Apparently, the US feds have some unexpected surveillance tools

Hidden camera

Vice has published an article about some creative spying products marketed by a surveillance vendor that supplies US government agencies. The vendor offers products that look like everyday items but are in fact sophisticated spying tools.

Here are some of the products marketed in the Special Services Group brochure (AKA the “Black Book”)

  • The Tombstone Cam which allows you to “conduct remote surveillance operations from cemeteries”
  • Rubber rock and tree lookalikes which conceal cameras
  • Microphone and speaker system that can be placed entirely in your mouth, connects to a Bluetooth device such as a phone or recorder

A clock radio recording audio and video and transmitting the recorded material over a secure Wi-Fi signal

You can read the brochure here, starting on page 93. We doubt that you will be able to buy any of the equipment for yourself, since the Group mentions that it supplies technical solutions for law enforcement, military government, and select clients. The Special Services Group wants to keep its product information as secret as possible, Vice has mentioned that the Group threatened both it and MuckRock (a group that had obtained the brochure) with legal action before Vice published their story.

According to Vice, Special Services Groups lawyer mentioned that the brochure was protected under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.” In an email to MuckRock, the lawyer apparently said that “the release of the information could result in very serious jeopardy to the lives of law enforcement and military users of the technology RIGHT NOW IN PARTICULAR DUE TO RECENT WORLD EVENTS.”

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