Saturday, January 4, 2014

How To Find Out if You're Being Bugged

     Eavesdropping devices are illegal in the United States but that doesn't stop people from using them.  And when it comes to the FBI, nothing, it seems, is above the law.
     "I think you're being  bugged," my friends tell me, especially when they hear a click on the phone line.  Some of them won't say anything important except in the back yard.  They speak in hushed voices, sometimes taking a drag on a cigarette, flicking their ashes on the damp grass.  They think being under investigation by the government is enough to warrant their suspicion that my house is full of bugs and wiretaps.  Though they don't have "important" secrets to impart, they want even the fact of their moral support to be kept secret.
     It helps to be a good housekeeper when searching for bugs.  I used to hire a professional cleaning service for the clinic and my house, but since February when I stopped practicing medicine I've had plenty of time to clean, I know every cranny of the house, and I don't need a cleaning person.  Lately I've been washing all the curtains  and there aren't any bugs attached to the curtain rods.   I've checked the books in my library, and behind furniture, and under waste cans, even the blown-glass dragon hanging over the fireplace.
     Bugs are tiny recording devices, no bigger than a zip drive.  They are either wired or wireless, and can be hidden in flower pots, on door ledges, behind bookcases.  If they're in your house and you look for them, you'll find them.  If they're wired you can search for extra wires attached to your modem or plugs in the wall behind your bed or in other hidden spots.
     Wiretaps are hooked into the phone line.  It's a little more work to set up a phone bug, involving splicing of telephone lines or hooking a little device into the phone splitter.  If you suspect a bug, take apart your phone and look for spliced wires or clips.  An easier way for someone to tap into what's being said in the house is to position a specialized cell phone in a room.  When a call is made the phone doesn't ring, but the person at the other end can hear anything being said within range of the microphone.
     But the FBI doesn't need this crude apparatus.  As recent National Security Investigation leakers have revealed, "no digital communication in America is secure."  Looking for wiretaps in my house is useless;  the government has access to every word in my phone conversations, and yours, and all our emails.  Obama believes that the government should have the right to "unregulated spying on its citizens." ( See this link, for more:  Government surveillance.)
     Video cameras have lenses that can be as tiny as bee-bees and are most effectively hidden in clock radios, stuffed animals, smoke detectors or attached to books.  It takes a real sleuth to find these, because you have to look for a reflection in the lens.  They need batteries, but can piggyback off the batteries in other devices.  If you see batteries--especially 9 volts--being used any place you didn't put them in your house, you should assume they're attached to eavesdropping devices.  But someone's got to put them there.  The FBI hasn't visited my house, so if there are video bugs they had to have been implanted by one of my "friends."
     The best way to avoid wiretapping is never to say anything.  The best way to sidestep video cameras is to have everyone who visits you wear a ski mask.  I keep a basket of ski masks next to my front door, in case you want to visit.    

1 comment:

  1. Possessing ski masks in Florida is probable cause.