Risk Management and Security ConsultingMarch 16, 2021
Technical Surveillance Counter-Measures (TSCM)
Is someone spying on you?
“Bug Sweeps” as they are more commonly known are more complicated than just using a Radio Frequency (RF) Detector. Litigation Investigators can inspect offices, telephones (Business, Landline, VOIP and mobile phones), conference rooms, warehouses, homes, personal living spaces, outdoor areas, automobiles, personal belongings, and even your person and clothing. Our Investigators are specially trained with the latest in TSCM technology and equipment. We have encountered tracking devices, telephone tampering, hidden cameras, and listening devices during our bug sweep procedures.
What does a TSCM Sweep do?
First, we will perform a threat assessment and initial consultation that will identify all concerns, target areas, and possible causes and suspects. Second, our team will develop a plan to implement the countermeasure sweep. This can be done discreetly if necessary. After our assessment, our plan of action will begin with a preliminary, otherwise known as a “silent sweep” which will be initiated to attempt to locate eavesdropping devices while they are in operation. During the silent sweep, our TSCM Investigator will utilize detection equipment that can be monitored in silent mode, digital readout, or through headphones.
The next phase of our bug sweep consists of a full radio frequency spectrum analysis from the low band to the 5 gigahertz range. The use of the low band to the GHz bands is designed to check for GPS tracking devices, hidden cameras, radio frequency transmitters, and telephone listening devices. These “bugs,” as they are commonly called, can draw power from home or vehicle electrical sources, and sometimes they are also battery-operated. Rest assured, our equipment is specially designed to detect equipment powered by any source.
In addition to the electronic searches performed, an extensive physical search will be conducted. The search may at times needs to be invasive in order to locate or discredit possible false readings. A “false reading” can occur due to modern-day electronics, home, and vehicle construction. With the implementation of WiFi, Bluetooth, RF Transmission devices throughout the home and more use of metal in the construction of residences, radio frequencies can be present that are not related to surveillance. Our specialists are trained to identify what is a real signal and what is a false reading. We use tools to verify the authenticity of a signal and then determine its origins. Many times when sweeping a residence or vehicle we run into AM/FM radio broadcasts. This does not indicate that the residence or vehicle is being “bugged;” it can be as simple as the object is acting as an antenna and with our sensitive equipment the radio frequency can be heard.
Finally, an initial verbal report of our inspection will be given at the completion of the TSCM inspection. This report is brief and a more detailed written report will be submitted to the client after a thorough offsite review of the findings. This generally takes 24-72 hours to complete and the report will include a summary of the threat assessment, a detailed list of equipment utilized during the TSCM Sweep, our assessment of the sweep, observations, and recommendations to enhance the security.
How much does a bug sweep cost?
- Most vehicle sweeps start at $250
- Residences and businesses costs vary depending on multiple factors please call for details.