You are here
Equipment is a miscellaneous category that has many different pieces of technology within it. These technologies do not necessarily conduct surveillance operations themselves but they do, in some way, aid or increase capacity for surveillance. Equipment such as vans or vehicles that surveillance technology can be installed in for instance. Although the vehicle in isolation is not a surveillance technology, contained within it are numerous pieces of technology that are actively conducting surveillance. The ability to fit technology like an IMSI Catcher, a Directional Microphone or Concealed Camera indicate the miniatuarisation of surveillance, this makes detection much more difficult. There is also the added benefit for agents carrying out surveillance around the unassuming nature of vehicles as a container for surveillance technology. White van's are parked up and down residential streets and to be able to identify a surveillance vehicle from a white van that a plumber may keep his tools in is almost impossible from viewing extnerally. These vehicles do not have large satellites attached to the top turning round and round as some spy fiction would have us believe but instead are designed to appear boring and unassuming.
Unmannd Aerial Vehicles, more commonly referred to as Drones, are another piece of equipment that is increasingly being put to surveillance purposes. Swapping the more commonly recognised tools seen on military-grade drones for long range cameras, the use of UAVs for Video Surveillance has created a new regulatory headache for law makers and privacy campaigners. These tools are beginning to be used by law enforcement as they become more and more affordable and easier to use. Able to be controlled remotely via a control pad or even via a tablets in some instances, barriers to use are beginning to break down. Additionally range of operation is beginning to increase, ranging from 1 kilometre to 2.5 kilometres in some cases and allowing for flight of up to 30 minutes, some UAVs are even able to operate as fleets from one control panel. The surveillance technology that is able to be attached is also becoming more varied, intuitively Video Surveillance benefits from being deployed on a UAV, but it has also been observed that sophisticated Phone Monitoring technologies are now able to be deployed such as IMSI Catcher's.
Motion Detection technology is a first point of contact for larger, more conventional surveillance systems such as CCTV systems or Audio Surveillance systems to be alerted to target a specific area. Motion detection technology is normally deployed at particular perimeters of protected property to provide a first alert system that a particular area has been intruded upon. More sophisticated systems allow for mobile deployment, meaning they are attached on vehicles and monitor the perimeter around the vehicle and alerting any breach. These systems are able to detect human intrusion from 1km.
In terms of equipment that serves Counter Surveillance, the Surveillance Industry Index contains X-Ray Inspection technology that can aid in the detection of concealed surveillance technologies. X-Ray inspection technology is commonly used in international transport hubs to screen bags and increasingly individuals to detect any hidden materials on them. The same process can be used to detect modifications to communications devices, such as hidden transmitters or microphones within a telephone handset or a keylogger hidden within a connection cord for a keyboard that would record all of the typing that takes place on the targeted keyboard. X-Ray technology can also be used to penetrate brick walls and detect any objects or installations at the other side, or embedded within the wall.
Equipment no longer exists in isolation. Devices such as CCTV now connect to vehicles that have phone monitoring equipment installed which is also receiving infomration from a UAV fitted with a camera. As interconnectedness increases across these technologies equipment like motion detection and x-ray inspection will further integrate themselves into broader surveillance networks. What once appeared to be an innocuous installation are often becoming a piece in a larger puzzle.