Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Corporate Counter-Surveillance

Articles | Posted by (CS)d June 11th, 2009


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

The Wire Trap

Articles | Posted by (CS)d June 10th, 2009


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.”

Telephone Surveillance Abusing Anti-Terror Laws

Articles | Posted by (CS)d June 9th, 2009


If you thought every time you picked up the telephone and spoke to your sister, mom or best friend, it was your business; or that every time you called to book an appointment or searched for something of interest in Google it was private: think again. Telephone surveillance and the use of spy equipment has increased dramatically according to watchdogs and human rights groups. The reason for the increased use of spy equipment has been blamed on anti-terror laws that are being stretched beyond the remit they were intended for. Telephone surveillance and internet use is being monitored by councils, police and other officials. Figures state that in 2007 there were 519,260 requests from such bodies to communication providers to access information. The Daily Mail reports that our private data is being monitored, with 1,400 ‘spying operations’ being launched every day.


Telephone Surveillance: A Question of National Security?

Telephone surveillance isn’t just in the form of phone tapping and using high tech spy equipment to bug telephone conversations – in fact this kind of telephone surveillance tends to be restricted to police or intelligence services. But telephone surveillance in the form of our phone bills being raked over or the websites we visit being monitored is part of the low level intrusion UK residents now seem victim to. And it isn’t terrorism plots, drug rings, gun smuggling or international spying that’s triggered the step up in telephone surveillance and use of spy equipment – it’s issues such as dog fouling and fly-tipping. One couple was profiled in the Mail saying they were spied on for weeks by their council to check they were living in the right school catchment area.

Telephone Surveillance by Local Councils Raises Privacy Fears

It’s thought this high level of spying and intrusion is happening due to councils ‘abusing’ anti-terror laws. Telephone surveillance and internet monitoring can feel like a huge intrusion and infringement on human rights – especially if the spy equipment and investigation is not pertaining to any terrorism fears, but relatively minor offenses. Although many people may justify spying or intercept requests such as telephone surveillance from bodies such as the police or security services as a matter of national security, over 1,700 intercept requests were made by local councils in 2007.