Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bug Sweeps

Spy Shops are reporting a major increase in sales, including listening devices, wireless video transmitters, and easy-to-hide GPS units. The president of one major distributor of these goods said sales were up 141% over last year.
Oprah recently did a show on infidelity in America. She, too, affirmed that Americans are spying on each other. In fact, she even promoted GPS devices to keep track of spouses and boyfriends/girlfriends.

At Sherlock Investigations, we don't promote GPS devices or tap phones. In fact, we're on the defensive. We find and disable them.

Yesterday I talked to four people about sweeps, and scheduled two. Today, the phone has been ringing again with people calling about sweeps.

I also do electronic sweeps for other private investigators who don't have the training or equipment to do it themselves. In the trade, it's called TSCM, technical surveillance counter measures.

Of course, every sweep doesn't involve matrimonial or infidelity cases. About half of my work involves businesses, including some major corporations. Sometimes there's an important board meeting and the officers of the corporation just want to be sure there are no eavesdropping devices in the boardroom.

Recently, I swept a conference room in a hotel in Washington, DC for a pharmaceutical company that was planning a conference. After I swept the room, a security company placed a guard at the door 24/7.

A couple of weeks ago I flew to Portland, Maine to sweep a mansion, two smaller houses, and a business. No, nothing was found, which is the case more often than not. The people just want to be secure.

Last week we swept a corporate headquarters in mid-town Manhattan. The company suspected disloyalty by one particular employee. The employee was retired from the FBI. Before I arrived, the suspected employee was fired. At the time of the firing, security guards escorted him out, allowing him only take personal belongings.

Upon sweeping his office, we found a device that recorded all the company's phone conversations to his company-owned laptop computer. It seems that they were right to fire him.

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