Counter Surveillance Gear Explained

The equipment you need when you need to know if you're being spied on

What is Counter Surveillance?

Counter surveillance involves the detection, thwarting of, and/or protection against any unwanted surveillance. Counter surveillance equipment includes camera/bug detectors, audio jammers, noise generators, etc.

As people and businesses alike become increasingly aware of growing problems regarding personal and professional privacy, bug sweeps and other counter surveillance measures have risen in popularity and usefulness. With wiretaps and other eavesdropping equipment becoming easier to find and cheaper to buy, counter surveillance is becoming more and more mainstream.

How Do Camera Detectors Work?

Camera detectors are generally the simplest to use and most straightforward of all of our best counter surveillance equipment. A light embedded in or attached to the camera detector will flash to illuminate even the tiniest pinhole camera lens, and the specially tinted viewfinder built into the detector makes it even easier to see the lens's reflection.

How Do Bug Detectors Work?

Bug detectors, though slightly more complex than camera detectors, are fairly simple to use. Since bugs transmit RF (radio frequency) signals, bug detectors hone in on those signals and indicate that there is a bug present, by lighting up, making a sound, or both. Please keep in mind that since bug detectors are designed specifically to pick up any RF signal in a given area, you may receive "false" positives if another RF-transmitting device (cell phone, radio, microwave, etc.) is nearby and active while you're doing a bug sweep.

How Do Audio Jammers and Noise Generators Work?

Audio jammers and noise generators are very similar in that they prevent conversations and other audio from being intercepted by a surveillance device, but they work in slightly different ways.

Audio jammers generate a random masking sound that desensitizes microphones in the area, rendering them completely unable to record. Audio jammers are effective against any wiretapping device with a microphone as a major component, including tape recorders, RF transmitters, hardwired microphones, and shotgun microphones.

Noise generators create ambient noise that will overshadow a conversation, just in case there's a covert listening device around. Unlike audio jammers, they do not have any direct effect on the microphone itself.

What Does A Full "Bug Sweep" Entail?

The technical procedures of a full bug sweep are extensive. They include radio spectrum analysis, telephone line analysis, and numerous other tests using various types of specialized bug-detecting equipment. When an inspection is performed at a site, all possible types of radio signals are searched and demodulated. Telephone and office equipment are also thoroughly inspected for any modifications that could be used for eavesdropping.

Published September 22nd, 2020

Updated September 15, 2021