Wiretap Detection Miami Beach Coral Gables
Telephone tapping (also wiretapping or wiretapping in American English) is the monitoring of telephone and Internet conversations by a third party, often by covert means.
The wiretap received its name because, historically, the monitoring connection was an actual electrical tap on the telephone line.
Legal wiretapping by a government agency is also called lawful interception.
Passive wiretapping monitors or records the traffic, while active wiretapping alters or otherwise affects it.
Wiretapping is also defined as the surreptitious electronic monitoring of telephone, telegraph, cellular, fax or Internet-based communications.
Wiretapping is achieved either through the placement of a monitoring device informally known as a bug on the wire in question or through built-in mechanisms in other communication technologies.
Enforcement officials may tap into either for live monitoring or recording.
Packet sniffers: programs used to capture data being transmitted on a network are a commonly-used modern-day wiretapping tool.
A variety of other tools, such as wiretap Trojans, are used for different applications.
In the United States, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, federal intelligence agencies can get approval for wiretaps from the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a court with secret proceedings, or in certain circumstances from the Attorney General without a court order.
Under the law of the United States and most state laws.
There is nothing illegal about one of the parties to a telephone call recording the conversation, or giving permission for calls to be recorded or permitting their telephone line to be tapped.
However, the telephone recording laws in most U.S. states require only one party to be aware of the recording, while 12 states require both parties to be aware.
In Nevada, the state legislature enacted a law making it legal for a party to record a conversation if one party to the conversation consented, but the Nevada Supreme Court issued two judicial opinions changing the law and requiring all parties to consent to the recording of a private conversation for it to be legal.
It is considered the better practice to announce at the beginning of a call that the conversation is being recorded.
Wiretapping occurs all the time in espionage and crime movies.
Spies and gangsters know the enemy is listening, so they speak in code over the phone and keep an eye out for bugs. In the real world, we may not think much about wiretapping.
Most of the time, we assume our phone lines are secure.
And in most cases, they are, but only because nobody cares enough to listen in.
If people did want to eavesdrop, they could tap into almost any phone line quite easily.
The history of wiretapping
Wiretapping laws have always had difficulty in balancing privacy rights of individuals with the concerns of state and law enforcement.
While wiretapping has existed since the days of the telegraph, the first recorded wiretapping by law enforcement was in the 1890s in New York City.
In the 1910s, the New York State Department found that police had wiretapped entire hotels without a warrant.
The department claimed it did not violate Fourth Amendment rights, on the grounds that the amendment only covers tangible communications, such as mail, and that it only breached those rights where placing of taps involved trespassing.
That restriction was no block enforcement, as officials could tap a telephone company’s switching station.
The exemption of intangibles from the fourth amendment was upheld with the conviction of Roy Olmstead, a former prohibition police officer turned multimillionaire bootlegger, in 1925.
However, the case had gone to the ninth circuit court of appeals.
Justice Frank H. Rudkin strongly fought for the requirement of a warrant for wiretapping, claiming the distinction between written messages and the telephone was tenuous and that letter, telephone, and telegraph were equally sealed from the general public and deserved the same protections.
Justice Louis Brandeis also contested the allowance of wiretaps without a warrant, stating that the Fourth Amendment is not about defining physical space but the rights of the individual.
Nevertheless, unwarranted wiretaps became admissible in 1928.
The debate continued until 1968 when the Crime Control and Safe Streets Act mandated the requirement of probable cause and, for individual warrants, the requirement that the monitored party must be notified after the conclusion of the investigation.
The argument that new technologies are not covered by the law is often used to justify increased monitoring of private citizens.
The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), despite its name, loosened the requirements for non-voice based communications, and the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) of 1994 allowed law enforcement to fine telcos $10,000 a day if the company’s networks are not built with wiretapping capabilities.
Concerns have been raised by the National Security Agency’s (NSA) monitoring of private citizen communications since it was revealed that they have been wiretapping on a broad scale without even a stated justification.
Concerns are often dismissed because only metadata is collected, rather than the content of messages, but even that data can be extremely revealing.
An increasing number of technological hardware and software systems are designed or adapted to include wiretapping capabilities, including IPv6, which is expected to expand the number of Internet-connected devices exponentially.
How Wiretap works
To learn how wiretapping works, you first have to understand the basics of telephones.
If you take a look at a telephone cord, you’ll see how simple phone technology is.
When you cut off the outer covering, you’ll find two copper wires, one with a green covering and one with a red covering.
These two wires make up much of the path between any two phones.
The copper wires transmit the fluctuating sound waves of your voice as a fluctuating electrical current.
The phone company sends this current through the wires, which are connected to the phone’s speaker and microphone.
When you speak into the receiver, the sound produces air-pressure fluctuations that move the microphone diaphragm back and forth.
The microphone is hooked up so that it increases or decreases resistance (on the current running through the wire) in sync with the fluctuation in air pressure felt by the microphone diaphragm.
The varying current travels to the receiver in the phone on the other end and moves that phone’s speaker driver.
The heart of the driver is an electromagnet, which is attached to a diaphragm and suspended in front of a natural magnet.
The wire carrying the varying electrical current winds around the electromagnet, giving it a magnetic field that repels it from the natural magnet.
When the current-voltage increases, the electromagnet’s magnetism increases, and it pushes farther away from the natural magnet.
When the voltage decreases, it slips back. In this way, the varying electrical current moves the speaker diaphragm back and forth, recreating the sound picked up by the microphone on the other end.
In its path through the global phone network.
The electrical current is translated into digital information so that it can be sent quickly and efficiently over long distances.
But ignoring this step in the process, you can think of the phone connection between you and a friend as one very long circuit that consists of a pair of copper wires and forms a loop.
As with any circuit, you can hook up more loads (components powered by the circuit) anywhere along the line.
This is what you’re doing when you plug an extra phone into a jack in your house.
This is a very convenient system because it’s so easy to install and maintain.
Unfortunately, it’s also very easy to abuse.
The circuit carrying your conversation runs out of your home, through your neighborhood and through several switching stations between you and the phone on the other end.
At any point along this path, somebody can add a new load to the circuit board, in the same way, you can plug a new appliance into an extension cord.
In wiretapping, the load is a device that translates the electrical circuit back into the sound of your conversation.
This is all wiretapping is, connecting a listening device to the circuit carrying information between phones.
In the next few sections, we’ll look at a few specific wiretaps and find out where they’re connected to the circuit.
Tapping a wire is something like plugging an appliance into the electrical circuit running through your house.
When you plug an appliance into the wall, the appliance draws power from the electrical current flowing in this circuit.
The current in a phone line provides power as well.
But it also carries information; a pattern of currency fluctuations that represents the air-pressure fluctuations of sound waves.
A wiretap is a device that can interpret these patterns as sound.
One simple sort of wiretap is an ordinary telephone.
In a way, you are tapping your own phone line whenever you hook up another phone in your house.
This isn’t considered wiretapping, of course, since there’s nothing secretive about it.
Wiretappers do the same basic thing, but they try to hide the tap from the person they’re spying on.
The easiest way to do this is to attach the phone somewhere along the part of the line that runs outside the house.
To configure a phone for tapping, the wiretapper just cuts one of the modular plugs (the part you insert in the jack) off a piece of phone cord so that the red and green wires are exposed.
Then, the tapper plugs the other end of the wire into the phone and attaches the exposed wires to an accessible, exposed point on the outside phone line.
With this connection, the wiretapper can use the subject’s line in all of the ways the subject uses it.
The wiretapper can hear calls and make calls.
Most wiretappers will disable the tap’s microphone, however, so it works only as a listening device. Otherwise.
The subject would hear the tapper’s breathing and be alerted to the wiretap.
This sort of wiretap is easy to install, but it has some major drawbacks if you’re a spy.
First of all, a spy would have to know when the subject is going to use the phone so he or she could be there for the call. Second, a spy would have to stay with the wiretap in order to hear what’s going on.
Obviously, it’s quite difficult to predict when somebody’s going to pick up the phone, and hanging around a phone company utility box is not the most covert eavesdropping strategy.
For these reasons, spies will typically use more sophisticated wiretapping technology to eavesdrop on a subject. In the next section, we’ll look at the main types of wiretapping equipment to see how spies listen in without blowing their cover.
The simplest wiretap is a standard telephone hooked into the wires of the outside phone line.
The main problem with this system is that the spy has to stay with the phone in order to hear the subject’s conversation.
There are several tapping systems that get around this problem.
The simplest solution is to hook up some sort of recorder to the telephone line.
This works just like your answering machine; it receives the electrical signal from the phone line and encodes it as magnetic pulses on audio tape.
A spy can do this fairly easily with an ordinary tape recorder and some creative wiring.
The only problem here is that the spy has to keep the tape recording constantly to pick up any conversations.
Since most cassettes only have 30 or 45 minutes of tape on either side, this solution isn’t much better than the basic wiretap.
To make it functional, the spy needs a component that will start the recorder only when the subject picks up the phone.
Voice-activated recorders, intended for dictation use, serve this function quite well.
As soon as people start talking on the line, the recorder starts up. When the line is dead, it turns off again.
Even with this pickup system, the tape will run out fairly quickly, so the spy will have to keep returning to the wiretap to replace the cassette. In order to stay concealed, spies need a way to access the recorded information from a remote location.
The solution is to install a bug.
A bug is a device that receives audio information and broadcasts it through the air, usually via radio waves.
Some bugs have tiny microphones that pick up sound waves directly.
Just as in any microphone, this sound is represented by an electrical current.
In a bug, the current runs to a radio transmitter, which transmits a signal that varies with the current.
The spy sets up a nearby radio receiver that picks up this signal and sends it to a speaker or encodes it on a tape.
A bug with a microphone can pick up any sound in a room, whether the person is talking on the phone or not.
But a typical wiretapping bug doesn’t need its own microphone since the phone already has one.
If the spy hooks the bug up anywhere along the phone line, it receives the electrical current directly.
Often, the spy will hook the bug up to the wires that are actually on the phone.
Since people very rarely look inside their phones, this can be an excellent hiding spot.
Of course, if somebody is searching for a wiretap, the spy will be uncovered very quickly.
This is the best sort of wiretap for most spies. Bugs are so small that the subject is unlikely to discover them, and once they are installed, the spy doesn’t have to return to the scene of the crime to keep them running.
All of the complicated recording equipment can be kept away from the phone lines, in a concealed location.
But since the radio receiver has to be within the range of the transmitter, the spy must find a concealed spot near the wiretap.
The traditional receiving spot is a van parked outside the subject’s home.
Of course, hanging out in a van and listening to someone’s phone conversations is completely illegal for a civilian.
But the law for the government is a little murkier.
In the next section, we’ll look at the history of government wiretapping and find out about the issues involved in wiretapping today.
How is the process of wiretap detection?
Before you invest in bug detection equipment there are a few things that you can do in order to determine the probability that you’ve had your cell phone tapped.
Here are some simple tests that you can perform in order to detect the most common types of cell phone bugging.
With less sophisticated and commonly available cell phone surveillance software, you may notice these warning signs if you’ve had your cell phone tapped.
Unusual sounds during calls
Have you recently noticed that there are clicking sounds, static or distant voices coming through your phone during conversations?
This is not normal for phones as the transition to digital networks years ago should have eliminated all of the above.
If you are hearing them now there is a good possibility that you’ve had your cell phone tapped.
Decreased battery capacity
Another indication of a bugged cell phone is the reduced battery performance. If you’ve had your cell phone tapped it is recording your activities and transmitting them to a third party.
This will leave a footprint behind in the form of increased battery usage.
If you want to find out if you’ve had your cell phone tapped, try using your battery in another phone of the same model and compare the results.
Is your phone using more battery power than a phone of the same model and software?
If so then your phone is either bugged or defective.
Your phone shows activity when it is not in use
Has your phone been making noises or lighting up its screen when you are not using it?
Outside of call and message alerts your phone should be silent when not in use.
That is of course unless you’ve had your cell phone tapped.
Does it reboot for no reason at all?
These may be signs that someone has remote access and that you’ve had your cell phone tapped.
Cell phone takes a long time to shut down
A smartphone is a lot like a computer.
Before it shuts down it must complete any tasks that are currently processing.
If your cell phone has been tapped and is transmitting data to someone.
It will have to complete the process before it shuts down.
If your phone takes longer than usual to turn off especially right after you complete a call, text, email .
Web interaction then it may be sending your information to some third party.
There is a good possibility that you’ve had your cell phone tapped.
Wiretap detection can be a tricky business.
For wiretap, detection uses a tap detector.
A tap detector is a physical device you can hook up to your phone.
In order for any such device to be of any use in the detection of a wiretap.
Look for a device that measures impedance and capacitance levels, along with high-frequency signal changes.
Install an app.
For smartphones, you might be able to install a tap detecting app that can pick up.
On tap signals and unauthorized access to your cell phone data.
The effectiveness of these apps is debatable, so even these may not provide you with irrefutable proof.
Some apps of this nature are only useful in detecting bugs placed by other apps.
Ask your phone carrier for help.
You can ask your phone carrier to check using professional equipment.
A standard line analysis performed by the phone company will be able to detect .
Most illegal wiretaps, listening devices, low-frequency devices, and phone line splicing.
Note that if you have asked your phone company to check for wiretaps and bugs.
But the company refuses your request or claims not to find anything after barely searching.
There is a chance that it could be administering a government request.
Go to the police.
Moreover, you can enlist their help in catching whoever is responsible for the tap, as well.
Some Gadgets for wiretapping detection or disabling
They are not for detection but instead the disable any wiretapping device on your phone.
Audio jammers generate a random masking sound that desensitizes microphones in the area, rendering them completely unable to record.
Audio jammers are effective against any wiretapping device with a microphone as a major component.
Including tape recorders, RF transmitters, hard-wired microphones, and shotgun microphones.
Phone Wiretap Detection
In Spy World Miami you can buy equipment that analyzes your analog phone lines.
And detects wiretaps in the phone, the phone jack, outside on the pole, and even in the transformer box.
Spy World offers countermeasures systems, bug detectors, and other detection tools available from many manufacturers.
We also give you professional advice so you get a general evaluation of the devices.
Functions and usefulness in detecting wiretaps and bugs.
Coral Gables is a city in Miami Dade County
Florida, United States, located southwest of Downtown Miami.
Wiretap Detection Miami Beach Coral Gables.
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