Surveillance Techniques And Equipment

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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When people think about surveillance, they generally think in terms of movies and television shows that represent law enforcement personnel using high-tech equipment and getting their guy every time. In fact, you might be surprised to find out that there were surveillance devices around even before World War II. Listening devices were found in such impregnable places as the White House.

During the Cold War, when there was great concern over the Soviet Union's ability to destroy Western civilization, the technology of surveillance equipment advanced dramatically. Listening devices were augmented with video feed. Microphones and transmitters got smaller and smaller. The United States even launched spy satellites. Early satellites were primitive, however, especially compared with the detailed information that current ones provide.

Surveillance Techniques and Equipment Advances

Today, surveillance techniques and equipment are improving every day. Listening devices (bugs) are still around, but now they are far more powerful and can transmit much further. Their batteries even last far longer. Now, instead of just listening, there are wireless cameras that can transmit color video and sound, both of which can be downloaded to a computer screen from remote locations and saved on CDs.

There are even new forms of surveillance emerging such as dataveillance, the tracking and study of an individual or group's communications and records. For example, medical and personnel records can be accessed as well as tax records and spending habits. This information may be used when a person is applying for a highly sensitive classified position as a method of screening. For the average person wishing to purchase surveillance equipment, however, the basics are still the most effective.


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