In today’s world, electronic and visual surveillance is increasing.
It’s carried out by all sorts of government bodies let alone by criminals.
GCHQ is a minor worry in the grand scheme of things, there’s the D.S.S , Local and District Councils, (who are the worst offenders). Customs, Police, Secret Service, newspapers, private investigations, insurance claims departments, the list goes on.
Their activities are mainly government approved and meant to be controlled by the RIPA Act 2000.
One of the most abused and ignored “snoopers” charter in the world.
- Intercepting letters, e-mails and phone calls
- Getting any kind of communications data from a provider, such as asking for mobile phone records or information from your Internet Service Provider or any e-mail/web browsing records.
- Accessing any electronic data that’s been protected by encryption or passwords.
- Covert surveillance either on private premises or in private vehicles
- Covert surveillance that takes place in a public place but is directed at a specific person.
- Using informants and undercover officers
So here are a few pointers on surveillance just in case you become a “person, of interest” and didn’t know it.
Things to look out for on a telephone.
Static, crackling, interference, echo, or just general fluctuations in the quality of your telephone.
Clicking on the line.
Finishing a call then quickly raising the handset finds the line still held on.
Callers reporting that you’re sometimes on the phone when you weren’t.
Callers having difficulty hearing you, they hear echo, clicking, etc.
Dialling sometimes needs to be repeated.
Busy answering machines may suddenly be empty.
Your phone company does work on your telegraph pole or arrives to clear a phone fault you knew nothing about or to ‘upgrade’ your phone line.
Wireless Devices (Bugs)
A clue is sudden continuous or intermittent interference to your TV, radio, Hi-Fi, or wireless communications.
Your wireless baby alarm may start to crackle or whistle for no reason.
Using a portable radio, carefully scroll through the full spectrum of the FM radio band.
If you hear a squealing noise, it could be feedback caused by a bug nearby.
Keep the radio on this frequency and move it around the room to detect the location of the bug.
The feedback volume increases as the radio nears the bug.
Spyware might be on your cell phone if:
The screen lights up for no reason
You notice ambient noise in the background when you’re on a phone call
You repeatedly get strange text messages from an unknown origin
Texts don’t arrive.
Your phone starts polling a lot, some phones have a LED that flashes when this happens or if they are alongside a radio, you’ll hear a digital burst.
It’s difficult to hold a conversation or to get a line.
Your phone battery runs out faster.
Your call log doesn’t match up with your own log of events.
Your phone bill shows the occasional call you know nothing about.
CAUTION:- Just changing your SIM card won’t get rid of any tracking or remote access software. If you are doing something you don’t want monitored or your location tracked, take the battery out of the phone.
Your Internet starts running slowly.
There is unexplained hard drive activity.
Your hard drive starts to fill despite you not adding anything to it.
Files appear you cannot access.
Every so often the waste bin is found restored or emptied.
Your firewall or virus checker reports intrusions or even worse you find it turned off.
Your system settings change. Remote access is found enabled.
Your router shows the presence of an unknown station or activity when nothing is switched on.
You receive an email with an attachment that doesn’t open when you try to run it or you get an unsolicited free software demo program or gift.
Caution, you may be tempted to open email attachments from people you know and trust. Only how do you know it was them that sent the message? Always check before opening attachments.
When electronic goes physical.
The installation of CCTV overlooking your property can be VERY subtle.
You would really have to be aware of EVERYTHING within visual range to spot it.
“They” could covertly enter your home or office to install devices and gather intelligence.
Be wary of break ins where little is stolen.
Doors or windows may be found unlocked when you were certain they were secure.
A neighbour reports activity when you were out.
Electrical sockets, wall plates or fixtures and fittings seem to have been moved or are not straight when no work has been undertaken.
Damaged or disturbed ceiling tiles, or debris is discovered on surfaces could indicate unauthorised entry into the false ceiling or tampering.
Disturbance to furniture, office equipment, ornaments or drawers and no explanation for this can be found.
New or newer items (radios, clocks, phones, power adaptor, lamp, calculator etc.) suddenly appear in your office or home with no hint of how they got there.
Finger prints appear in dust where it is largely inaccessible.
Or previously dirty places miraculously “Self Clean”.
Newer light bulbs are found, glass smeared on mirrors. the dust is disturbed on light fittings.
BOLO for unusual or unscheduled people or vehicles.
The most insidious sort of surveillance as they are gathering snippets of your life to warp and distort against you. Most electronic surveillance is short range equipment. Typically a couple of hundred meters at the most. That puts people in premises or vehicles close enough to hear it and thus close enough to be seen. You may notice the vehicles have extra aerials or ‘stubs’.
All video equipment is line of sight.
With digital zooms, you need to be aware out to visible range.
In short, as far as you can see.
BOLO for extra cars in the road, contractors vehicles (often vans) that are parked near to your home or office building for extended periods of time.
People sitting in vehicles for long periods.
This is a dead giveaway.
I report such people as possible pedophiles watching kids with cameras.
The police arrive, and 9/10 the person leaves. If they don’t, you know somethings “wrong”.
WATCH THE PROCESS.
You can sometimes see an ID card being proffered if they are “authorized” to watch.
Another giveaway is the police will always look in your direction.
Human instinct I suppose.
Something no amount of training can suppress that.
Even if they don’t at the target, they will when they get back to their own vehicle.
Never be frightened to challenge these sort of people.
I use my vehicle parking right along side them to stop them getting out of their vehicle I ask them what the hell they are doing. Funny bit is they always leave.
Other times unscheduled workmen turn up to perform maintenance work on the air conditioning, plumbing, electrics, telephone cabling, read the meters, survey the road, etc.
So why am I apparently paranoid about it?
Being security trained I pick up on things but why it upsets me so much is the covert way that BIG BRUVVER and his cohorts carry out their business.
Mostly it’s for non criminal activities and has included investigations to catch people putting their bins out on the wrong day or them trying to wiggle out of a compensation claim.