I’m not sure whether to put this in Cafe Society or General Questions.
It’s common in TV shows and movies about crime for criminals who flip and help the police to wear a “wire” under their clothing, consisting of a microphone, some wires and a tape recorder or a radio transmitter. Criminals whose loyalty is questioned are often checked for “wires”.
I’ve seen this as late as in the 2000’s on the Sopranos. There was a scene where Christopher Moltisanti was checked for a wire shortly after he was made. Yet the characters on the Sopranos and other crime shows commonly carry cellphones around and nobody seems to care.
The whole idea of a big wire rig seems archaic in an age of ubiquitous cellphones. Are they still used in real life? It seems like it would be much safer to use a cellphone. You already have a microphone, battery, radio transmitter, and memory in your pocket, so why not just use that? They would just have to modify the phone to continuously record or transmit, and to not appear to do so. With smartphones it could probably be done with software alone.
Is anybody else disturbed by the preponderance of cellphones among TV criminals? It seems really sloppy and risky. If I was a mob boss, I would not allow any cellphones to be near me when discussing business.