DailyKos's Ipsos has a great technical post on the logistics of sneaking an earpiece onto Sarah Palin at the debate, from the physics of spectrum use and antenna design to earpiece-hiding techniques and more:
3. Where do you put the person doing the cueing?
How they'd put a bug in Palin's ear tonight
This one has me stumped, because you have two problems with mutually-exclusive solutions.
Ideally, you'd like the person whispering in Sarah's ear to be somewhere far away from the debate site. You don't want someone pulling back a curtain, Oz-style, and finding Randy Schuenemann hunched over a microphone muttering about the difference between Iran and Iraq.
A hotel room somewhere else, watching on TV? Perfect...except that there's a delay issue to contend with. All the digital links from debate site to satellite uplink to network headquarters to cable company mean that several seconds can elapse between the time the question is asked on stage in St. Louis and the time a viewer sitting somewhere else hears it. And you don't want Palin standing there looking silent while waiting for the cues to come back over her earpiece. (Well, we do, actually, but...)
Then you also have the challenge of getting the whisperer's audio from the hotel room into the arena to be broadcast to Palin's earpiece. Cellphone? Those get overloaded in a busy situation, can drop out, and introduce more delay. Wi-fi? Same problems, to a greater degree. (This is also why you don't just drop a tiny cellphone down Palin's back and connect it to a concealed earpiece - it solves the spectrum issue, but it's just not reliable enough when you need it to be.)
If you think that your phone may have been hacked so that your adversaries can watch you through the cameras and listen through the mics, one way to solve the problem is to remove the cameras and microphones, and only use the phone with a headset that you unplug when it’s not in use.
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