Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Monday, 22 February 2010
Hidden spy-like gadgets - Cameras and listening devices
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: spy cameras and the hidden camera equipment

The Spies Have It: Sneaky Gadgets You Should Know About

February 18, 2010 5:54 PM (Thursday) Author: andrew

Did you know there are hundreds of spy-like gadgets that can record you at any given moment, without your knowledge? You don’t have to be in a James Bond film to get spied on. Spy gadgets could be hiding in your workplace, your car, or even your front yard.

Although it’s illegal in most places to record someone without their consent, that probably wouldn’t stop some people from using one of these readily available devices to make a video or audio recording of someone without their knowledge, and we thought it was high time someone talked about it.

We looked around and found some spy gadgets that illustrate this point. Some of these are pretty creepy while others are mildly amusing in an off-beat sort of way. In any case, if you weren’t feeling paranoid before, these devices may give you reason to be more suspicious in the future.

You’ll Never Look at a Power Strip the Same Way Again

Here's a power strip from DPL Surveillance Equipment that has a hidden compartment for plugging in a SIM card that can turn the power strip into a listening device. It can be called like a phone allowing someone to eavesdrop on a conversation or it can initiate a call when it detects audio. It costs $1,209 to buy or it can be rented for $175 per week. A surge protector version also "taps" land lines plugged into the strip. It also looks like there are many other SIM-based surveillance products that come in all kinds of packages. You can watch a video of it here.

Bird House Cam

If you see a bird house like this in your neighbor’s yard, chances are, you’re being watched. It looks like a bird house but it's really a video camera disguised as a bird house. The camera is activated by heat and motion. It records video to an SD card and costs $699 from Spygadgets.com.

Key FobCam
Here's a video camera disguised as a key fob. We suppose it could just as easily be used for making legitimate recreational videos but in this creepy video someone lays down his key fob on a counter and starts recording video of the woman behind the counter.  Chinavision.com  sells it for $47.

We think it wouldn’t be too hard to spot these obvious looking, spycam sunglasses but for $120 someone can buy a pair for recording whatever they happen to be looking at.

ID CardCam
The next time you see a stranger wandering around your company with a badge hanging from their neck you might want to pull out your hidden camera detector (below) and give their badge a quick scan.

Hidden Camera Detector
Starting to feel a little paranoid? For about $90 you can buy this device from BrickHouseSecurity.com that uses light reflected off a camera lens to detect hidden cameras. It might give you some peace of mind next time you find yourself at some discount motel.

 Cell Phone Eavesdropping Conspiracy
We don't know how real this is but we've heard it from enough sources to make it sound credible. The idea is that many cell phones can be manipulated through firmware modifications to transmit whatever the microphone hears when the phone is in use, not in use or even if it's turned off. We've read that big executives routinely remove the batteries from their phones before they go into important meetings. As they say here in the valley, "only the paranoid survive."

Here's a video describing how it works and how you can detect it in your phone.

Video from the U-Spy Store
We have to say if this stuff wasn’t so strange it might be funny. Actually, the U-Spy store has some novel and even useful products for hiding your valuables.

There You Have It…
Okay, now that you know how easy it can be for someone to record you without your knowledge it’s time to get back to the wholesome side of gadgets and gizmos. We don't think we'll be returning to this topic anytime soon, but you have to admit, it makes you wonder about this stuff and how it’s being used.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PST

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