The walls have eyes Newly released files from the Stasi – the former East German secret police – reveal just how far the country was prepared to go to spy on its citizens. Trains and stations were closely monitored to thwart escape attempts, smuggling and espionage. Potential hiding places for people or goods – vents, light sockets, air ducts – were documented in thick catalogues issued to agents. Train toilets were monitored by tiny spy cameras made from repurposed bladder surgery cameras. A screw would be removed from the mirror and a camera installed, giving Stasi staff a 180-degree view. Three documented cases of “illegal use of the washrooms” were found by Bild newspaper, although there are bound to be many more among the 140km of archive shelves discovered when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. One involved a man hiding a gun, another hid Jehovah’s Witness literature and a third stuffed dissident letters in his shirt in an attempt to smuggle them into the West.