Thsyrus March 3, 2009 6:04 AM

So much for the Web of Trust. If I didn’t trust my spouse so much that I had to spy on them I would consider ending the relationship. Maybe that’s just me.

Not even going into the possible other uses of such products.

Anonymous March 3, 2009 6:12 AM

That bird-house camera would be interesting if the camera was inside the bird-house…so you could watch the chicks.

kevin March 3, 2009 6:33 AM

Wouldn’t using something like this be illegal? I thought that you can’t record someone in places where they can reasonably expect privacy…even if that place is within your own home. Someone correct me.

Mel March 3, 2009 7:24 AM

ObMoviePlotThreat: otherwise how can police investigate the crime shown in Hitchcock’s Psycho?

Make Sense March 3, 2009 7:37 AM

From the Anti-terrorist products page:

“For Export Only. USA customers must be authorized Law Enforcement and/or Gov. Agency approved. Please fax your Agency stamped letter head to…”

I’m sure there is a legal driver for this. However, I think it’s odd. What is the reasoning?

We will only allow LEO or LEA to have this because it could be used against us… However, it is ok to send overseas because no one overseas would possibly want to use them against us?

SteveJ March 3, 2009 8:19 AM

@Make Sense: sounds like there is no security reasoning, just a legal “loophole”. Presumably the law requiring them not to sell certain gadgets to civilians, doesn’t forbid export.

If the destination country forbids sale or possession of the gadget, then in theory it’s up to customs agents in that country to stop it. The purchaser is typically held responsible rather than the vendor, since customs in (say) the UK probably couldn’t prosecute a US company anyway. Unless it’s weapons, it’s not as though the US would extradite.

In short: the restriction is not because the company wants to prevent the gadgets being used in the US. The restriction is because the company has to obey the law, and the law has limited reach. The vendor almost certainly doesn’t care who uses their products (including foreign drug smugglers using their drug detectors to make sure that their packages are detector-proof), as long as they’re paid for.

Make Sense March 3, 2009 8:24 AM

Right… the company is trying to comply while trying to sell where they can.
It is the underlying law that -at first blush- seems ridiculous to me.

billt March 3, 2009 8:30 AM

Spy on the cheating spouse? I’m more worried about the perv who’s house I’m staying over at who has these things. I guess the tip off is 8 shower “radios” in varying positions all over the bathroom.

Anonymous March 3, 2009 9:03 AM

My money says the real motivator for these products is neither spousal distrust nor security, but voyeurism.

Dick C. Flatline March 3, 2009 9:50 AM

Yeah, you laugh now, but the day is coming when these things will be required in EVERY shower. How else could we enforce the Mandatory Bathroom Helmet Law?

It’s a known fact that falls in the bathroom are one of the most common household injuries. WHEN are we going to step up and DEMAND mandatory bathroom helmets? Just think—we can FINALLY all be SAFE!

Sure, there will be minor problems. The circuit that dials the Bathroom Enforcement Agency will probably also activate a built-in speaker that begins hysterically shrieking, “DROP THE SOAP!”, and some hardened ex-cons will know that dropping the soap is the WORST thing you could do. But the vast majority of good citizens will comply.

And, after all, COMPLIANCE is what it’s all about, right?

Rich Wilson March 3, 2009 10:28 AM

“Why isn’t this illegal?”

Well, as long as they only capture video and not audio, they’re legal in most states (maybe all still?). Recording laws have not yet caught up with video. I recall a case where someone installed a hidden video camera in his neighbors’ attic (recording their bedroom). He was eventually charged with theft (of the electricity to run the camera).

paul March 3, 2009 10:33 AM

Voyeurism. Odds of catching cheating couple together in shower as opposed to, say, bedroom or other parts of the bathroom.

But, as with the to-the-letter compliance with the law on “anti-terrorist” equipment, you can’t sell shower cams to people who acknowledge they’re voyeurs.

Clive Robinson March 3, 2009 12:00 PM

Ho hum why pay the price…

You can get the bits and build them yourself for a lot less.

The easiest to do is the clock-cam. Buy a realy battery wall clock and you will find that many have a face that is a piece of paper over a moulded plastic frame simply take the clear plastic protective lens of the clock and the find the largest of the black numbers. Put a pinprick through the middle of the largest part and lift the paper sufficiently out of the way to drill a small (3mm) hole through where the pin prick mark is. From the other side using a “cone-cutter” drill the hole out large enough to accomadate the lense unit of a wireless “pin-hole” camera (swan in AU make cheap ones). Using a small paper punch make an appropriate sized hole in the paper. Reassemble the face of the clock and with a hot melt gun glue the camera in place after you have located the best position. If using batteries then glue in the battery pack as well and then hang it on the wall.

Most other office equipment (box files, ring binders, bankers boxes etc) can all be easily modified as can most household objects and devices like smoke or IR alarms.

All of which gives rise to the question,

“How do you find hidden CCTV or other cameras?”

The easiest way is by holding a torch at the side of your head as close to your eye as you can. As you look around any visable lenses will (as they are focused) reflect light back at your eye and be easily visable.

boo March 3, 2009 12:35 PM

The easiest way is by holding a torch at the side of your head as close to your eye as you can.

Yeah, the torch set my hair on fire.

Sparkle Motion March 3, 2009 12:37 PM

@Clive: The easiest way is by holding a torch at the side of your head as close to your eye as you can.

Oh, that would be a “flashlight” in Americanese. I envisioned holding an oxyacetylene torch against my head, which seems unlikely to find surveillance cameras.

B March 3, 2009 12:47 PM

Is the transmission encrypted? If not, the neighbors may be in for a real treat any day…

CGomez March 3, 2009 12:52 PM

“I recall a case where someone installed a hidden video camera in his neighbors’ attic (recording their bedroom). He was eventually charged with theft (of the electricity to run the camera).”

Honestly, this just sounds like an episode of The Practice that I recall.

Clive Robinson March 3, 2009 4:53 PM

@ boo, Sparkle Motion,

“Oh, that would be a “flashlight” in Americanese.”

Yes I had forgoton we are but “one nation divided by a common language” 🙂

Oh and in English a flahlight is something a photographer puts on a camera…

Then there are bills and cheques, rubbers and erasers to name but a few…

Now how did the words of the song go,

You say tomato I say….

Internet Is For Porn March 3, 2009 5:20 PM

This won’t be used to catch the girlfriend or wife’s lover – it will be used to catch the girlfriend or wife.

More yummy photos on the Interbutts! 😉

BF Skinner March 3, 2009 5:20 PM

@Thsyrus There is a lot more cheating going on then I think we like to think. PI’s make bread and butter money on it.
And if you’re heading into a divorce with someone who cheated on you can you think for a minute they are gonna go their own way “no harm no foul”?

I buy the things because I want to know what it is that I”M doing when my back is turned.

telemekus March 4, 2009 4:18 AM

ERm…..has anyone actually looked at the picture on the TV screen down below the listed product???!!!


André March 4, 2009 9:31 AM

Well, anyone else around with some kind of creepy feeling towards hotel rooms?

I for sure have and will keep a lookout for whatever someone may have “accidently forgotten” – at least in some of those much-worse-than-youth-hostal-ones that I have already been to …

I can see some kind of late-night-movie-plot rising somewhere on the horizon of my disturbed mind …

Waldo March 5, 2009 10:00 AM

Say, I wonder if we can get the “WIRELESS BOOK HIDDEN CAMERA” in the Applied Cryptography edition ={P

stevenball August 31, 2010 8:55 AM

somebody is filming me like the live truemen show and making thousands of pounds i went to the police and they laughed at me.they have made over 360000 pounds of me

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.