A man believed to be a twelfth Russian spy was discovered and deported yesterday, leaving Microsoft short of one software tester.
Alexey Karetnikov, who is in his early 20s, was living as well as working in Redmond, in an apaprtment block apparently popular amongst Microsoft employees.
“He was just in the early stages; had just set up shop,” one senior federal law enforcement official told the Washington Post.
And he can’t have been very good at it, as the official said the FBI had been monitoring him almost from day one, and that Karetnikov had gained no information at all.
As a result, says the FBI, there wasn’t enough information for a spying charge, and Karetnikov was therefore held for immigration violations. Bit surprising really, as you might have thought the Kremlin would have got all that sort of thing sorted out.
Karetnikov reportedly admitted to the immigration charges in order to avoid further court proceedings.
Karetnikov’s Facebook page describes him as working for Microsoft as well as a company called Neobit. It says he attended St Petersburg State Polytechnic University, and is married to another Russian who was also a student there.
A Microsoft spokesman told the Washington Post that Karetnikov had worked for the company for about nine months.
Karetnikov becomes the third of the Russian spies to have a tech connection. Tracey Foley – aka Elena Vavilova – worked for online real estate business Redfin, and the newspapers’ darling, Anna Chapman, reportedly had plans to set up something similar.
Clearly the net is closing in on us here at TG Daily. Don’t be too surprised if the site goes dark.