Uncovering Hidden Cameras with Help from a Private Investigator

Most of the time, when people think about hiring a private investigator in Knoxville, they want to find information, locate a missing person, or maybe even put somebody under surveillance. What happens if you are the one under surveillance? A private investigator in Knoxville can help by performing a sweep of your home, car, or workplace to find and remove hidden surveillance equipment. Let's look at this in more detail.

Is Surveillance Illegal?

When you hire a private investigator in Tennessee to conduct surveillance on somebody, they will do so only within the law's parameters. Despite what you might have seen on television, private investigators are not lurking around taking photos through bedroom windows or breaking into filing cabinets. This would violate trespass and privacy laws designed to protect people on their own property. However, it is perfectly legal to conduct surveillance in a public place, including taking photographs or recording video.

Private investigators will often use the latest technology to help them carry out surveillance undetected. This might include tiny spy cameras and listening devices. Tennessee is a one-party consent state, so private investigators can record conversations legally as long as one person has consented. However, while these devices are legal to use in public places, it is not legal to plant bugs or hidden cameras in the subject's home or vehicle.

Unfortunately, not everyone abides by the law. Since these cameras and listening devices are readily available online and in high street stores, it is not uncommon for ordinary people to find their privacy invaded by someone else. If you suspect someone is spying on you in your private space using audio or visual spy equipment, a private investigator in Knoxville can help by carrying out a sweep and removing the devices.

Technical Surveillance Counter Measures

When you hire a private investigator in Knoxville to perform a sweep and potentially debug your property, the service they are performing is known as Technical Surveillance Counter Measures or TSCM for short! While every investigator has their own methods and techniques, TSCM will generally follow the same steps as outlined below. This should give you a little insight into what you can expect.

  1. Perform a Bug Sweep - The first step is to carry out the bug sweep. This will involve the private investigator coming to your home or office and searching the area for suspicious devices. They may do this manually or incorporate technology that will help locate a transmission signal. They often pose as a general maintenance person or regular visitor, so they do not arouse suspicion in whoever might be watching.
  2. Identifying & Removing the Devices - If anything suspicious is found, your private investigator will document everything in a report and remove and/or deactivate the devices.
  3. Identify the Culprit - In some cases, you may already know or at least have a good idea about who has been bugging your space. Maybe an ex-partner, a business rival, or a suspicious spouse? However, if you are not aware of who is responsible, your private investigator may be able to help trace the culprit.
  4. Prevention of Future Issues - Even after the devices have been removed; you may find it difficult to move on from the incident. It is difficult to start rebuilding your confidence after someone has violated a place that was supposed to be a private sanctuary. A private investigator in Knoxville can work with you to perform annual bug sweeps to help put your mind at ease. They can also advise on security precautions to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Keep Connections Secure

Let's wrap things up with a pro tip from a private investigator in Tennessee. Tiny cameras and discreet microphones are not the only way for someone to listen in on your private life. Unsecured Bluetooth or WiFi connections can be easily exploited, making it easy for others to listen and/or watch via cellphone microphones and laptop cameras. Don't make yourself an easy target. Keep your connections properly secured.

Uncover the truth!


Ken Shull served as a Special Agent with the FBI for almost 25 years and was head of the FBI Polygraph program until his retirement in 2001. At that time he set up the Kendall Investigations practice as a private investigator in Knoxville, TN offering Polygraph services, private investigations, and security guards. Ken is a member of the American Polygraph Association and The American Association of Police Polygraphists.

The Truth is Still the Truth Even if No One Believes it, A Lie is Still a Lie Even if Everyone Believes it.