Aug 16, 2017

Surveillance and Bug Sweeping in Australia

Australia’s Surveillance Devices Act seeks to manage the monitoring of human behaviour in order to protect individual rights. It also puts a framework in place to control the use of surveillance devices by state and territory enforcement agencies under commonwealth law. Similar devices are available in the private sector.  Bug sweeping technology is the only acknowledged countermeasure to electronic spying.

Surveillance Devices Falling Under the Act

The Surveillance Devices Act regulates the use of the following devices society colloquially knows as ‘bugs’:

  • Data surveillance devices and programs snooping on computer data
  • Listening devices that hear, record and transmit conversations and sounds
  • Optical surveillance devices that observe, transmit and record events
  • Tracking devices locating and following people and objects geospatially 

The Scope of the Surveillance Devices Act

The act does not prohibit the use of these ‘bugs’ per se. It simply complements regulations in place at state and territory level by empowering law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants to use them. In terms of this, federal, state, and territory police may deploy the devices during “investigation and prosecution of crimes, national security issues, and providing mutual legal assistance to other countries.”

How People Under Investigation Counter with Bug Sweeping

Bug sweeps, or technical surveillance counter-measures have been around for as long as the monitoring devices. The technology emerged during the Cold War between America and Russia, as two powerful nations tried to outwit each other in a ‘spy versus spy game’. Over time, this technology gradually leaked into the public domain, calling for increasingly sophisticated policing.

Bug Sweeping at Commercial and Individual Level

A wide range of data, listening, tracking, and optical surveillance devices entered the Australian market in the past three decades. Internet shopping has now put almost anything within reach of Australians seeking to interfere with the privacy of others. Clients call us regularly because they suspect someone is secretly spying on them.

We regularly hear of suspicious partners monitoring activities in the bedroom while they are away on business. Ex-employees with grievances are constantly trying to sabotage the reputations of employers. While industrial espionage goes on as never before.

It is almost impossible to prevent planting of surveillance devices. Current leaks from American intelligence prove how great the insider threat is. Regular bug sweeping to detect surveillance devices has become the only effective counter measure.
QLD Covert Investigations has helped many clients remove these threats. Contact us for a private consultation with your privacy guaranteed. 

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