Counter surveillance, more commonly known as bug sweeping, is the undertaking of physically and electronically sweeping for ‘bugs’ such as hidden cameras and microphones. In this digital world we live in, electronically bugging someone, be they a personal or professional rival, is scarily easy. At Global Investigations we see just how creative these illegal setups can be, and feel it is important for people to be aware of the ways in which they can take steps to prevent themselves being ‘bugged’, and protect their loved ones and assets before it’s too late.
Why You May Need Counter Surveillance
Being ‘bugged’ can throw up a host of problems, especially in the corporate arena. It can lead to private information being leaked and copyright issues, private business strategies and plans being recorded for or by your competitors, computer hacking issues, and far more. Incidents like these are on the rise and are used to give business competitors the advantage in what is often an overcrowded marketplace.
In 2015, CNN reported on an increase in economic espionage amongst US companies, with a rise of 53% in that year alone. These incidences created huge losses worth billions of dollars for the US corporations targeted, and has resulted in a new wave of counter surveillance sweeps for corporations up and down the country. And these espionage attacks weren’t limited to electronic attacks; there was an increase in insider threats, where existing company employees were approached by foreign agents and offered huge sums of money for insider information. Verizon found that in 2015 financial gain was the main motive behind the 34% of malicious insider espionage, showing that disgruntled employees whether they are junior or senior level, are more than capable of causing havoc for your clients and yourself.
Counter Surveillance Techniques
Global Investigations have over 20 years’ worth of experience in surveillance and information gathering, and as such we are equipped with a set of high-level counter surveillance techniques which allows us to be extremely thorough with our work, and provide a high level of service to each of our clients.
We assess each client case by case and work on the assumption that no counter surveillance case is ever the same, but there are two main components that are consistent to our bug sweeps; physical sweeps and electronic sweeps.
Physical sweeps involve our team coming to the residence in question and manually scanning the property using a range of high tech gear, from thermal wall image readers to location tracking devices. We perform this exercise outside of working hours so as not to arouse suspicion and cause unnecessary risk.
Electronic sweeps involve only the most advanced techniques, with our team combing through the electronic devices which are in question and assessing each one thoroughly to ensure there have been no microphones planted, no wireless keyboards bugged and no software interferences on your premises.
Our team is well-trained and highly experienced in the covert nature of these assessments, and are guaranteed to find what they’re looking for, if indeed you have been bugged.
Counter Surveillance Equipment and Clothing
This may take you by surprise, but counter surveillance clothing is no longer just in the realm of James Bond. There are simple yet highly effective items of clothing and accessories which individuals, if they feel they are at a high risk of being ‘watched’, can buy for relatively inexpensive amounts.
The Privacy Visor, designed by Professor Isao Echizen is a simple piece of counter surveillance equipment which is essentially just a pair of glasses; which almost resemble your secondary school science goggles, which have been outfitted with a near-infrared light source which works to confuse camera software without obstructing the wearer’s vision. These may not be the most attractive glasses you’ve ever worn, but in the interest of protecting your identity they work marvelously, keeping your identity private in a world where more and more shopping centers, mannequins and government laws are implementing facial recognition software.
The Anti-Drone Hoodie and Anti-Drone Burka from Stealth Wear are part of a collection that takes inspiration from traditional Islamic dress, with the site stating ‘the collection is inspired by [the] idea that garments can provide a separation between man and God. [We have reimagined these] as garments that provide a separation between man and Drone.’ The garments are designed in a silver-plated fabric, which reflects your own body heat and allows you to pass under thermal surveillance virtually undetected.
Should I Organise a Counter Surveillance Sweep?
If you feel that you or your business may have been bugged, or have found a hidden camera or microphone on your premises, please do not touch or remove the bug and instead get in touch with the Global Investigations team as soon as you can.
Not only can removing the bug alert the other party to their being caught out, but it can also seriously hinder Global Investigation’s tracing process if they are aware of the situation.
There is always time and cause to be cautious when it comes to the aspects of your life most precious to you, whether it’s personal or professional and taking steps to ensure your privacy is your right. With ‘bugging’ on the rise in the corporate arena, it is a step that should be taken to ensure your position is protected, so make sure your bases are covered with a counter surveillance sweep from Global Investigations.
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