December 2018: Nagra SNST

Photo of a a Nagra SNST, a miniature reel-to-reel audio recorder. This one dates back to circa 1975.

The FBI's December 2018 Artifact of the Month is a Nagra SNST, a miniature reel-to-reel audio recorder. (Click image to view high-res.)


Since its early days, the FBI has relied on technology in countless ways: from hidden audio "wires,” tiny cameras, and micro recorders, to DNA analysis, 3-D printers, and lasers. FBI agents, analysts, and other professionals use and develop technology to collect and analyze evidence; store, retrieve, and share information; and to solve and prevent crimes and acts of terrorism

Recording technology has become smaller and better. In 1971, for example, the Nagra company introduced high-quality tape recorders that fit in a pocket or briefcase.

The FBI’s December 2018 Artifact of the Month is a Nagra SNST, a miniature reel-to-reel audio recorder. This one dates back to ca. 1975. The Nagra SNST would have been used for “wiring up” an informant, confidential witness, or undercover agent to record a conversation with a suspect.