What is bug sweeping and TSCM?
Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), or bug sweeps, uncover illegal surveillance devices, unknown technical surveillance devices, and identify security weaknesses.
Today, almost anyone can easily and cheaply acquire surveillance devices and use them to invade your privacy. While there are a lot of surveillance countermeasure service providers, it is essential to use a trained, qualified investigator. Their use of electronic surveillance detection can give you confidence that your privacy is protected.
- 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: the 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 Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF) inspection: a thorough assessment of an accredited area where SCI, classified information requiring formal access control systems, is handled.
- Off-site Radio Frequency (RF) Monitoring: inspection of an area for radio frequencies given off by common surveillance devices.
Common Bugs and Surveillance Devices
- Hidden cameras: as technology improves, cameras are gaining quality but losing size. Small cameras can be hidden anywhere and disguised as anything from air purifiers to smoke detectors.
- Cell Phone Spy Software: monitoring software downloaded to a mobile phone can record calls, view complete web history, and record the sound from its surroundings.
- Wiretapping: an interception of telephone communication through a telephone signal.
- Audio Surveillance: a microphone device placed in an area to monitor and record communication. Like cameras, these can be hidden anywhere and disguised as something as harmless as a power strip.
Why do I need counter surveillance?
There are a variety of reasons to suspect illegal surveillance, ranging from identity theft via bugs in your phone to cameras planted in rental homes by landlords. A common situation that calls for TSCM is when businesses are bugged in order to steal valuable information or trade secrets.
If you value your privacy and suspect the presence of bugs, the safest and most effective option might be TSCM. Trained professionals will be able to use technology and experience to discover hidden surveillance and give you peace of mind.
Are there different types of TSCM?
To keep pace with the different forms of spying, there are different types of counter-surveillance measures. 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 countermeasures or 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.