After the end of the Cold War there was a rapid increase in foreign economic and industrial espionage. This increase promoted new federal legislation to enable a more effective means for law enforcement to deal with this threat.
What evolved was the Economic Espionage Act of 1996.
All companies and organizations that handle sensitive information need to have targeted programs for management and other employees to protect their confidential information from theft. Alertness in the work place to indicators of activities, which are suspicious in nature and willingness by employees to protect their employment by reporting to their managers, is essential.
Not only does spying occur in the work place, it also extends it's reach into private homes of managers and workers who handle confidential information. Source: Texas A&M Research Foundation
The word Surveillance usually brings a picture to mind of electronic eavesdropping or video surveillance. A recent movie featuring the famous actor, Gene Hackman had a memorable scene of him in the back of an electronic eavesdropping truck with earphones on.
Although most people are aware of legal video surveillance such as in the work place, parking lots and airports, most of us are totally unaware of mostly illegal covert eavesdropping and video surveillance.
Courts around the globe have had to deal with illegal eavesdropping and video surveillance in order to protect the rights of their citizens.
Audio Surveillance Device
Audio surveillance devices are typically designed to illegally intercept room conversations. Audio Surveillance devices are specifically manufactured for the purpose of intercepting audio and eavesdropping. Bug Detectors are employed to find these types of audio surveillance devices, and many of them have become very accurate.
Spy Listening Device
There are numerous Spy Listening Devices, which come in all shapes and sizes, and are very easy to purchase, due to the prevalance of spy shops. Depending upon the application, there are spying devices that will wiretap phone conversations or intercept room conversations.
The Spy Phone is usually a cellular or mobile phone that has been converted for the purpose of eavesdropping on room conversations with and without the cell phone owner's knowledge. There are a number of brands of mobile phones that can be programmed for this purpose.
What happens is that when a pre-programmed telephone number dials the cellular phone, it automatically answers without ringing and activates the cell phone's internal speaker-phone which thereby picks up any conversations in the area, while the spy phone's display appears as if it's in the normal standby mode.
This type of Spy Phone is used as a "Leave Behind" device in industrial espionage as well as in domestic eavesdropping. A"left behind cell phone" is a favored spying technique.
When a spy uses a left behind cell phone, which is also a "prepaid phone", it is almost impossible to determine who the owner is.
A Cellular Infinity transmitter is another widely used name for the Cell Spy Phone...
Cell Phone Tap
Since a Cellular phone is wireless and a physical tap is impossible; a Cell phone tap usually refers to someone listening in to a cell phone conversation without the user's knowledge. This makes the term cellular phone tap, synonymous with cellular eavesdropping.
To tap a cell phone requires very expensive computer equipment costing more than $100,000, which can track a call as it moves from cell to cell. Some professional bug detectors use a Bug Detector with Strength Meter to locate cell phones being used for eavesdropping.
Many eavesdropping bugs are radio frequency transmitter (RF Transmitter) types, which allow the eavesdropper to quickly plant an eavesdropping device without having to run wires. Plus, RF Transmitter bugs allow the eavesdropper to monitor the conversations from outside of the immediate target area.
A person can own a RF Transmitter but it is illegal to use one to listen-in on someone's conservation without his or her permission. Bug Detectors with Frequency Counters can easily be deployed to find these types of eavesdropping bugs.
Spy Phones and Counter Measures
In the field of electronic eavesdropping detection the term Technical Surveillance Countermeasures is abbreviated as TSCM. TSCM is also referred to as de-bugguing, bug detection and bug sweeps.
The TSCM Industry is quietly but quickly gaining the attention of the security industry and electronic equipment manufacturers. This new awareness is triggered by the rapid increase in industrial espionage and the large number of eavesdropping tools sold each year.
Phone Security and counter Measures
Telephone wiretapping devices can be purchased at any Radio Shack or electronics store thereby making it extremely easy for people having access to your residence, or even your neighbors to eavesdrop on your phone conversations. Telephone security should be a very important consideration for both your personal and business life.
Things you can do to Detect, counter and Neutralize Spy Phones
- Be on the lock-out for "left behind" cell phones and regular phones left off the hook in meeting places and areas where sensitive information is discussed.
- Consider purchasing a bug detection device such as a Bug Detector with a Frequency Counter that has a Low and high frequency antenna for sweeping your home and business.
- Establish a regular de-bugging or bug detection routine.
- Schedule your sweeps at regular intervals, and throw in random sweeps incase you have an internal snoop. Change your scheduled sweeps quarterly or more often if you feel it's necessary.
- Make sweeps when employees are present and when they are at home.
Sweep everywhere, including the ceiling. Don't leave a stone unturned.
- Contact a professional electronic eavesdropping detector if you feel that you have not eliminated the threat.
- Be aware of Phone Security issues at all times.
Lastly think about what you are saying on a phone call and who may be listening. The phone can be a threat to your privacy, safety and future.