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The Journal Gazette, August 16, 2006
Wabash city police could pay for investigations by fining criminals who use devices that can detect electronic audio surveillance equipment under a new city ordinance, according to Wabash Police Chief Charles Smith.

The devices, called radio frequency indicators, were the subject of an ordinance passed July 24 with unanimous support of the Wabash City Council, according to a city official.
The ordinance makes it illegal to use the devices to assist in criminal activity or to detect whether a police officer or someone working with the police is bugged or under surveillance by law enforcement officials.
Anyone violating the ordinance could be fined a maximum of $2,500 for the first offense and $7,000 for subsequent offenses.
Smith said any money collected could help pay police costs.
“They (criminals) end up paying for their own criminal investigation,” Smith said.
Smith said police realize that the ordinance is unlikely to dissuade people involved in criminal pursuits from using the devices, but it adds one more fine that police can tack onto the list of charges.
The ordinance doesn’t ban radio frequency indicators.
“There are legitimate reasons to have them,” said Smith, adding that radio frequency indicators can be used by corporations to ensure that meeting rooms are bug-free.
The ordinance states that anyone possessing a radio frequency indicator must register the device with the police chief.
Smith said the ordinance was proposed by members of the drug task force and that the task force did find one of the devices during a drug-related arrest.
“It’s just a situation where I think one just turned up and I don’t think they were sure what it was used for,” Smith said.
Smith wasn’t aware how many other Indiana locales might have similar ordinances.
Fort Wayne does not have such an ordinance, according to officer Robin Thompson spokeswoman for the Fort Wayne Police Department.

Possible Charges that could Result from Bugging Inquiry

We have new information on the Lafayette Police Department bugging investigation.

Our I-Team broke the story last month when we were the first to reveal the existence of a hidden listening device inside the Lafayette Police Station, a bug reportedly planted by cops to spy on other cops.

Since then, Police Chief Randy Hundley's secretary, Jeanette Luque, has filed a formal complaint.

That has prompted District Attorney Mike Harson to initiate a state police investigation.

As a result, the Durel administration has placed Chief Hundley on administrative leave with pay pending the results of the inquiry.

An inquiry that could result in formal charges against the chief and other members of his department.

According to Louisiana law, the interception of an oral conversation by means of a concealed device manufactured specifically for that purpose is a crime, that if convicted, carries a sentence of anywhere from two to ten years in prison.

That is the type of device that Chief Randy Hundley's secretary, Jeanette Luque, alleges was hidden without her knowledge, underneath her desk.

If the recording device had been a conventional cassette recorder left in clear view in a shared work environment that would have been legal because according to the law, cassette recorders are routinely used to play or record a wide variety of things and people in that type of an environment would have no legal expectation of privacy.

But, when the device in question is specially designed for eavesdropping, when it's hidden from view, like under a desk and in a location where people being spied on have an expectation of privacy, like a private office, it's against the law.

And that is exactly what Hundley's secretary is alleging.

So, who planted the bug and why?

According to sources close to the investigation, four members of the police department reportedly loyal to Chief Hundley were responsible for the manufacture, placement, maintenance and monitoring of the device.

As for why, sources initially indicated the bug was part of an investigation into a possible abuse of overtime by some employees, but now, there are indications the bug may have been used simply to determine who was loyal to Chief Hundley and who wasn't.

So, why plant the bug under the desk of the chief's secretary?

Jeanette Luque has been with the department for upwards of two decades, serving as secretary for four chiefs.

She is, by reputation, a respected and trusted member of the department, someone people feel comfortable talking to,so if someone were looking for a location where people are more likely to share information, Luque's office would be the ideal spot for a listening device.

World Now and KLFY
Acadiana's Local Newsleader
Layayette, LA
March 30, 2006


Why three out of four women spy on their men
May 8, 2005, The Independent
Men beware: your partner may be watching you. Armed with sophisticated bugging devices, women are becoming the latest recruits to the hi-tech world of espionage.

Not that they are travelling the world as undercover agents: their targets are closer to home. A survey published this week will reveal that nearly three out of four women are prepared to spy on their husband or boyfriend if they suspect them of infidelity.

Nearly three-quarters, 72 per cent, of the 10,000 cohabiting or married women surveyed said they would snoop on their partner's mobile phone text messages, and just over a third, 34 per cent, would secretly follow their partner.

They have seen David Beckham and broadcaster Rod Liddle get into trouble over text messages. But checking phones is not enough for many. Women are also flocking to courses to learn how to spy on their errant partners using a range of devices.

Gary Williams, director of a company which runs spy courses, and who commissioned the survey, said he was amazed at the number of women signing up. "Our course was aimed as a special day out for men, or for corporate sessions," he said. "But then we noticed that a lot of women were coming along. When we asked them why, they said they wanted to spy on their partners."

On the course, which is run by ex-special forces and police, women can learn to use covert cameras and UHF radios, bugs and lock-picking gadgets. They can also learn how to throw an axe and use a rifle, perhaps in case their suspicions are confirmed. About 100 people a week are taking the course in three centres across the country.

It is all part of the booming domestic spy industry - a result of technology such as text and email which makes it easier, yet more dangerous, to have affairs. Dave Allan, who owns the Spy Store in Leeds , the country's leading supplier of eavesdropping gadgetry, said he has at least one woman a day coming in wanting to spy on her husband.

"The increase in domestic spying has soared, especially with women," he said. "Our business used to be 60 per cent to business and 40 per cent domestic; now that figure is the other way round."

His best-selling device is an adapted Nokia 1100 mobile phone which can be secreted under a car seat or left in a bedroom. When it is phoned from anywhere in Europe it makes no noise but is activated as a listening device.

Another top seller is the Trojan, a working mobile phone to give to a partner as a present, but with a secret second number which allows the user to eavesdrop.

Technology may have helped the philanderer, but if he is careless the information revolution can be his undoing. The latest allegations that footballer David Beckham had an affair stem from text messages he purportedly sent to a Spanish model which were then seen by his nanny when he lent her his phone.

The broadcaster Rod Liddle, who had a public split from his journalist wife Rachel Royce last year, was also undone by ill-considered text messages.

And in September a disciplinary hearing of the General Medical Council was told how a doctor's surgery in West Sussex was bugged by a jealous lover with the help of the doctor's colleague.

If you suspect your partner of infidelity the best thing to do is talk, not spy, said Denise Knowles, a relationship counsellor at Relate. "If you get to the point where you have suspicions, it's important to say so," she said. "It is not a good idea to spy."

The survey, commissioned by Days to Amaze, a company which specialises in organising unique days out, also found that only 15 per cent of women would definitely leave their partners if they did find they were unfaithful.

Phillip Hodson of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy is not surprised by this. "We've got to the stage where we have a more 18th-century way of looking at infidelity as forgivable once or twice," he said. "That's a good thing. If you are suspicious you are really saying 'I'm miserable with you' and you have to talk to your partner about why that is."

THE SUSPICIOUS FIANCEE: 'He was cagey with his phone'

Jacqueline Falconer was engaged when she began to suspect her partner of having an affair.

"I became suspicious because he was very cagey with his phone," said Ms Falconer, 38, who lives in Manchester . "He had his phone with him constantly. Sometimes when it rang he would go and stand outside the door."

Ms Falconer soon discovered that her fiancé was seeing another woman.

"His phone was broken so he borrowed a phone from our neighbour and put his SIM card in it. I later had a look at that phone and the text messages were left on it."

Her fiancé at first claimed that the message, which said "Sorry about before, really miss u" was from a woman who was pursuing him.

Ms Falconer, who now wants to be a voluntary carer, decided to believe him, but later he went missing for two days.

"So I phoned the number and a woman answered and said, 'How are you?' I said, 'I'm engaged to so and so.' And she said, 'No, I'm his girlfriend.'

"I was devastated and so angry. I kicked him out. I'm on my own now, but really happy. I'd definitely advise any woman with suspicions to check their partner's phone. If he's got nothing to hide, he won't mind."


Spy Stores - Latin America a hot market
The Miami Hearld, July 21, 2005

With its hidden cameras, motion sensors, closed-circuit television monitors and biometric access systems, the electronic security industry has its eye on Latin America.

But so does Uncle Sam, who has clamped down on issuing visas for the region in wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

As a result, The Americas Security and Fire Expo has seen a drop in the number of security specialists and technicians who used to pack the aisles of the Miami Beach Convention Center to view the latest security innovations.

The three-day trade show concludes today.

''It's been crippled,'' said Glenn Patrizio, director of Latin America and the Caribbean at LRG International, a Houston company that specializes in electronic surveillance equipment.

While owners of security companies or contractors could still obtain visas to attend the show, lower-level employees found themselves locked out of an event that not only offers a look at new security products but also scores of seminars and conferences on fire and security.

''These seminars are to train technicians,'' said Patrizio, ``and those are the guys who cannot come. Five years ago this place was packed.''

The uphill battle to gain access coincides with mounting crime rates in the region. Celebrity kidnappings grab headlines; burglaries are soaring and gated communities abound.

Sales in some sectors of the security industry are growing at 20 percent to 30 percent, according to company estimates.

Stepped up vigilance on granting visas since 9/11 means that Latin Americans must wait months for an appointment to apply for travel documents, and they can be turned down with no recourse.

Still, Bob Cooper, with Columbian TecTank -- a Kansas builder of vaulted steel tanks to hold water for fire protection, said that the Miami Beach trade show was good for business. ''We get a lot of leads,'' Cooper said, adding that he received inquiries from show attendees from Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and the Dominican Republic.

His main clients in Latin America are companies that provide fire protection to large businesses such as Wal-Mart. ''The cities cannot supply enough water pressure in a lot of places like Mexico,'' said Cooper, adding that companies needing fire protection must also have water on hand for firemen and sprinkler systems.

The heightened threat of crime in Latin America alters security needs. House alarms are attached to private guard companies, not police stations.

The lag in installing security systems in Latin America has meant that the technology now employed is a generation ahead of the United States, and security systems are mostly wireless or digital.

The Americas Security and Fire Expo started out 11 years ago in Miami Beach as just a security trade show, with the fire prevention industry added five years ago.

At this year's event, some 250 companies signed up to display their products and around 4,500 attendees preregistered.

''We offer a lot of solutions,'' explained Ahmed Saleh, marketing program manager at Digital Security Controls, a division of the industrial giant Tyco Fire and Security.

Saleh said that most people want to know the same thing when they come to the Miami Beach show. 'The No. 1 question we get asked is, `What new products do you have?' '' Saleh said.

Among new offerings from DSC are a universal wireless alarm communicator which connects the alarm control panels to the Global System for Mobile Communications networks, which provide protection against lines being cut accidentally in bad weather, construction or tampering.

While the demand for security and fire equipment is similar, there is one big difference. People in the region are much more worried about their own personal safety, and are especially fearful of being targetted by kidnappers who strike in restaurants, stores or on the street.

''Security is at a whole different level that we can't even imagine,'' said David Rogers, director of marketing development international for Digital Monitoring Products in Springfield, Mo.


Electronic eavesdropping rising
Reuters, January 24, 2005,

Hacking into supposedly secure networks using basic eavesdropping techniques is as easy as stealing candy from a baby, according to experts.

Computer hackers have taken to stealing data the easy way -- by eavesdropping on phone and email conversations to find the keys to seemingly impregnable networks, security experts say.

The danger of attacks with insider information was illustrated earlier this month with the arrest of a California man accused of breaking into mobile phone network T-Mobile USA's database and reading emails and files of the US Secret Service, and by the exploits of a hacker who breached a hospital's database and changed mammogram results.

The nature of threats to network security has changed as sophisticated hackers learned to tap into sensitive information flowing through telecommunications' servers, especially those that provide wireless and Internet access.

"Telecom providers are probably one of the main targets for malicious attackers because they control communications for everybody," said Ralph Echemendia, head of Intense School, which trains executives in network security risks.

Hackers may con their way into a phone network by posing as phone company tech employees to get passwords into the network. Then they could essentially tap phones or search for personal data like text files or even camera phone photos.

"[Hackers] will sit there and listen in, waiting to get valuable information," Echemendia said. "Once they have a foothold on one system they go through the same process to find other hosts."

Security experts at Intrusic captured 4,466 passwords and 103 master passwords allowing global access to corporate databases while monitoring one Internet service provider for a 24-hour period, Intrusic President Jonathan Bingham said.

"It's like stealing candy from a baby," Bingham said. "The malicious attacker will assume the identity of a person whose password they have stolen through this passive sniffing and they end up entering this organisation as a legitimate user."

Once inside, it takes the hacker seconds to set up back doors that allow access to the database at any time to do more spying, data theft or worse.

Most hackers, however, are after information -- passwords, social security numbers and birth dates -- that they can sell or use to penetrate bank and credit card accounts, Forrester Research analyst Laura Koetzle said.

"Telecoms and cable companies are pretty high on the list simply because of their huge customer bases," Koetzle said. "If they can crack T-Mobile's database they can get user names and passwords for [millions of] subscribers at all once."

In a statement, T-Mobile, a Deutsche Telekom AG unit, said it "quickly put in safeguards to prevent further access and began an investigation" after a hacker broke into its internal computer systems in 2003 and accessed data on 400 customers.

As more companies shift business functions to the Internet and allow workers to access secure systems from off site, it becomes tougher to guard against insider attacks and easier for hackers to breach the system, said Stan Quintana, director of managed security services at AT&T.

"All these types of environments are requiring a higher level of security... of data in transit," he said.

The key to cutting down on damage from inevitable insider attacks is to constantly monitor data flow and train employees to guard passwords and access to computers, he said.

He added that among the "best practices" AT&T advocates is that its customers periodically hack into their own networks.


Police investigate Nicole Kidman bugging
Reuters, April 2005

Police were investigating a possible bugging attempt on Australian actress Nicole Kidman after a listening device was found across the road from her Sydney harborside home.

"At the time this device was found there were media paparazzi, if I may use that term, in the street," police inspector Grant Taylor told reporters Tuesday.

Police had notified the Oscar-winning Hollywood star of the discovery of the device, Taylor said.

"She is undoubtedly concerned in regards to why this device may have been placed there and if she is the potential target of this device," he said.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that security footage shot from Kidman's home showed a man planting the listening device on Sunday, shortly after she returned home to prepare for a new film, "Eucalyptus," based on an Australian novel of that name.

"We have conclusive evidence that it was planted and this has been captured on video," Noel McMaster, director of Kidman's personal security agency, told the newspaper.

"There is no doubt that any information that we were transmitting would have been heard," he said.

Police said the listening device was commonly available in electronics stores and was being examined by police.

It was not the first time Kidman has been at the center of a bugging scandal.

In 1999, a freelance journalist was convicted in the United States of illegally taping an intercepted telephone call from Kidman to her then husband, actor Tom Cruise, and selling the tape to a tabloid newspaper.

The tabloid newspaper said a woman's voice on the tape could be heard telling a man that their marriage was "hanging by a thread." The couple's 10-year marriage ended in 2001.