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Illegal Surveillance: Do You Know Who Might be Watching?

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Surveillance is generally used to catch a criminal or to determine whether or not someone is engaging in a particular activity. Professionals like, private investigators, are trained in the art of surveillance. These people know how to set up and run a successful surveillance operation. What’s more important is that people like private investigators know how to set up and run a legal surveillance operation. However, much of the equipment and tools used to run a surveillance operation is available to buy online. This means that anyone can purchase surveillance equipment, set it up, and run an illegal surveillance operation.

What is Illegal Surveillance?

People who buy surveillance equipment often have a goal in mind. They want to use the equipment to spy on someone. They do this to prove something like his or her spouse is cheating.

In Canada, setting up surveillance in a person’s home without that person’s knowledge is illegal. This applies to video, photographic, and recorded surveillance. Therefore, if you decide to set up surveillance equipment without telling anyone that it’s there, you do risk getting a fine, or even going to jail.

To get even more specific, illegal surveillance really applies to those who wish to harm a business or person with the evidence found. For example: let’s say someone secretly records a conversation with the intention of blackmailing the other person. This is completely illegal. In some areas of the United States, it is legal to set up a video camera in your own home without another person’s knowledge. However, it is illegal to set that camera up in an area where privacy is expected (like a bathroom). Another example might include one company bugging the office of the CEO of a competing company to learn business secrets.

Illegal surveillance can literally turn someone’s life upside-down. In the case of a woman in Winnipeg, this is exactly what happened.  

Abusive Spouse Spies on Ex-Wife

CBC News recently published an article regarding a woman who came home one day to discover that someone had broken in. She then discovered a strange socket in her bedroom that she had never seen before. She tried to pull it out but decided she needed help. The woman called the police, who quickly discovered a video surveillance camera in her bedroom wall. They also found a USB cable outside the house and another surveillance camera in the living room.

The woman and the police suspected her ex-husband is behind the break-in and illegal surveillance, as she had recently left him.

Police found evidence in her ex-husband’s home, which led to his arrest. He currently faces 6 charges including,

  • Break and Enter
  • Voyeurism
  • Distributing Intimate Images Without Consent

This story doesn’t end there. Apparently the woman’s ex-husband shared some of the images and video footage with his family. Now, the woman must deal with threats from his family about the illegally gathered surveillance. She also worries that her ex-husband shared some of the images and video with people in Winnipeg.

As it stands, this woman is currently working with police to try and make sure that her privacy remains intact.  

Who Can Help?

If you or someone you know is a victim of illegal surveillance, you can always turn to a private investigator for help. While the police can and do provide some support, sometimes you need a dedicated individual or team to help you.

Private investigators are required to earn a license in order to operate throughout Canada and the United States. They receive special training to help clients deal with illegal surveillance situations. Private investigators also specialize in working together with a client. They can provide a strong support system for the client to rely on in severe cases. In addition, a private investigator can work with the client’s lawyer and provide valuable—legal—evidence to support their client in court.

Therefore, if you suspect that someone has bugged your home or office, or that someone has installed illegal video surveillance equipment, a private investigator can get you results, fast.

Spotting the Signs of Illegal Surveillance

One of the ways you can stay protected is to keep an eye out for signs of illegal surveillance. If you know what to look for, it reduces the chances of recording too much information. The woman in Winnipeg for example, did everything right. She noticed a strange plug, and took action immediately.

So, if you’re worried that someone may be monitoring you or your office, here’s what to look for:

  • Strange sounds on your phone during a phone call
  • Disturbed items in your home or office
  • An electrician or plumber shows up when no one’s called them in
  • Dust or debris on the floor by a wall or on a table from the ceiling
  • A light patch mysteriously appears on the wall

Overall, if you suspect that something strange is going on in your home or place of business, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Private Investigator Illegal Surveillance & Bug Sweeps

When a private investigator is called in about a suspected illegal surveillance or bugging operation, the very first thing he or she will do is organize a sweep. A sweep requires a team of private investigators to enter the home or business. They will search for any evidence of surveillance or bugging equipment. Items can include video cameras, tapped phone lines, exterior modifications, and more.

The reason why a private investigator will bring in a team is that this type of sweep or search is extensive. If searching a house or an office building, nothing must be left unturned! While some illegal surveillance is clumsy and obvious, the technology is getting smaller and more difficult to catch. A good private investigation team keeps up to date on all the latest gadgets, which means they know how to spot the signs of illegal surveillance.

Other Private Investigator Services

Once a private investigator uncovers evidence of illegal surveillance, he or she can help you to seek justice. In the case of the woman from Winnipeg, a private investigator could help her to make sure that none of the illegal surveillance video or images appeared online or elsewhere.

A good private investigator will also know how to gather evidence in a way that can eventually be used in court. He or she can also employ other services like interviews, research, general surveillance and more to really help you and your lawyer to build a strong case.

At the end of the day, your privacy is one of your most important assets, and a private investigator can help you to keep it safe. Don’t let illegal surveillance get the best of you, reach out and get the support you need today.

Interested in hearing more about our private investigator services? Contact us for details! or 416-479-8474

About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Whitney Joy Smith is a prominent figure in the field of private investigation and security, serving as the founder and CEO of The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., Smith Security Inc., and Training Centre Canada, as well as a sitting politician.

With a remarkable journey that began in the early 2000s, Whitney's professional background as a private investigator is underscored by her unwavering dedication to the role. Born in Canada and having spent her early years between Canada and the United States, Whitney possesses a unique perspective shaped by her experiences in both countries. This background equips her with an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of private investigative laws, regulations, and operational standards in North America.

Throughout her career, Whitney has garnered numerous industry awards and accolades. She takes great pride in working closely with her continually expanding agency, striving to elevate industry standards, maintain compliance, and effectively meet the diverse investigative needs of clients.

Whitney actively engages in various membership, committee, board and support roles, demonstrating her commitment to the industry and professional community. She is affiliated with all local chambers, associations and more.

Whitney's wealth of experience is not limited to her professional achievements; her thought-provoking articles have been featured in publications ranging from Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Mens Health to Business News Daily. She constantly seeks to redefine standards and push the boundaries of excellence within the private investigative and security fields.

To discover more about Whitney Joy Smith and the dedicated team at The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., visit our website to learn more.

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