What is TSCM? – Texas Private Investigator Technical Surveillance Countermeasures

Surveillance countermeasures, debugging.

Oscor Spectrum Analyzer

Here’s what the FreeDictionary.com says: Techniques and measures to detect and neutralize a wide variety of hostile penetration technologies that are used to obtain unauthorized access to classified and sensitive information. Technical penetrations include the employment of optical, electro-optical, electromagnetic, fluidic, and acoustic means as the sensor and transmission medium, or the use of various types of stimulation or modification to equipment or building components for the direct or indirect transmission of information meant to be protected. Also called TSCM.


If someone or a company is eavesdropping on you or your business, they’ve likely placed one or more devices in your residence or business that are designed to capture text, typing, voice, images, or video of activities.  The “bugs” they’ve placed must send out some type of audio, video, or digital signal out of your area to your eavesdropper’s receiver.

Using sophisticated devices like the one in the image above, the transmitted signals are captured and the strength and frequency are detected.  Special software allows the constant monitoring and comparison of multiple signals and locations.  Alerts can be set up as well.

There are other specialized devices that are used to detect and monitor cellular and GSM transmissions.  Even power lines are monitored to detect signals they may be carrying.  Another specialized device can detect and locate electronic devices, even if they’re turned off.  Often these devices are well-hidden in the home or business, in furnishings or even structural components.

Thermal imaging is another TSCM method.  Most electronic devices generate heat when they’re operational.  Even if they’re hidden behind walls, in furnishings, or elsewhere, they can be detected with thermal imaging.  Sometimes the source is normal for the structure, but when detected, investigation of the source determines if it should be there or is eavesdropping.

Telephones & Systems

Telephone devices and their wiring have long been a resource for eavesdropping.  Corporate spying often involves bugs placed in phone panels, centers, or wiring to monitor or record conversations.  Only a thorough expert visual inspection coupled with technology and detection devices can uncover the newest and smallest of these devices.  Only a thorough examination of all telephone equipment, interconnecting wiring, and wiring from the structure outward can uncover today’s sophisticated bugging equipment.

Voicemail hacking is also prevalent in the illegal surveillance toolbox.  Corporate harassment, theft of information, and unauthorized toll charges have resulted from hacking of PBXs and voicemail systems.

Wifi, Networks, and Cyber Security

Having a firewall, even an excellent one, isn’t always an adequate security measure for your computer network.  Often the threats aren’t in the network itself, but in connections between your network and phone or security systems.  Every wiring connection is a potential hiding place for bugging devices.  They’ve even been found in cable data plugs.

Physical Inspection Procedures

Technical Surveillance Countermeasures are more than just sophisticated equipment and detecting devices.  Physical inspection of the space is necessary and is quite thorough.  Devices, wall outlets, connections between systems, furniture, main switch boxes, PBXs, etc. are all suspect until cleared by a physical inspection.

The highly trained and experienced personnel of Kimmons Investigations are experts at TSCM and ready to locate and rid your office of all unwanted surveillance devices.  Learn more about our services here.

Posted in High Tech Spying & Services, Uncategorized.