A “Sweep” is actually a Technical Surveillance Counter- Measure (TSCM) inspection. It is an inspection of an area/structure for any electronic device that provides accessibility to, or transmits, audio/ video/printed data (in espionage parlance, any device known as a “bug”).
Prudential Associates offers two levels of TSCM inspections. It is very important that a client understands the difference between the two levels and the thoroughness and complexity of each. A client should also be aware that most Private Investigators do not have the appropriate expertise and/or equipment to perform TSCM sweeps correctly. Additionally, there is a substantial amount of dishonesty in the Private Investigative industry centered on providing clients with ineffective or fake TSCM services. We hope the facts contained in the descriptions of the two Prudential Associates TSCM sweep levels below will equip our potential clients with knowledge necessary to make the right decision about their needs.
Level One: Prudential’s Level One TSCM sweep is a physical inspection of the area, structure, or room(s) for hidden audio/video devices or evidence of recent installation/extraction/operation. By physical inspection we mean that we send an experienced investigator to the location who will visually inspect the accessible wiring, telephones, fax machines, crawl spaces, utility areas, and electrical conduits for devices or evidence of them. It is ONLY a visual inspection of physically accessible areas and equipment. It does NOT involve the use of electronic equipment for sensing transmissions or power sources. This TSCM is estimated to be roughly 65% effective in determining the existence or recent existence of audio/video devices within the area or structure searched. The search usually takes approximately 2 to 3 hours for a normal single-family home. Devices such as mini-cassette recorders hidden under furniture, on bookcases, or in areas away from wiring or utility rooms are rarely located by a Level One TSCM search.
Level Two: This search is a comprehensive TSCM that is conducted by an expert in the use of very sophisticated TSCM equipment. This very specialized equipment is used by U.S. and foreign governments in the prosecution of intelligence operations and in the highest level government security operations. The expert is usually a former U.S. Secret Service professional or a veteran of the U.S. intelligence community. There is almost no level of device sophistication that will not be detected by this search. This search takes approximately 5 hours for a typical single-family home.