Listening devices are among the most basic of spy and
surveillance equipment. It is the first thing that any
professional, amateur, or hobbyist should look into getting.
There is a wide variety of listening devices. They range from
the large-seeming constructs that are pointed at subjects up to
300 yards away and still pick up sound, to tiny RF transmitters
that hide among telephone cords. But the most interesting
bugging devices are those that look like ordinary, everyday
objects. They are fun to use and often lull unsuspecting
subjects into a false sense of security, encouraging them to
reveal information that they do not want you to have.
Listening devices that look like everyday items are especially
helpful if you want to record a conversation you are having with
someone, but don’t want them to know you are recording it, or if
you want to listen in on a conversation someone is having in
another room (one that she or he would not have with you
present). You can leave the object behind, and the person will
not know that you are listening, or you can wear the bug on your
person, sending the audio to a recorder that you can further
listen to at a later time.
Some of the more common everyday listening devices are things
like pens and cell phones. These are items that are prevalent
everywhere. It does not look suspicious if you have a pen in
your pocket, or use it to take notes. Likewise, nobody thinks
twice about the cell phone hanging from a clip on your belt.
These are objects that people expect to accompany you
everywhere. And they are also objects that nobody suspects when
you “forget” them. People are forever misplacing pens and cell
Other listening devices that masquerade as regular items include
reading glasses, makeup compacts, and even larger, more
stationary things like clocks and small sculptures. It is even
possible to hide bugs in innocuous objects not likely to be
suspected of containing bugs. Many of these things still perform
their normal functions, so they work as they should. They just
have the added bonus of actually being listening devices.
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