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Clear the air with TSCM.

Using TSCM to locate and neutralize electronic surveillance devices will take care of pesky bug problems.

EIGHT YEARS BEYOND 1984, BIG BROTHER may not be watching, but someone else--perhaps a competitor--probably is. Readily a available technology makes it possible for someone with the right tools to monitor almost anything of interest. Companies must learn to protect themselves in this brave new world.

From a security standpoint, the obligation to protect proprietary information is fiduciary, but security professionals must understand what they are up against and how these threats can best be countered.

Everyone conducting business is vulnerable in some regard. Information that needs to be protected may range from the personal to national secrets. Espionage is found at every level, from persons prying into an executive's personal life to sleuths seeking information that would help a competitor underbid another company on contracts. Foreign governments are also targeting private American companies.

The perpetrators are often well-dressed individuals who easily gain access to a company and obtain proprietary information. To be forewarned is the first step.

One tool available for any security program is a specialized survey called Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM).

TSCM surveys concentrate on the corporate headquarters and executive offices, including boardrooms and shareholder meeting rooms where sensitive work is conducted involving financial planning, company acquisitions, and research and development reviews. TSCM teams survey homes of executive and senior-level personnel where company business is often discussed.

The primary purpose of the TSCM survey is to locate and neutralize any electronic surveillance devices installed in the area or directed against the area by unauthorized persons trying to gather proprietary, sensitive, or classified information. The survey has several parts but focuses on an electronic search of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum followed by a physical examination of the interior and exterior boundaries of a designated area.

The TSCM survey identifies areas of weakness in physical security. An attack on a company by a professional eavesdropper capitalizes on weakness in the physical security. But ifs focus is to identify the methods of collection used by unauthorized eavesdroppers. These methods may include transmitting devices, hidden microphones, cameras, recorders, or altering the normal operation of telephones.

A typical device does nothing more than establish an information path. The path can be through a tiny transmitter that is hidden inside a telephone or microphone connected to wires. The information path ends at a separate listening or recording station.

The listening post may be as close as the next room or as far as several blocks. Recording equipment is available to record only when activity is present using a voice operated relay (VOX). The machine can record up to 12 hours between tape changes.

When considering or using TSCM services a caution is in order. The com-

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COPYRIGHT 1992 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Technical Surveillance Countermeasures
Author:Calhoun, James
Publication:Security Management
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Previous Article:Counterespionage techniques that work.
Next Article:Who's on the line?

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