Evidence of the growing, widespread use of extensive clandestine operations did of course surface in 2013 when Edward Snowden revealed to the world that the US government was involved in developing a top secret surveillance system to track the online and telephone activity of everyday citizens. (1)
So with clandestine surveillance growing increasingly more ubiquitous and sophisticated, how do you know if you’re under surveillance?
It does take time, effort and money to watch someone. If you believe you are being followed and watched, ask yourself why you might be being observed.
Could it be a jealous ex-lover out for revenge? Have you done something that could mean you are a target for surveillance purposes by the authorities? Are your company’s activities being monitored by competitors?
Clues You Are a Victim of Wiretap or Electronic Surveillance
There are several signs you can watch out for that may suggest your activities and conversations are being recorded.
The first is through irregularities on phone lines. As the David W. Bate Law Office points out, hearing strange noises when you are on the phone could be an indication that someone is listening in to your phone calls.
“Popping, clicking, humming, static, and scratching are typical observations,” writes Batelaw. (2)
Another surveillance sign could include interference that is sudden or unexpected on other electronic devices, such as radios, TVs or mobile phones. Or you might find a new piece of hardware has appeared on your phone. The prospect of finding a hidden camera or recorder in your home or in your car might sound fairly basic, antiquated and Cold War-esque, but such surveillance devices are still used to watch and record people’s moves.
If you are the victim of communications’ interference, you might discover signs that someone has broken in and has been rummaging in your home or office without your knowledge. Signs of home and office interference might include damage to doors, windows or ceilings. You may find that your furniture has been altered or electrical sockets and other fixtures have been meddled with.
Other tell-tale signs that you are under surveillance might be vehicles, particularly vans, parked for long periods of time not far from your house or place of work. Or, as QCC Interscan, a leading Technical Surveillance Counter Measures (TSCM) company, highlights, workers turning up at the door stating they need to do plumbing, electrical, telephone wiring, or other activities could be a sign of another more sinister motive.
Has Your Private Business Become Public?
A third party having knowledge of information that you consider private could be another sign that you are being watched. As QCC Interscan warns in its report about how to identify if you are a victim of surveillance, the prospect of having private information hacked and stolen might be particularly worrying if you’ve undergone measures to protect such information. Consequently, you should be wary if any confidential information or trade secrets are in the public domain.
Similarly, have any jobs you’ve bid on been awarded to your rivals? If so, it could well be private company information has been in the wrong hands and is being utilized by rival companies as a means of getting a competitive edge. Or you may have seen elements of private documentation either referred to or quoted by third parties – another tell-tale sign that you or your company is under the watchful eye of others.
If you have had experience of any of the above signs and believe you are under unauthorized surveillance, it is far better to act sooner rather than later. As QCC advises, instead of conducting a risk assessment yourself, contact a reputable counter-surveillance company who specializes in taking measures to protect your privacy.
References & Image Credits:
(1) TSW: If Not for Edward Snowden What Would Protect American Civil Liberties
(3) QCC Interscan
(4) Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Compfight cc
(5) Dr John2005 via Compfight cc