Unlike the two people above, this late Russian politician is mostly only known in journalistic circles or within the ex-USSR. He was a leading opposition politician and past Deputy Prime Minister until his death in February 2015 in Red Square, Moscow. He had been arrested on a few occasions and clearly had enemies due to his position and outspokenness. He was certainly on the watch list of the ruling elite, though you do not need to be well known to be watched.

In December 2011, leaked calls were released on a media website listing snippets of a private phone call from his personal mobile phone. He alleges someone tapped his live voice calls and leaked the transcript to the press. It is likely someone simply intercepted the live phone rather than got into his mobile phone. But politicians are not the only targets. In 1996, France admitted it listens into phone calls to serve its own business interests. Conversations for politicians, businessmen or wealthy individuals while in certain countries can and are intercepted routinely.

So what are the lessons to be learnt? If you are in the spotlight or if you travel for high-powered business meetings abroad, do not rely on standard voice calls, SMS or even WhatsApp. Specialist mobile universal network apps and services are available to provide end-to-end encrypted communications.