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Bug Sweep, Bug Detection, and TSCM

What is Bug Sweeping and TSCM?

In today's world, almost anyone can easily and cheaply acquire surveillance devices, or bugs, that can be used to invade your privacy. Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), or bug sweeps can help individuals and businesses protect their privacy. While there are a lot of surveillance countermeasure service providers available, it is essential to use a trained, qualified investigator. These services are meant to detect bugs and uncover any illegal surveillance devices, any unknown technical surveillance devices, and any technical security weaknesses. Electronic surveillance detection is conducted to give you the peace of mind that your privacy is protected.

Need-to-Know Definitons

  • Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM): bug-sweeping or electronic countermeasures intended to find and remove surveillance devices.
  • Bug: a covert or hidden listening device that typically contains a radio transmitter and microphone
  • Vulnerability Audits: process where investigator assess threats and potential of privacy invasion
  • In-Place Monitoring (IPM): systems providing effective detection and geolocation of potential external threats within or around offices, homes, or public venues
  • Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) inspection: thorough assessment of an accredited area where SCI, classified information requiring formal access control systems, is handled.
  • Off-site Radio Frequency (RF) Monitoring: inspecting area for radio frequencies given off by common surveillance devices

Common Bugs and Surveillance Devices

  • Hidden cameras: as technology improves cameras are getting better and smaller. Small cameras can be hidden anywhere now or even disguised as anything from air purifiers to smoke detectors.
  • Cell Phone Spy Software: monitoring software downloaded to a mobile phone that can record calls, view complete web history and record the sound from the surroundings of the phone.
  • Wiretapping: an interception of telephone communication through the telephone signal.
  • Audio Surveillance: microphone device placed in an area to monitor and record communication. Like cameras, these can be hidden just about anywhere now and disguised as something as harmless as a power strip.

Why do I need Counter Surveillance Measures?

Is someone spying on you? Unfortunately, bugging and surveillance is more common and easier than ever. It can be done for any number of reasons, by a complete stranger or someone you know very well. What was the last time you used your credit card or checking account over the phone to pay a bill or purchase something? Identity theft has become extremely prevalent and criminals can use bugs to obtain your most important information. Frustrated spouses often plant electronic surveillance devices in their own homes to try to gather evidence for divorce. If you are involved in litigation your opposition may utilize surveillance to collect information about you for the case Hidden cameras have been found in rented homes planted by creepy landlords to spy on their tenants. Offices or places of business are often targeted and bugged to steal valuable information or trade secrets.

Are there different types of TSCM?

To keep pace with the different forms of spying, there are different types of counter surveillance measures as well. Technical security measures include:

  • Vulnerability audits
  • TSCM surveys
  • Eavesdropping detection
  • SCIF Inspections
  • Bug sweeps
  • Wiretap detection
  • In Place Monitoring (IPM)
  • TSCM sweeps
  • Off Site RF Monitoring
  • Many more

These services tend to be used by retail and business customers, although some services (such as bug sweeps, eavesdropping detection, and wiretap detection) can also be used by individuals who fear their privacy has been compromised.

What is involved in an Inverse Surveillance Service?

A TSCM survey should involve a professional investigator or investigators who will audit a company’s technical security. Investigators will conduct visual, electronic, and physical investigations of company systems that may be monitored and affected by technical surveillance measures. If the survey reveals any security issues, investigators can use counter measures or can gather evidence so that the company can pursue legal action against those individuals involved in the technical security breach.

Bug sweeps and other counter surveillance measures work in a similar way, although, unlike TSCM surveys, they may not just consider technical spying. Detecting bugs through bug sweeping and other measures usually involve an investigator who is trained to find surveillance measures. This person will use special equipment as well as visual and physical investigation to find any evidence of spying. The investigator will report their findings and, in some cases, will work to find out who is responsible for planting the bug and invading your privacy.

Use the search utility on the top of this page or select from a state listed below to find a technical surveillance countermeasures investigator, or give us a call at (888) 997-4669.

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