Surveillance & Counter-Surveillance

Surveillance & Counter-Surveillance

‘Think not there are no crocodiles for the waters are calm’

Malaysian Proverb

There is a certain mystique that surrounds ‘Surveillance’. The clandestine methods in the manner operations are conducted and the equipment used is embodied by the aura of secrecy that all creates a sense of ‘black art’. No one likes to be watched without knowing about it. People like to think they are in control of their surroundings, their safety, security and their personal wellbeing.

Ultimately, they like to believe they are in control of their own privacy. Surveillance has the capability to control all of these aspects. A fact that remains quite understandably a threat to any operation involving protection.

Surveillance operations are a means to acquire information and as a result of this information, intelligence. It does, or can, however, involve a great deal more than merely the following and recording of the movements of an individual. It must be remembered that physical surveillance tradecraft is only one part of an investigation project of which encompasses many facets. This is largely based on the five main reasons that surveillance is initially required:

  1. Confirmation of suspicions
  2. Evidence gathering
  3. Industrial/ corporate espionage
  4. To gain intelligence on adversaries/ opponents/ targets
  5. Pre-attack intelligence

As a means to obtaining the required information it may become necessary to adopt further and more intrusive surveillance measures. These could include:

  • Gaining access to private premises including commercial offices, hotel rooms and private residences
  • Gaining access to private computers & peripherals
  • Gaining access to mobile phones
  • Gaining access to vehicles (including: cars, boats & aircraft)
  • Planting electronic surveillance devices in all the above such as:
  • Telephone (landline) conversation recording devices
  • Computer & mobile phone / Internet usage/ communications recording software/ devices
  • Wi-Fi hacking
  • Covert cameras
  • Room conversation monitoring & recording devices
  • Location & tracking devices

Surveillance would also be conducted on individual(s) to confirm the opportunity to plant any of the above even though those individual(s) may not be directly associated with the reasons for the targeted surveillance operation itself.
The specialist skill set required in a typical operator could include the following:

Surreptitious entry operations including: lock picking, lock bypassing, glass cutting and key casting. Electronics in the form of:

– Computer technology

– Countering & accessing CCTV (wired, wireless & IP)

– Countering PIR body heat & motion detectors

– Countering burglar alarm systems (building and vehicle)

– Installation and use of covert cameras & listening devices

– Accessing computer & mobile phone software operating systems (Through direct access and remotely)

– Use of GPS/ GSM/ GPRS/ RF Tracking devices
Electronic counter measures

Infra-red photography & video

Surreptitious opening of postal mail

DNA collection

Information can also be gained through covert ‘Human Intelligence’ (HUMINT) sources. As far as government agencies are concerned, there are simply no limits to the capabilities of their reach. Almost anything is possible given enough time, some creativity (through R&D ‘techy’ guys) and a bit of luck. Although those involved in commercial operations do not have the same level of resources immediately at their disposal as their government counterparts it must be said that the information they can achieve is, or can be, close with the level of those of a government capability. This could involve manufacturing situations, stories, and backgrounds to gain information that would normally require identification passes, proof etc. The commercial world is based on the taboo concept of ‘contacts’. A contact that’s employed or operates within that specific environment the information is required from. Contacts such as those employed with access at banking institutions, mobile and landline telephone service providers, driver and vehicle-licensing authorities such as the DVLA, air handlers and even corrupt members of the police for information stored on the Police National Computer (PNC).

Such information that is sold on can provide a spiral for further information. For example, from a contract mobile phone number the following can be gained:

  • Full phone statement comprising dialled numbers, country originating the call etc.
  • Registered owners name and billing address
  • Bank account details
  • Mortgage details…and so on.

Surveillance of Mobile Phones, Computers, and Conversations, Vehicle Tracking Devices, GSM, GPS and RF Trackers and so on all pose threats to organisations, companies and the targeted individual alike.

Close Protection operations may experience only a few of these threats. Many commercial operations will not experience any technical threat whatsoever let alone those from any professional or government angle. Some indeed may experience the full scope of surveillance measures possible including those engaging government interests. From a suite of hardware and software the subsequent access and recording of all computer usage, landline and mobile communications, together with audio and video room activity will all provide the target’s communications/ conversations, financial state of affairs, business and personal private information, intellectual property, connections and associations together with any future plans. Government agencies own research and development departments deploying electronics experts with covert technical surveillance capabilities, including the design, development and operational deployment of complex information communication technology and electronic technology in the form of video, audio, optics, alarms, telecommunications, location and positioning equipment or information communication technology.

All of this is in addition to a hostile surveillance team or individual following you.

If you have a concern for your personal security, then contact Mobius International UK Ltd. At the peak of our profession; we don’t just provide manpower – we provide the full scope of protective and investigative services to ensure the security of you, your family, your organisation or company, and your intellectual as well as physical property.

We are widely considered to be the eminent subject matter experts on CP and all associated protective security services. As such, we are also expert in countering such activities.

All of our Operational management, Close Protection and Surveillance operators are government Tier 1.


  • Foreign Heads of State
  • Royalty
  • Corporate Executives
  • Diplomats and Consulate Officials
  • Celebrities
  • Politicians
  • Athletes
  • Witness Protection

Because it’s only when you question the way things are that you can make things better.

Mobius International Ltd &
Mobius International UK Ltd

Expert in the Provision of Protective Services

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