area to stamp tourist visas. About half the consular officials, the FBI estimates, are actually spies.

The Soviets bought the building for its sweeping vistas of...

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