Confirming every establishment conspiracy, the soccer ball that Russian President Putin gifted to President Trump during their Helsinki press conference has been found to contain special transmitting technology...
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham even tweeted, “I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.”
Finally, if it were me, I’d check the soccer ball for listening devices and never allow it in the White House.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018
So was Graham's ultra-Russophobic paranoia proved correct?
While some in the US thought they had uncovered an ingenious and nefarious ploy by the Kremlin to listen in on Trump’s conversations – seemingly oblivious to the president's prolific and voluminous output on Twitter – RT notes that the tech is simply a feature of any old ball you can pick up in your local store.
As Bloomberg details, markings on the ball indicate that it contained a chip with a tiny antenna that transmits to nearby phones.
But rather than a spy device, the chip is an advertised feature of the Adidas AG ball.
Photographs from the news conference in Helsinki, where Putin handed the ball to Trump, show it bore a logo for a near-field communication tag. During manufacturing, the NFC chip is placed inside the ball under that logo, which resembles the icon for a WiFi signal, according to the Adidas website.
The chip allows fans to access player videos, competitions and other content by bringing their mobile devices close to the ball.
There is no suggestion that such balls or their chips have any security vulnerabilities. The chip itself can’t be modified, according to the product description on the Adidas website. “It is not possible to delete or rewrite the encoded parameters,” it says.
Additionally, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email:
“The security screening process that is done for all gifts was done for the soccer ball...We are not going to comment further on security procedures.”
The White House declined to say whether any modifications to the ball had been identified or where the ball would be kept going forward.
Nevertheless, there is always the possibility that Putin pushed for The World Cup to come to Russia and forced Adidas to embed the chip in their balls just so that he could spy on the US President's dribbling ability... we are sure Adam Schiff is ready a probe into just that possibility (remember, Putin is former KGB).