A CCTV Surveillance camera on a street in China

How Does China Use Mass Surveillance Technology?

In his celebrated work of dystopian fiction “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” author George Orwell once envisioned a “world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon.” Describing a society menacingly ruled by a dictatorship solely interested in using its considerable political influence to oppress its own citizenry, [1] many readers in Orwell’s time thought that the author was predicting a social scenario that could never actually come into being. In essence, the notion that a government could spy on its citizens through their television screens seemed like the stuff of science fiction to a populace that couldn’t even afford to purchase television sets. At the time, in fact, Orwell was writing about the rise of Stalinism in the then-burgeoning Soviet Union. But a year after “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was written, China experienced its own Communist revolution, [2] and in the wake of that event, the country descended into a surveillance state in all but name. As China ushers in a new age of social surveillance technology 70 years after Maoism became the country’s de facto political philosophy, [Read More…]

Dronebuster device in use during a training exercise for dealing with COTS drones

Methods to Counter Drones

Cheap drones, like the DJI Phantom, are becoming a ubiquitous technology. They can be cheaply used for surveillance (unmanned aerial surveillance), and in some cases they are being weaponized. How can you perform counter-drone operations? First of all – we’re assuming you are legally able to do this. There are “no drone airspace” restrictions in place around many government facilities, including Air Force Bases. Let’s look at the options. Kinetic Methods Physical damage to the drone through gunfire is also an option. But, firing off guns (especially up in the air) can lead to more trouble than it is worth. Bullets fired on a high arc have to land somewhere – and that’s both a safety risk to people and it is highly likely to cause collateral damage. Nets can be used to ensnare drones – but this is a relatively short range method. As we’ll see, there are easier ways to counter drones. Command and Control Disruption Systems like the Dronebuster are capable of interfering with the drones radio command frequencies. This effectively neutralizes the drone, and prevents it [Read More…]

A handheld GPS receiver

GPS Spoofing

The Global Positioning System (or GPS) is a satellite navigation system that uses satellites to provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning. This technology is everywhere – it’s in your car, your smartphone, your watch, your fitness tracker, handheld GPS receivers, and more. But did you know that these satellite signals can be jammed – or even worse – deceived using something called GPS spoofing? Let’s take a look at this interesting topic of discussion. What we’re going to review here applies to any of the popular satnav systems – that includes GPS (the US satnav), Galileo GNSS (or Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System – the European version), and Russia’s GLONASS system. How does GPS work? There are multiple GPS satellites in orbit around the earth. Special chips can be included in nearly any electronic device that can read signals transmitted from the satellites. And combined with a bit of math – the device can determine your position with great accuracy as long as it can receive signals from at least 4 of the satellites overhead. Sound expensive? Yep – it is. (At [Read More…]

Extramarital affairs and other infidelity can be caught with hidden cameras
Hidden Cameras

Common Uses For Hidden Cameras

What are some common uses for hidden cameras (also called spy cameras?) You might be surprised. Having a hidden camera can be used to monitor events and individuals when you are not around. It lets you have a true picture of what is going on. Is spying on someone with a hidden camera legal? Aren’t these things considered spy gadgets? It depends on the circumstances and local laws. There are many instances where you are well within your rights to employ hidden camera technology. We’ll talk about those surveillance uses. Hidden Cameras for Home Security Having a video camera is a basic necessity for home security. It provides a record of what occurred, and when. Many of these cameras have special features as well, such as audio recording and motion detection activation. Motion detection is effective to maximize battery life and to ensure you don’t have hours of video of nothing happening. But specifically, a hidden camera let’s you observe events without altering the behavior of those whom you are recording. A visible camera can be a theft and crime [Read More…]