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Peeple: The App That Lets People Rate Others, Coming November 2015.


Peeple is being touted as the Yelp for people, the app that lets you review other people without their consent.

How it works:

(from Mashable)

The app, founded by Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough, will be available only on iOS devices in November. It’s already had thousands sign up to be beta testers, according to a post on the Peeple Facebook page (link deactivated).

In order to post a review, users have to be 21 or older with an active Facebook account. Reviews must be made under a person’s own name, and a user must indicate how they know the person they will review in one of three categories: Personal, professional or romantic.

Anyone who has access to someone’s cellphone number can start a new profile for them on the site. The person will receive a text informing them who started their profile and “that they should check out what you said about them on our app.” The FAQ’s make no mention of how the site will check on the validity of the number provided.

Once someone is added, anyone on Peeple can weigh in on his or her merits as a person.

“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” said Cordray told the Washington Post. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”

Why it shouldn’t work.


Why not treat people as you would a used car, Ms. Cordray?  Glad you asked (although I’m surprised that anyone above majority age requires that clarification).  To an experienced investigator, one thing is absolutely certain and that is that the assessment of  human beings is always subjective.  We’re not products such as vehicles or homes or services provided by telecoms or restaurants with defined market values and traceable and trackable basic maintenance/service records.

I find the Peeple app kinda creepy based solely on this comparison to wholly inanimate objects or unique human interactions.  It sounds basically like a mean girls club in the formative phase.

But then we come to the actual purpose of the app – to dish about other people and rate them.  To the first, Ms. Cordray claims to have “integrity features” such as disallowing:  shaming and bullying, profanity, listing of private health issues and sexist comments.  (As to the last item, are the two female founders anticipating an overwhelming amount of bitchy verbal clawing among women?  Why single out that -ism?  Perhaps this really is  Yelp for and by Mean Girls.)   That aside, unless the task of discerning intent and meaning in language is relegated to English profs, the average “internet content assessor” is a woefully inadequate arbiter of phraseology.  E.g.,:  “In this age of overwhelming grooming options, I find Mark Jones’ raw appreciation for an au naturel existence incredibly eye-opening!”  Translation:  “This guy stinks to high hell and makes my eyes bleed!”  See? Seriously, ladies, as an English Second Languag’er even I can scoot past your language police.   As to the latter, rating people/assigning them numbers, Ugh.   Humanity doesn’t need a rating system; softer filters, perhaps.

What is wrong with this app.

  1. Personal safety.  Every prosecution involving this app will begin with, “Was the assault foreseeable?”  Yes.
  2. Legal.  Consent, bias, accuracy??
  3. Raison d’etre.  Not a one.  How can this not hurt thousands, if not millions, of people who are simply living their imperfect, human lives? Heck, I’ve already p.o.’s the two app founders and they haven’t even met me. Yet.

Safety first, Peeple people.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.

Drivers Licenses From Four States Soon Useless In Airports For Domestic Flights

real id

Real ID Card (Note the identifying star in the top right corner.)

Over the years we’ve reported on the Real ID Act that was passed by Congress in 2005.  As of the date of this Beacon Bulletin, four states are not in compliance with this legislation: Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, thereby prohibiting domestic flight travel without the presentation of a federal form of identification (passport, visa, etc.) Compliance to the federal ID law is required by all states by January 1, 2016.  . Basically, Real ID is the first major step towards a federal ID card, but this is the official definition:

From Wikipedia (not a usual source but the .gov explanation rivals the ACA legislation in terms of length):

The REAL ID Act of 2005, Pub.L. 109–13, 119 Stat. 302, enacted May 11, 2005, was an Act of Congress that modified U.S. federal law pertaining to security, authentication, and issuance procedures standards for the state driver’s licenses and identification (ID) cards, as well as various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism.

The law sets forth requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, as defined by the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Secretary of Homeland Security has currently defined “official purposes” as presenting state driver’s licenses and identification cards for boarding commercially operated airline flights and entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants, although the law gives the Secretary the unlimited authority to require a “federal identification” for any other purposes that the Secretary shall determine.


In the news:

New ID rule is a problem for driver licenses

N.Y. minimum to fall short of enhanced U.S. standard

By Michael Gormley
on September 8, 2015 – 9:49 PM

ALBANY – New Yorkers looking to board a domestic flight or take a cruise next year could find themselves grounded unless they have driver’s licenses containing additional security data that is soon to be required by the federal government.

That’s because the state has failed to comply with the minimum standards of the federal Real ID system by not mandating these so-called enhanced licenses, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The state contends that it has complied because it makes enhanced licenses available to those who want them.

At an undetermined date next year, the federal government is expected to require that state driver’s licenses meet minimum security standards to board even domestic flights and cruises under the Real ID Act passed by Congress in 2005 based on a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission.

New Yorkers will then have to hold an “enhanced driver’s license” embedded with passport-type data. Without an enhanced license or enhanced nondriver’s ID, travelers will need a passport, passport card, permanent residency card, birth certificate or one of a few other acceptable pieces of identification, in addition to their standard driver’s license, to fly, go on a cruise or to enter most federal buildings. A passport card is a wallet-size card that can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean by land or sea, but not by air.

We carry our passports regardless, given our history of unexpected international travel, but with NYS’s non-compliance with the Real ID, it just makes sense.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.


8 Ways That You Can Be Legally Tracked

 fb sub

“But don’t they have to have probable cause to search my email or get my Facebook records?”  I can’t tell you how many phone calls we’ve received with that question  – and as we tell each caller, “We are not attorneys, judges or the court or the police department. But, uh, what happened?” (Who doesn’t want to hear a good story??)

(Anyhow, for the purpose of this article,  “they” means law enforcement.)

Here are the situations and the applicable laws:

1. Phone Records: Calls you have made and received

How they get it

Wiretapping is illegal without a judge’s warrant, however, police only require a subpoena from a court to obtain your phone scrolls (outgoing and incoming calls).

A warrant requires showing probable cause, a subpoena needs only to be relevant to an investigation, a much lesser standard of evidence.

Applicable law: 

Smith v. Maryland, a Supreme Court ruling in 1979, which found that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure doesn’t apply to a list of phone numbers.

2.  Location: Your phone is a tracking device

How they get it

Cell towers.

Applicable Law: 

The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (EPCA) cited by the police for these records dictates that the data must contain “specific and articulable facts” related to an investigation – again, that lesser standard of evidence.

3.  IP Addresses: Which computers you use

How they get it

Email providers such as Google, Yahoo, MS, etc.  amass tremendous amounts of data about our digital journeys. A warrant is needed to access some emails (see below), but not for the IP addresses of the computers used to log into your mail account or surf the Web. According to the ACLU, those records are kept for at least a year.

Applicable law:

U.S. v. Forrester, is a case involving two men trying to set up a drug lab in California.  Prosecutors successfully argued that tracking IP addresses was no different than installing a tracking device to a phone to track each number dialed by a given phone (which is legal).   Police only need a court to sign off on a subpoena certifying that the data they’re after is relevant to an investigation — the same standard as required for cell phone records.

4. Emails

How they get it

Prior to Sen, Leahy’s bill introduced earlier this year, only recent email required a warrant; email aged over 180 days required only a court subpoena related to an investigation.

Applicable Law

Once again, the ECPA comes into play.  The Leahy bill would require a warrant to get all emails regardless of age.

5. Email drafts: drafts are different

How they get it

Communicating through draft emails, à la David Petreaus and Paula Broadwell, seems sneaky. But drafts are actually easier for investigators to get than recently sent emails because the law treats them differently.

Applicable Law:

The ECPA distinguishes between communications — emails, texts, etc. — and stored electronic data. Draft emails fall into the latter, which get less protection under the law. Authorities needs only a subpoena for them. The Leahy bill would change that by requiring a warrant to obtain them.

6. Text messages: As with emails, so with texts

How they get it

Investigators need only a subpoena, not a warrant, to get text messages more than 180 days old from a cell provider — the same standard as emails.

Applicable Law: 

Currently being challenged in several states otherwise, the ECPA applies.

7. Cloud data: documents, photos, and other stuff stored online

How they get it

Authorities typically need only a subpoena to get data from Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, and other services that allow users to store data on their servers (aka, cloud storage).  EXCEPT: If that data is shared. (see below).

Applicable Law:

The ECPA defines cloud data the same way it does draft emails – as storage – making a warrant unnecessary. However, shared files, such as a collaboration through Google Docs is considered “communication” so a warrant is required.

8. Social media: Too new to tell

How they get it

Read your social network’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. (Stop laughing.) When it comes to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the social networks’ privacy policies outline how cooperative they are in handing over users’ data to law enforcement. Facebook states it requires a judge’s warrant to disclose a user’s “messages, photos, videos, wall posts, and location information.” But it will supply basic information, such as a user’s email address or the user’s IP addresses under a subpoena.

Applicable Law:

Too soon to tell but we’re know that a Manhattan Criminal Court judge upheld a prosecutor’s subpoena for information from Twitter regarding an Occupy Wall Street arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2011, marking the first time a judge allowed prosecutors to use a subpoena rather than a warrant to get the information.

Bottom Line: Assume that everything you write can and will, if necessary, be read by law enforcement so don’t do whatever it is that you haven’t done.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe and stop typing your life online.

Anatomy of an IP Conversion and Investigation.



Stealing is stealing.  The reason we react so strongly to someone arrogantly and without permission replicating our actions, thoughts, bodies of work, etc. is because of the way we are hard wired to respond to personal theft – the fight or flight instinct kicks in.  For the purpose of self-preservation alone this reaction occurs.  The innate biophysical response to theft is the same whether the item(s) stolen are tangible hard items or concepts.  


“Someone stole my wallet.”  It is your wallet. You own it and its contents.  From an investigator’s standpoint, the ownership is usually clear and then a criminal investigation follows.

“He stole my project.”  But the theft of a concept or idea involves an entirely different scenario.  (I am not a lawyer and none of my comments in this article are meant to be in any way construed as legal advice.  I do, however, have substantial experience in investigating intellectual property thefts.  We’ve worked with major entertainment companies to identify unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials,  individuals unlawfully copying proprietary coding to former gym partners claiming ownership of a work out technique.)

First, let’s look at how intellectual property is stolen via the two below methods.

I.  Intellectual property theft

Intellectual property is any innovation, commercial or artistic; any new method or formula with economic value; or any unique name, symbol, or logo that is used commercially. Intellectual property is protected by patents on inventions; trademarks on branded devices; copyrights on music, videos, patterns, and other forms of expression; and state and federal laws. The crime of stealing intellectual occurs when someone intentionally copies someone else’s ideas or product. The other person or company—the victim—has done all the work, but the thief reaps all of the profits.  From the National Crime Prevention Bureau

II.  Conversion

n. a civil wrong (tort) in which one converts another’s property to his/her own use, which is a fancy way of saying “steals.” Conversion includes treating another’s goods as one’s own, holding onto such property which accidentally comes into the convertor’s (taker’s) hands, or purposely giving the impression the assets belong to him/her. This gives the true owner the right to sue for his/her own property or the value and loss of use of it, as well as going to law enforcement authorities since conversion usually includes the crime of theft.  From law.com.

Intellectual property theft investigations and conversion investigations are similar but researching the latter requires the detective to think like the convertor; ok, the thief.


How a conversion thief thinks:

“I like what John is doing.  I have a similar – but better – idea but his is already working.  How do I cut through the years it took him to put this all together and get MY show on stage?”

Let’s further break down the thought process:

  1. The thief notes that John is ahead of him in terms of viability.  (The concept is already successful for John so it works and, why recreate the wheel or put in the hard effort?)
  2. The thief’s mindset defaults to his concepts being better than John’s, therefore, he is entitled to “build” on John’s body of work.  He sees himself as the grand master.
  3. The thief already thinks of the “new” or “reimagined” product/concept as his.

The convertor then has three options in accessing and transforming John’s materials to make them his own:

  1. To outright copy John’s work;
  2. If the thief is already involved in the project, he will then distance John from his property by modifying the original concept.
  3. Draw John in under the guise of being part of the overall bigger, better production; extract the unique concepts or techniques that John has worked on for many years and eventually overshadow him until the thief has his own property built from John’s labor and that of others.

From an investigator’s perspective in determining how and when the conversion occurred, we draw the timeline:

  • How did the victim and thief meet? (Were they simply mutually in the same physical space, were they introduced – if so, by whom? Was it a casual, circumstantial introduction or intentional connection? If the latter, why?)
  • What did the victim possess that the thief wanted? (Define the concept.)
  • How was the victim drawn in? (Partnership offered? Alleging a shared goal?)
  • How was the victim eventually (and inevitably) removed or marginalized from the production?

The logical questions asked within that timeline will always yield the answers to how and when a property was stolen.

Personality traits of a conversion thief:

  • Narcissistic
  • Surrounds himself with credentialled people, (borrowed credibility)
  • Usually very socially adept
  • Charming, congenial
  • Sees himself as smarter than everyone else

Guard your intellectual property as best possible by having your property trademarked, copyrighted, registered, patented, etc.,  and avail yourself of solid legal advice.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.






College Romance or Victim of a Campus Predator?

college kids

(Originally published on March 17, 2014; updated on September 8, 2015.)

Update: Reporting Year: 2014

According to the CDC:

• In a nationally representative survey of adults,
37.4% of female rape victims were first raped
between ages 18-24.

• In a study of undergraduate women, 19%
experienced attempted or completed sexual
assault since entering college.

As students and parents prepare for the new college semester,  we find it necessary to give a heads up to students and their parents regarding the relatively old (but newly reformatted) threat that has always existed for those taking their first steps into the real world of living away from home, on or near campus; that of campus sexual assault.

In the past several years, we’ve experienced a sharp rise in cases involving a very target-specific type of sexual and emotional abuser; one who focuses his attention on college students.  The campus predator.

Unlike your garden variety slime of sexual offenders, the campus predator is not focused on seeking multiple sexual assault victims.  Instead, he  selects one from “the herd” of students whom he has studied and has decided that this “special one” has the resources to enable his lifestyle.   

Physically, he is older (mid to late 20s, early 30s), often poorly educated (but presents with a broad, if not in-depth- knowledge base), with a low income, emotionally stunted in adolescence, sexually promiscuous and with no tangible future plans other than to live through his potential victim’s resources. (In other words, her family’s assets.)

Personality-wise, the campus predator is a narcissist, supports delusions of grandeur and possesses a sense of entitlement.  He strives to appear well-educated, uses his family (parents, siblings…) as props to give the appearance of having a normal family life and disguises his true predatory goals as ambition.

His actions are planned; a grooming process.  He often does things to “set up” a potential victim to determine his ability to manipulate her. Grooming behavior is designed  to try to get the potential victim interested in the predator and to gauge the potential victim’s responses to his  advances, which become increasingly sexual and sexually deviant in nature.   Grooming is part of a process that predators undertake to manipulate and then isolate their targets.   This process can involve  threats, emotional abuse, coercive acts to determine the victim’s “loyalty” and will almost always involve alcohol and drugs – with or without the victim’s knowledge and or permission. The four F’s of a campus predator  are Friendship, Fantasy, Fear, and Force.

How to spot a campus predator: (for parents):

1. Your child is suddenly in a new relationship that appears to be advancing too quickly. (He’s generally more sexually sophisticated and this often gives the young college student a false read of being in love.  Biochemically, a strong physical attraction does engage but it is one-sided.  The predator is, after all, incapable of a true relationship, given his halted emotional growth.)

2. He rapidly and methodically befriends your daughter’s friends.  (He is trying to control her information sources.)  He will then proceed to analyze each for weaknesses (drug use, sexual orientation, ego issues…) and systemically lop off those friends he cannot manipulate.  The weaker-willed friends he will draw into compromising situations.

3. He tries to ingratiate himself to the parents.   He will try to learn everything he can about the potential victim’s family, appearing to be interested but actually looking for the “family secrets”.  If rejected by the parents/family, he initiates a divide and conquer effort; in essence pitting the child v. the parent (already engaged in a natural struggle for separation and formation of a separate new adult) and places himself in the position of being “the only one who understands” her.

4. New as  your college student child may be to alcohol and drug intake, he will ensure that those dis-inhibitors gain entry into your child’s chemistry.  While under the influence (and possibly even blanked from the young victim’s memory), he will have her engage in sexual activity that he records.  (Possibly future extortive efforts.)

5. Given that he has no ability to plan a true future, he pushes the relationship to exclusivity and towards engagement/marriage in a very rapid time frame; generally within a matter of months.

6. If all else fails to “secure the deal”, he will attempt to impregnate his perceived conquest, who, by now, is basically afraid or so committed to this dangerous relationship that this plan may be with her active planning, to ensure the parent’s capitulation.

How to spot a campus predator (for university managers and security):

1. He is generally an older male.  He usually attempts to make himself look younger (very clean-shaven, wearing youthful clothing, his speech includes the most current slang/colloquial usage…)

2. Frequents college bars.

3. Is often noted buying drinks for college students.

4. Seems to be the “go-to” guy for students experimenting with adult entertainment or drugs.

5. Employ common sense.  If every weekend, an older non-student is hanging out at the college bars and there is considerable activity occurring around him (hard-drinking, many visits outside or to the rest rooms to sell/buy drugs – two or three guys going to the men’s room together are not going there in an attempt to quietly discuss the first round NFL draft picks), observe and investigate.

Finally for the most vulnerable, the actual young college students themselves:

1. Be it one friend or an entire sorority that has your back, don’t allow yourself to become separated on a consistent basis from them by an “outsider”.   Do not allow yourself to be isolated from family and friends.

2. Keep the lines of communication with your parents or other trusted older adults open.  They’ve experienced more than you have and often, the advice given  (and that’s all it is, you will eventually have to make your own decisions) is simply something you may not have thought of as it’s not part of your frame of reference.

3. If it’s too good to be true… you know the rest.  There is no rush to be married or have children at 18 or 22.  Stay focused on your life goals and achieving them in a reasonable time frame.

We as a society need to work as a whole to ensure the safety of all of its members, particularly those that are perfect fodder for conscience-challenged predators.   If your child, friend, sibling… exhibits new, alarming behavior, check her most recent influences. The campus predator will usually stand out, red flags flapping like a wind-sock in a tornado.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Happy Labor Day!

Make sure you grab these final days of summer;  BBQ, go picnicking, enjoy the beach, etc.!! And have a safe and happy Labor Day!!


labor day


We’ll be back to our regular publishing schedule tomorrow with our thoughts on the Ashley Madison customer information breach.  Aside from the potential embarrassment (not so much perhaps from being on the email list but from their sexual preferences), has AM violated federal consumer protection laws?  In tomorrow’s Beacon Bulletin.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Profiling A Person; Three Initial Basic Techniques and Crystal, the Personality-Determining App.


Before attempting to “read” someone, get yourself into the correct mindset.  Stay relaxed and remain fluid.  Be comfortable, sit back and let the cues come to you.

Also, compare the makeup of a person to an onion:

Define four layers of an onion about a person’s being. The deeper you get into the “onion” will determine how much you can read someone.

  • The skin: The interactions and conversations we have with others on a superficial level – such as someone we meet at the bus stop.
  • Second layer: People whom we appreciate or get to know better, such as co-workers or classmates, rather than a random stranger, is now allowed to comprehend you better due to the comfort and trust between your relationship you have with them.
  • Third layer: Relationship bonds, such as best friends and marriages.
  • The core: Each person has a “core”, where the thoughts and secrets aren’t shared with anyone but oneself.

Determine which layer you are addressing or analyzing within the following techniques.

The First Technique:  Observe Body Language 

 According to Psychology Today, words account for only seven percent of how we communicate whereas our body language (55 percent) and voice tone (30 percent) represent the rest.

1.  Pay Attention to Appearance
Is the subject wearing a suit (indicating that he is dressed for success), jeans and a sweatshirt (comfortable, casual), a ow-cut blouse (seductive) or a pendant such as a cross (spiritual)?

2.  Observe Posture
Does the subject hold her head up high, confident?  Does he cower when walking, indicating low self-esteem? Or do they swagger, a sign of a huge ego.

3.  Watch The Physical Movements

  • Leaning and Distance— Generally, we lean toward those we like and away from those we don’t.
  • Crossed arms and legs—This pose suggests defensiveness, anger, or self-protection. When people cross their legs they tend to point the toes of the top leg towards the person they are most at ease with.
  • Hiding one’s hands—When people place their hands in their laps, pockets, or put them behind their back it suggests that they are hiding something.
  • Lip biting or cuticle picking—When people bite or lick their lips or pick their cuticles they are trying to soothe themselves under pressure.

The Second Technique: Listen to Your Intuition

Draw into your empathetic ability and tune into someone’s core.  Beyond what someone is saying, is what that person is thinking and feeling.  Intuition is the nonverbal communication that involuntarily occurs between human beings.  A person’s exterior tells a story, his interior puts that story into perspective.  Looking for the intuitive cues.

Intuitive Cues

1. Heed your gut

When meeting someone, especially for the first time, a visceral reaction occurs before you have a chance to think. It is a survival instinct that tells you  whether you can trust this person or not – your own internal truth meter.

2. Pay attention to flashes of insight

In conversation, you may get an “ah-ha” moment about someone which comes to you in a flash.  Try to embed that moment into a memory that you can revisit later to further analyze the information gathered leading to that intense feeling of clarity.

3. Watch for intuitive empathy

During an empath probe, you may actually feel your own body reacting to a verbal or non-verbal cue.  You can feel a sympathetic pain from a story told to you (the subject relays a childhood memory of a broken arm; you, involved in a similar injury, recall that painful memory) or feel mildly depressed after being with someone who is unusually withdrawn or depressed themselves.  Identify your intuitive empathetic responses and separate them from your subject.

The Third Technique. Reading Emotional Energy

What the Chinese refer to as someone’s “chi”, we refer to as that person’s “energy”.  We have all encountered people with a positive energy; they are fun and energizing to be around, as we have those emit negative energy, that which can make others in its presence feel drained, tired and emotionally void.  Emotions are a stunning barometer of one’s energy.

1.  Sense people’s presence

Analyze the overall energy atmosphere of your subject (regardless of words or behavior).  Do they have a welcoming presence or do they give you the willies?

2.  Watch people’s eyes

Our eyes transmit powerful energies. Studies indicate that the eyes project an electromagnetic energy similar to that emitting by the brain.  Watch people’s eyes.  Are they guarded or open?  Are they compassionate, caring or angry?  Try as one might to disguise one’s feelings, flashes of true emotion will inevitably appear in one’s eyes.

3. Notice the feel of a handshake, hug, and touch.

Physical contact is a shared emotional exchange – producing energy much like an electrical current. How does the handshake “feel” to you?  Warm, comfortable, confident, withdrawn, anxious, non-committal or timid? Bearing in mind that certain people can wilfully moderate the energy that they project, no one can exercise that type of control 24/7.

4. Listen To The Tone of Voice and of Laughter

Sound frequencies create vibrations. Emotions affect the sound emitted.  When reading people, pay attention to how the tone of their voice or laughter affects you.  Does it appear natural, comforting, energizing or abrasive, angry or whiny?

Wrap up: When beginning to profile a subject, again, let the answers come to you naturally.  Trust your instincts, especially the initial reactions and let the person unfold in front of you.  If the subject attempts to “play” you, if you are centered, she can’t subvert your innate reactions – your instinct belongs to you and you, uniquely, alone.

Finally, we’ve been working with the beta version of Crystal Knows – an app that determines others personalities – primarily geared for business relationships and synches well with LinkedIn – that is scary accurate.  Give Crystal a try and see for yourself.

BNI OPeratives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.

DashCams, Amplifiers, Unshredders, etc. Our Five Favorite Spy Gadgets, Fall 2015.


1.  Personal Video Recording DashCam

How many times have you been driving on the road, only to witness someone pulling right out in front of you? Or weaving in and out of traffic?  Catch bad drivers red-handed with the Vehicle Safeguard Video Recording Camera  (several brands carry this dashcam). Attach the cradle to your vehicle’s dashboard and place the recording unit inside the cradle. Set the recording angle in any direction of your choice and insert an SD card (up to 2GB capacity)  to store the recordings. The camera weighs one pound and operates on four AAA batteries. (Use discretion; playing Highway Patrol may just get the real cops on the scene.) 


2. Sound Amplifier

So, what are the boss and the CEO discussing?  (Those of you with imaginations can interpret usage to suit your needs.) With the Motokata Bionic Ear-Hearing Amplifier sound-magnification technology,  you can hear any conversation clearly up to 20 feet away.  Effortlessly wearable due to its one ounce weight, the amplifier reaches up to approximately 50 decibels and can be easily attached to your shirt or jacket pocket or belt.  Attach the  amplifier to the included stereo earphones to comfortably hear spoken words and control the volume.


3. Unshredder

(Bet you didn’t think we could beat the dashcam!) I leave it to our readers to determine why they might need documents unshredded but when necessary, Unshredder, said to be the first commercial document reconstruction tool in the world, is a computer program capable of reconstructing documents that have been strip-shred and cross-shred, and documents with torn pages. Instead of aligning each little shredded piece by hand, this Windows-based application automates the reassembly of documents through four simple steps: collate, segmentation, reconstruction, and report. The finished results can then be printed, e-mailed, or copied. Used by government agencies, police departments, lawyers, private investigators, and security agents, Unshredder is available with a monthly license for $90 or a yearly license starting at $950.

sim card spy

4. Cell Phone Sim Card Spy

Has your loved one been acting a bit weird lately when he or she is on the phone? As our dedicated readers know, Brickhouse Security is our favorite spy shop and they’ve now come out with the  Cell Phone Sim Card Spy. This software and hardware solution allows you view, save, and edit files on a cell phone by removing the SIM card from the phone, placing it into the Cell Phone Spy reader, and connecting it to a USB port on any computer.  You’ll even be able to recover deleted files—including photos and text messages—and view them right on your computer. Just be prepared for the results.

vehicle chaser
5. Vehicle Chaser

Ok, YOU can’t have one (yet) but it’s nice to know that the new vehicular technology from StarChase. helps police prevent a dangerous live car chase.   StarChase developed is a system that is capable of aiming a laser at the back of a vehicle and firing a projectile that contains a GPS receiver, wireless transmitter, and battery. This, in turn, tracks a vehicle’s whereabouts. The data is then transmitted via secure Internet connection to a dispatch center. There are more than 100,000 high-speed pursuits in the U.S. every year according to the company, but StarChase is hoping to reduce that with this safer and more effective way to catch criminals.

If you don’t have a spy gadget swag closet, your life in incomplete.

(We verify our links to products but have no control over the sites’ redirects.  If a link doesn’t take you exactly to the information you are seeking, send us an email – info@BNIinvestigations.com – and we’ll track it down for you.)

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

2.  Computer Mouse Transmitter

Need to hear and record . The Computer Mouse Transmitter houses an ultra-mini microphone and transmitter circuit, which can pick up sounds from up to approximately 32 feet away. For the rich spy, this sneaky mouse sells for £575 ($1,128 USD) from UK-based SpyCatcherOnline.

The Future of Lie Detection: Computer Voice Stress Analysis v. Polygraph


The heightened pace of the digital age is rapidly transforming lie detection reliance from the mostly commonly  used testing, polygraph, to computer-based voice stress testing (CVSA).

According to SpeechTechMag,

“Nearly 1,800 U.S. law enforcement agencies have dropped the polygraph in favor of newer computer voice stress analyzer (CVSA) technology to detect when suspects being questioned are not being honest, according to a report from the National Association of Computer Voice Stress Analysts.

Among those that have already made the switch are police departments in Atlanta, Baltimore, San Francisco, New Orleans, Nashville, and Miami, FL, as well as the California Highway Patrol and many other state and local law enforcement agencies.

In one of the most famous uses of  CVSA, after the fatal shooting of Floridian Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, Zimmerman was given a voice stress analysis test by the police department of Sanford, Florida. He passed the test.  A videotape of the test was publicly released in June 2012.

How does Computer Voice Stress Analysis work?

In a nutshell, CVSA works by measuring involuntary voice frequency changes that would indicate a high level of stress, as occurs when someone is lying. Muscles in the voice box tighten or loosen, which changes the sound of the voice, and that is what the CVSA technology registers.  The first CVSA devices came on the market in 1988.

(In contrast, the polygraph measures and records several physiological characteristics, such as blood pressure, pulse, respiration while the subject responds to a series of questions. The technology was developed in 1921.)

Who uses CVSA?

Employers, law enforcement, litigators and others with a vested interest in establishing the veracity of information or testimony.

How reliable is CVSA?

An 18 year study conducted by Dr. James L. Chapman, Professor Emeritus, Former Director of Forensic Crime Laboratory, State University of New York at Corning, evaluated the use of the Voice Stress Analysis technology for the detection of stress associated with possible deception. Using a combinatorial approach of VSA and a standardized questioning process, Dr. Chapman was able to show that VSA detected stress associated with criminal activities in 95% of the confession obtained cases studied. Dr. Chapman found no cases wherein a confession was obtained in the absence of stress. In particular, the most considerable stress levels were detected during the investigation of murder, grand larceny and sexual crimes. Dr. Chapman identified that when VSA is utilized as an investigative decision support tool in accordance with required operating procedures, and standard VSA interviewing techniques are employed, elicited confessions from criminal suspects can strongly be predicted based upon results of their VSA examinations. Further, VSA can be used by trained professionals to support the acquisition of court admissible criminal confessions at a rate superior to other legal interrogation methods currently employed by the criminal justice system

Source: Wikipedia

How does the court view CVSA?

A U.S. federal court in the Northern District of New York in early March, 2014 ruled that sex offenders can now be required to submit to CVSA examinations as part of their post-release supervision.

Why CVSA rather than polygraph?

  • Units can be carried into the field. The technology can be brought to the suspect rather than having to take the suspect to the technology.
  • Training is required to operate the CVSA, but the training is not nearly so expensive or so extensive as that required for a licensed polygraph examiner.
  • The changes in voice detected by the CVSA occur simultaneously with the speech, not in a delayed fashion as with the polygraph.
  • The CVSA is less physically intrusive. The suspect is not strapped down and wired.
  • The equipment itself is less expensive than a polygraph machine.

All in all, we see CVSA technology as the future of lie detection.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

How To Unsend Email


There is not one person reading this who has not wished for a way to unsend email. Although the mailmeisters would have had us believe that there was absolutely no way email can be retrieved once sent because , we have always known that the technology existed to save us from our snarky selves.

Without further ado (and before the powers-that-be take back the email take-back feature), how to unsend email:


Does Gmail’s Unsend do just what you think it does? Kinda sorta.

While you can’t actually go in to the receiver’s inbox and extract your snippy missive, you can pull it back within a few precious seconds as that sinking “oh no!” moment hits you.

  • Go to Settings in the drop down menu directly below your profile photo.
  • Click “Enable Undo Send,”  and then
  • Select the cancellation period from these options: five, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
  • Save Changes.

(Why would anyone select anything other than 30 seconds??)



  • Select Mail | Sent Mail from the menu in AOL.
  • Highlight the message you want to pull back.
  • Click Unsend.

Which Emails You Can Unsend

Note that you can (effectively) unsend an email only if:


There are a few browser plug-ins that offer unsending features.  One of our favorites for its ease of use and effectiveness is Criptext.   At this time however,  it’s just for Chrome and Safari.

Enabling Criptext on an email encrypts the message and any attachments, tracks it so you know when it’s been opened, and gives you the option to “recall” it. Messages can also be set to expire after a certain amount of time.

UnSend.it is a similar service that works with more browsers and email services than Criptext. It offers all of Criptext’ features, except encryption. You will also need to configure your email service to run through UnSend’s servers.

Then you can send email and attachments to anyone. If you decide to unsend the email, just click a button in your email service. You can also track when someone opens the message or you can set it to self-destruct.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.





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