Audio Surveillance Methods You Need To Know and Legislation Law

Electronic surveillance is a good way of monitoring business, a home or even an individual. A variety of devices can be used for this purpose such as video equipment, wiretapping, television, CCTV, hidden cameras or any other digital electronic, audio or visual means. Today’s surveillance is done by computer or by phone. Computer monitoring includes remote personal computer monitoring, internet surveillance and e-mail tracking. Mobile surveillance is fast becoming a tool for enhancing safety as well.

Adding some audio surveillance methods to a business plan is a significant step in ensuring the security and productivity of the enterprise. Tools such as microphones are useful and can be added to CCTV cameras as you will not only see the verbal gestures of the parties involved but also hear the actual words being said in the conversation.

Voice Recorder

Spy Gadget

Audio Surveillance is Limited by Law

However, this particular set up is restricted by some local laws though it can still be implemented. Some laws limit audio surveillance in particular places as it is considered eavesdropping and some locations such as the bathroom and bedroom are completely restricted. There are legal ramifications to audio surveillance, and the best way is to avoid it if the state or local authority does not allow it. Audio surveillance is still an excellent tool used to keep people and personal or company property safe.

Here are some of the methods that can be used


Wiretapping is one of the simplest and most common methods of audio surveillance. Wiretapping is very inconspicuous and allows both sides of a conversation between two people to be recorded clearly. Bugs are small audio devices attached to the phone internal circuitry to record a conversation. A signal is conveyed to a device that records the conversation. One shortcoming of this method is getting hold of the subject’s telephone so as to make the wiretapping possible.

Body Wires

Body Wires are also known as concealable transmitters. They mostly feature in television shows and movies. All one needs is a transmitting device and a small microphone and are worn under the clothes of an individual. The signal is then sent to the receiver and records the conversation. The one wearing the wire gets to asks specific questions and obtains details that would otherwise not be obtained by listening to other people’s conversations. The problem with using these concealable transmitters is that it might be difficult to get to the person to be recorded and also hiding the microphone such that it records in a way that it cannot be seen.

Room Microphone

Another audio surveillance technique that I often utilized is the room microphone. This set up engages a wireless microphone that is planted somewhere in a room where it can?t easily be seen. Room microphones can be disguised to look like clocks, pens, plates or even stuffed animals among other forms. Just like the wiretap, a signal is sent to the receiver from the microphone, and the recording takes place. The shortcoming of this method is that if it is a phone conversation, the person recording will only get to hear one side of the conversation. Another disadvantage is that it might be entirely impossible to gain access to some rooms as a result of this not recording the conversation at all.

Long Distance Microphones

These types of microphones are another method of audio surveillance. The microphone is also known as a parabolic microphone or a shotgun considering its long shape and its capability to record conversations that are up to ninety meters away. The main disadvantage that comes with this audio recorder is that it can pick up other unwanted sounds or noises. Also, the microphone cannot work effectively if obstructions such as automotive or trees are present between the conversation and the microphone.

Audio surveillance legislation laws differ from state to state. For example, those of Canada is not the same as those of the United States. Before leasing or selling any recorded audio or video with an audio recording, it is best to obtain legal advice from a lawyer who is familiar with audio surveillance law even before recording the audio. The buyer should also sign a copy of a receipt of said letter, acknowledging the audio and return it to the seller. All in all, audio surveillance is a good way to enhance security, and some states use the method commonly in customer service counters, cashier booths, fast food restaurants, and convenience stores.

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