The Daily Mail reported on a new phenomenon where Corporate executives are turning to 007-style counter surveillance techniques for inspiration as competition heats up as a result of the credit crunch. Counter surveillance refers to measures adopted to prevent surveillance, such as sweeping for listening devices or bugs; counter surveillance employs a set of counter measures to reduce the risk of being spied on. And although counter-surveillance is common in the world of espionage and politics with anti-terrorist measures for example, the use of counter-surveillance techniques in the boardroom is becoming increasingly common.
Counter Surveillance: Bond in the Boardroom
The escalating credit crunch means job losses are looming as business becomes more competitive; getting the upper hand on a competitor can literally mean make or break a business. In such a context, it’s little wonder that employees are more concerned about counter surveillance measures. Spy equipment retailers have reported a boom in sales of counter surveillance and spy gadgets as credit-crunched executives take measures to safeguard their business.
Counter Surveillance: Desperate Times
As the economy worsens, counter surveillance gadgets and spy accessories are being built into tailored suits to cater to the executive market. Shirts with buttons fitted with minuscule video recording devices, or counter surveillance mobile phones are being snapped up to prevent rivals from eaves-dropping and stealing important deals. According to the Daily Mail the counter surveillance gadgets and spy accessories “would look more at home on James Bond.”
Counter Surveillance: The Competitive Edge
But as the old saying goes, knowledge is power, and having effective surveillance and counter surveillance measures in place can give businesses a much-needed competitive edge. The global credit crunch is pushing some businesses to look at ways of protecting their assets or getting the edge on their competitors – and counter surveillance equipment is a necessary part of their armour. Counter surveillance mobile phones can encrypt signals to prevent eavesdropping or rivals listening in. Intelligence and security are important for those doing business in more unstable countries – and as well as counter surveillance and spy equipment, sales of wrist watches containing radiation detectors are also increasing amongst those doing business in Eastern Europe
Crime and detective shows seem to rule the networks. Our love of crime seems insatiable. And where there’s a crime show, there’s a plotline revolving around audio surveillance, phone taps, wire taps or spy equipment. Whether it’s the much-lauded The Wire or more accessible TV shows such as CSI or even British crime dramas from way back when like Dempsey and Makepeace, audio surveillance has always played a dramatic role in cracking crime
Audio surveillance: Catching the criminals
Anyone who has watched any popular crime show will have seen the scenes that involve an undercover detective being wired up with sensitive audio surveillance equipment in an attempt to catch on tape evidence that can be used in a court of law. And according to the TV series The Wire, it isn’t just in fictional detective shows where audio surveillance techniques are used. The Wire is written by a mixture of renowned crime authors such as George Pelecanos and former crime reporters, such as the producer and creator, David Simon. It prides itself for being a true reflection of policing the streets of Baltimore. And many of the big undercover detective plots revolve and depend on audio surveillance.
Audio surveillance unveils intricate web
Unlike most routine crime dramas, the audio surveillance techniques in The Wire start off as being seemingly straightforward – a story of cops trying to crack the drug dealers. But the audio surveillance techniques are far more complex and reveal a fascinating insight into the city’s underworld. The use of the spy equipment reveals how ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is never straightforward, how poverty impacts on crime and the intertwined lives of all sectors of society from the politicians, police to the drug dealers and addicts.
The Wire inspired by audio surveillance techniques
The very name of the TV series reveals how integral audio surveillance is for detectives. And as The Wire was created by a former crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun and used collaborators such as Ed Burns, a former homicide detective in Baltimore, as well as crime authors who are renowned for spending time with Baltimore detectives to get their stories real, it’s clear the use of audio surveillance doesn’t just belong in the fictional world to create plot lines and drama. As one journalist noted in an interview with David Simon and Ed Burns of The Wire, walking around Baltimore feels like a TV set: “It looks and seems so much like The Wire I tell my hosts that I feel like I’m watching television. ‘The problem,’ says Ed Burns, ‘is it’s real.’ ‘All too real,’ adds David Simon with a sad smile and a slight shake of the head.”
Designed solely for the location and detection of covert transmitters the PRO5000D will detect virtually any radio transmitting ‘bugging’ device. It uses the latest surface mount technology to provide very high sensitivity across a wide frequency to ensure detection and location of even the weakest radio signals. VHF, UHF and Microwave transmitters will all be detected by the PRO5000D; in fact anything that transmits a radio signal between 0 and 5000 MHz(5 GHz).
Such devices include miniature room bugs, mains powered bugs, telephone bugs, video transmitters, mobile telephones, walkie-talkies etc. A 10 LED bargraph display indicates signal strength along with an audio Geiger click, enabling you to pin point the transmitter precisely. If you wish to check for transmitters without alerting others the PRO5000D can be set to vibrate mode. If any signals are detected the unit will vibrate silently, allowing you to keep it concealed on your person, in a jacket pocket, for example.
Once you have located a suspect signal using the PRO5000D by simply attaching the supplied headphones you can use the ‘Demodulation’ facility to identify whether the suspect device is transmitting any audio such as that from a bugging device microphone or a telephone bug transmitter.