Top 5 Spy Tools for Fall 2016, Including an Unshredder!

unshredder

1. Unshredder

Just because you’ve spent an hour shredding important documents doesn’t mean that those shredded pieces of paper can’t be put back together again. Unshredder, dubbed 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.

2. Motokata Bionic Ear Hearing Amplifier

Wish you could hear the conversation between your boss and the CEO? The Motokata Bionic Ear-Hearing Amplifier uses sound-magnification technology that lets you hear any conversation clearly and distinctly up to 20 feet away. Weighing around an ounce, it amplifies sounds up to 50 decibels and can be easily attached to your shirt pocket or belt. Attach the amplifier to the included stereo earphones to hear spoken words and control the volume. Approx. $49.95.

3. Jakks Pacific EyeClops Night Vision

For the nocturnal spy, Jakks Pacific’s EyeClops Night Vision goggles ($79.99) will let you see objects in total darkness. Gearlog’s Brian Bennett tested the device in a dark room, and he was able to see people and objects pretty clearly. A knob on the right side activates an LED light, letting you see further into the dark. If the green-colored night vision starts giving you a headache, there’s even a switch on the bottom of the right eye piece that toggles your view from green to black and white.
4. Computer Mouse Transmitter
Be careful what you say around this computer mouse. The Computer Mouse Transmitterhouses 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 upwards of $1,200.o0.
5. Vehicle Safeguard Video Recording Camera
How many times have you been driving on the road, only to witness someone running a red light or pulling right out in front of you? Catch bad drivers red-handed with the Vehicle Safeguard Video Recording Camera ($49.95). Attach the cradle to your vehicle’s dashboard and place the recording unit inside the cradle. Set the recording angle in any direction you’d like, and insert an SD card up to 2GB of capacity to store the recordings. The camera measures 18.25 by 6.12 by 2.25 inches, weighs one pound, and operates on four AAA batteries.
Well, summer is almost over so it’s time to get serious about our spy tools again! (Just make sure you are familira with local governing laws and then, have at it!
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.

Situations and Professions at High Risk for Covert Surveillance.

This week we explore the situations and people  most likely to be covertly surveilled.  At the end of this article, we list the FBI‘s top professions most likely to encounter bugging situations.

Given the proliferation and ease of use now of “bugging” devices, the probability of being secretly recorded is higher than ever.   So under what circumstances and which professions are most likely to get bugged?

In Business

– Companies that have publicly traded stock (even more at risk, those about to IPO)

– Corporate entities experiencing labor problems, union activities or are in negotiation situations.

– Companies involved in any type of litigation or lawsuit.

– Businesses anticipating layoffs

– Companies involved in the fashion, automotive, advertising or marketing industries.

While anyone can be the target of covert eavesdropping, some people are at a higher risk than others because of financial status, occupation, legal or domestic situation.  These targets may include:

– Spouses involved in a divorce, child custody case or other serious financial situation.

– Teen drivers and kids (by their parents/guardians)

– Professors (by their students)

– Business people among themselves (intra/extra-company)

– Claimants by insurance companies

– Clients by salespeople

This list goes on ad infinitum, so when should you be seriously concerned?

You (and or someone close to you) is or have been:

– Involved in any type of litigation or lawsuit

– Been questioned or arrested by the police

– In the process of getting married, divorced, separated or recently widowed

– Running for any type of elected public office

– Recently filed an insurance claim

– Are an executive or scientist at any large company

– Engaged in political demonstrations or activism

– Are in the upper income brackets

Extreme High Risk Businesses  (info provided by the FBI):

Materials:

  • Materials synthesis and processing
  • Electronic and photonic materials
  • Ceramics
  • Composites
  • High-performance metals and alloys

Manufacturing:

  • Flexible computer-integrated manufacturing
  • Intelligence processing equipment
  • Micro- and nano-fabrication
  • Systems management technologies

Information and Communications:

  • Software
  • Micro and optoelectronics
  • High-performance computing and networking
  • High-definition imaging and displays
  • Sensors and signal processing
  • Data storage and peripherals
  • Computer simulation and modeling

Biotechnology and Life Sciences:

  • Applied molecular biology
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Medical technology

Transportation:

  • Aeronautics
  • Surface transportation technologies

Energy and enviroment:

  • Energy technologies
  • Pollution minimization, remediation and waste management

Finally, we look at those professions that are particularly target for covert surveillance.

High Threat Occupations (again, according to the FBI):

– Attorney

– Doctor

– Chiropractor

– Dentist

– Architect

– Police Officer

– Court Clerk

– Judge

– Elected official

– Mayor

– Selectman

– School Principal

– Professor

– Product Engineer

– Software Developer

– Executive/Scientist at a large development company

– Employees at defense contracting companies

– Ministers and other religious leaders

– Corporate Buyer or Purchasing Agent

– Labor or Union Official

– Fashion employees

– Advertising personnel

– Personnel managers

Paranoia is unnecessary; vigilance required.

BNI Operatives; Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

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

dashcam

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.) 

amplifier

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.

unshredder

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.

GPS Tracking; Legal?

gps

Recently a judge in New Jersey ruled that use of a GPS device to track a cheating spouse is not an invasion of privacy.  The premise for the ruling is that both parties shared the family vehicle and therefore, either could place the monitoring device on said vehicle. In an attempt to clarify the states’ position on GPS tracking, we held an informal study amongst our peers and researched existing legislation (including that also connected to wiretapping and privacy laws).

As best we can ascertain, there appears to be no definitive list of  state by state rulings on GPS devices and their placement on personal vehicles. Many states require the consent of the vehicle’s registered owner. Although the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that law enforcement agencies’ use of a GPS monitoring device constitutes an “illegal search” and that the potential surveillance subject is therefore protected against this type of monitoring under the Fourth Amendment, that clarity of use as of GPS tracking has not yet been legally defined for private sector use.

According to our knowledgeable friends at Brick House Security (NYC), it is  generally considered to be fair and legal usage of a GPS tracking device if:

  • You or your company own the vehicle.
  • You or your company do not own the vehicle, but you place the GPS device on the outside of the car — (e.g., under the rear bumper).
  • The vehicle is visible to the public — (e.g., in a parking lot or on a public street).
  • You could obtain the same information by physically trailing the vehicle.
  • The vehicle is not situated on someone else’s private property.

It’s generally illegal to use a GPS tracking device if:

  • You need to break into the vehicle to situate the device.
  • You need to physically hardwire the device inside the vehicle.
  • The vehicle is in a place where its owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy — in a private garage.

My suggestion for those wishing to engage in GPS surveillance of a subject, is to contact local police in the desired area of surveillance and ask within.

For additional GPS tracking related information, please read one of our  earlier articles on the subject, below linked.

Our Operatives: Street smart: info savvy.

As always, stay safe.

Your Tattletale License Plates

lps (3)

The Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) scanning systems are one of the newest law enforcement technologies. The system consists of cameras mounted on police cars, hooked up to a computer inside the vehicle.  License plates images are scanned and matched to a real-time centralized database. This database flags vehicles that have been identified as

  • Stolen Vehicles
  • Wanted for an Amber Alert
  • Expired Registration
  • Expired Insurance
  • Wanted as “Persons of Interest” for any investigation
  • Suspended Driver’s License
  • Outstanding Criminal Warrant
  • Outstanding Municipal Taxes or other Fines and Fees
  • Are Wanted for any other government purpose

The system is matched to the vehicle’s owner via a DMV database. So, you can just be driving along and find yourself pulled over by the police, not having committed any traffic violation.

How Many License Tags Can Be Scanned?

Short answer: thousands of tags per hour.  One police car parked on the side of a road can scan just about every car in sight, including one driving in the opposite direction at 70 miles an hour.  (No, the answer is not to drive 80 mph +.)

What Happens To The Scanned Images?

Every image is time, date and location saved.  Permanently.  So now reports of your driving locations (whether you were stopped or not) have become records and collected into various databases: those of state and local law enforcement, DMVs and the FBI‘s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

The Problem, You Ask?

As more systems go online and interconnect across local, state and federal jurisdictions,  police can easily identify the touch points of any scanned tag’s vehicle location.

You can easily imagine the knock on your door if you (probably unknowingly… I allot the benefit of the doubt), stopped in front of  a known drug dealing location, parked by a wanted person’s vehicle or passed a toll directly behind a person suspected of a crime.  BTW, how many times have you attended political events?  Call the cops, they’ll let you know.

The truth is that the use this placement data can be used as circumstantial evidence against you and we’ll soon find many innocent people in court, defending their drive down Main Street.

Aren’t These License Tag Scanners Violating My Rights??

No.  According to the law, you have no expectation of privacy while out in public.  This has already been through the courts which have upheld that police officers are allowed to randomly run license tags as they pass by.

In the case of United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Charles N. Matthews, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that a “license plate was in plain view on the outside of the car” and hence, is “subject to seizure” because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.

In the case of United States of America, Plaintiff v. Curtis Ellison, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held:

Thus, so long as the officer had a right to be in a position to observe the defendant’s license plate, any such observation and corresponding use of the information on the plate does not violate the Fourth Amendment.

These new ALRP scanning systems simply allow the scanning to be more comprehensive in the number of tags scanned and permanent.

Bottom line.

Someone should be asking if any restrictions exist on the use of this data to check up on ordinary Joes and Janes, going about their regular business.

BNI Operatives: Street smart; info savvy. 

As always, stay safe.