Kaiser, Martin L., Ill 1935(?)–

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Kaiser, Martin L., Ill 1935(?)–

PERSONAL: Born c. 1935; married, 1957. Education: Graduated from Rider College with a bachelor's degree.

ADDRESSES: Office—Martin L. Kaiser, Inc., P.O. Box 171, Cockeyesville, MD 21030; fax: 410-666-8790. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Radio Corporation of America Laboratories, Princeton, NJ, senior research technician, 1957; Martin L. Kaiser, Inc., Cockeyesville, MD, president, 1965–. Also worked for Telerad Manufacturing.

WRITINGS:

(With Robert Stokes) Odyssey of an Eavesdropper: My Life in Electronic Countermeasures and My Battle against the FBI, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Martin L. Kaiser III has manufactured audio surveillance and countersurveillance equipment, as well as bomb-detecting equipment, since 1965. Getting his start with Radio Corporation America Laboratories in the 1950s, Kaiser worked alongside a team of scientists who were variously responsible for the creation of television, image conversion and intensifier tubes, and the cavity magnetron, which ultimately made radar possible. After opening up his own electronics lab, his technical abilities became widely known and resulted in contracts with private industry, foreign governments, and various intelligence organizations within the U.S. government. Eventually, his standing in the surveillance community came under attack by the FBI after his testimony before the National Wiretap Commission in 1975. From the ensuing drama that lasted several decades, Touchstone Pictures borrowed some elements from Kaiser's life in making the film Enemy of the State. In 2006, however, Kaiser published his own version of his relationship with the various government agencies looking to acquire his talents and services to help build and improve their surveillance and countersurveillance arsenal.

Odyssey of an Eavesdropper: My Life in Electronic Countermeasures and My Battle against the FBI is a memoir that covers two stories: the first about the advances in surveillance technology from his involvement in the 1960s, and the second about his struggle with the FBI after acting as a whistleblower against them in 1975. Harry Charles, writing in Library Journal, "highly recommended" this book, written "by a true insider." A critic in Kirkus Reviews enjoyed the "entertaining revelations about his adventures running countermeasure 'sweeps,'" but felt that Kaiser's "redundant protestations of innocence" and "overblown self-importance drag down" much of the book. Noting the final chapter detailing the lack of privacy in the United States, a reviewer in Publishers Weekly initially felt it sounded "alarmist." However, the reviewer concluded that Kaiser's "background will make readers of this compelling and sympathetic book … think twice."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Kaiser, Martin L., Ill, with Robert Stokes, Odyssey of an Eavesdropper: My Life in Electronic Countermeasures and My Battle against the FBI, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2005.

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2005, review of Odyssey of an Eavesdropper, p. 1173.

Library Journal, December 1, 2005, Harry Charles, review of Odyssey of an Eavesdropper, p. 148.

Publishers Weekly, November 7, 2005, review of Odyssey of an Eavesdropper, p. 68.

Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, NJ), September 18, 1964, "Developed New Missile Beam."

ONLINE

Martin L. Kaiser III Home Page, http://www.martykaiser.com/ (April 17, 2006).