In the movie "The Coldest Game" (2019), taking place during the Cold War, a special room of the Polish embassy is shown. The room contains a sound-proof glass box, raised from the floor, inside which the US characters can talk freely, without fear of been listened by Soviets' bugs. Outside the box, many sound speakers make an high frequency noise, and a US agent has the job of reading the lips of the characters and writing their messages with a teleprinter.

Is all fiction or did similar rooms exist during the Cold War?

  • 2
    I haven't seen it, but - 'reading the lips' - was this a 'spy' or an 'employee'? tbh, the best way to not be overheard [or lipread] in 'spying' is to also not make the box of glass. Noise obfuscation can be done on a busy street, or a bathroom with the taps running, the glass box is for the movie audience.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 2, 2020 at 19:27
  • @Tetsujin He was an employee
    – bnm
    Mar 2, 2020 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


Similar rooms exist now called SCIFs which are sound-proofed and deny access to people without specific security clearances. You can’t take your phone or other electronics in, and access is very tightly controlled. Most are just like normal offices except for a few additional security features. And what you learn in the SCIF, stays in the SCIF.

I’m unaware of any that have all glass walls (seems like it would defeat the purpose) but they could have white noise machines that drown out conversations.

  • Maybe my explanation is not clear (unfortunaly I don't have a screenshot). The wall of the room are of thick concrete. Inside the room, there's a big box with transparent walls (I guess glass) the let the teleprinter employ to read the lips of the character and send their messagges
    – bnm
    Mar 3, 2020 at 14:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .