Is Someone Recording This? It’s Harder to Find Out

Description: The undercover F.B.I. agent, posing as a businessman, was recording the conversation with a device secreted someplace close enough to capture the politician’s words, but obscure enough to remain undetected.

Source: nytimes.com

Date: April 7, 2013
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Today, eavesdropping equipment is sophisticated enough to record high-definition video and sound, and stream it live to a remote computer. Devices no bigger than a pen cap can be slipped into a coat pocket and easily record through the person’s clothing, said Bob Leonard, a retired police officer and founder of the Spy Store, which sells a quarter-sized item called the “Super Mini Covert Wireless Camera” and recording devices disguised as a calculator, cigarette carton or cordless phone.

“Short of having the person stripped down naked, it’s almost impossible to detect,” Mr. Pollini said.  READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. With this new technology, what protections if any should people have to their privacy of not being recorded secretly?  Should there different standards for government vs private citizens?

2. Are smart phones a part of this wiretapping and eavesdropping devices and methods?  How can we protect ourselves from being secretly recorded?

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52 thoughts on “Is Someone Recording This? It’s Harder to Find Out

  1. Sean

    Because technology is ever evolving, there are many issues that arise dealing with privacy or the lack there of. One of the issues that are arising with the increase in technology is discussed in this article. Now-a-days there are more compact, and faster working devices that are being developed with the purpose of better these industries. There is a good example of this ever evolving technology in the surveillance example in the article. People are always paranoid about their privacy so the existence of such technology, as described in the article, scare people. I believe that there needs to be some sort of restrictions put in place so that only particular people or groups can purchase and use this technology. With the introduction of this technology to the general public, there could be seriously detrimental effects to society due to the fact that privacy levels will be at a minimum.
    It is almost impossible for the public to prevent ourselves from being recorded or under surveillance. With these new smaller devices that are easily portable and easy to hide it is going to continually be harder to detect the devices on someone. The idea that scares me the most is if someone has the ability to track what you are saying in conversations held on your smart phone. With the implementation of government programs which are looking into these types of surveillance, our society is going to go completely public.

    Reply
  2. mark schmitz

    There shouldn’t be any laws against being secretly recorded by the authorities. There should be laws in how recorded testimony is used, and there is. There should be laws against people outside the legal system secretly recording. However, you can’t stop people from doing anything. All we can do as a society is try to inflict strong suggestive morals on people and hope they don’t break them. Live your life on the straight and narrow so that you won’t be embarrassed when the day come that’s someone does record you. That being said, recording devices in private areas, such as bathrooms, should remain strictly illegal.
    If I am to be secretly recorded for the purposes of solving a much larger crime, so be it. I will waive my individual rights to stop those crimes. I have nothing to hide. If I am to be recorded for the purposes of slander and misappropriating the information, that’s another story. This is a very touchy subject. The laws are formed around legislation and legislation is, supposed to be, formed by the people. There will always be grey areas in the law by laws do need to be made. The evolution of secret recording will evolve beyond anyone’s control. No opinion I have will stop it.

    Reply

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