The practice of using new technology to create havoc is not new to the 21st century. Unscrupulous publicists hired companies to spike telegraph messages at the turn of the last century. Sophisticated equipment developed for espionage was made available to all those industries that might be able to afford them. Wire tapping was rife in the 1900, false telegrams were sent to newspapers in order to seed stories, or even throw clever journalists off the scent of scandals. A clever message sent to an agent might tip off, or even provoke panic, about possible blackmail plots. Publicists used this tactic to leverage higher fees from threatened stars who might suspect their peccadilloes where to be exposed.