In Jakarta, Indonesia, populist governor Joko Widodo has hopes of becoming the nation’s president when the results of that country’s election are revealed on July 22. During his campaign, Widodo discovered that listening devices had been planted in his home for months. This post discusses the Widodo case and the importance of regular bug sweeps for politicians.
While Widodo has remained calm in statements, other members of his party are understandably upset. Whether the people who planted the bugs were looking for dirty laundry to air or trying to uncover secrets from the meetings the governor holds in his home is unclear, but either scenario is troubling.
The governor does not believe that the bugs could have uncovered anything harmful in the time they have been there. He says that most of his conversations at home have been about family members, and that the meetings he has had with agency heads there have been run of the mill and would not have given his opponents any advantage.
Bug sweeps in politics
Political events in Indonesia, particularly presidential elections, may have international implications that the U.S. will have to consider. When something like this happens in one country, it can encourage those in other countries to attempt it, as they see that it happens elsewhere in the global community.
While this case involved a high-profile politician from a relatively low-profile country, politicians from high-profile countries could be at risk for illegally placed bugs. Even if you are not concerned about the security of the information you deal with related to your job in politics, you should be concerned about your family’s privacy. One of the listening devices was discovered in the Jarkata governor’s bedroom. That would raise a red-flag for any investigator charged with the detection of electronic eavesdropping monitoring devices. If they had the motive and opportunity to place a listening device in the bedroom, why would you not place a camera in the bedroom directed at the bed? My guess is that if they went back and conducted a thorough sweep, they would definitely find a camera.
If you are politically involved on any level and are facing elections or serious opposition, you may be at extra risk for your home being bugged in some fashion. This violates both your personal privacy and the confidentiality of your political plans or duties.
Detection sweeps are not inexpensive. A good rule of thumb is that the top-rated firms charge about $1.50/sq. ft. for a residence or business. This would include checking for all monitoring devices powered by a phone line or battery, cameras, computers and two vehicles. Many firms have a minimum for homes and residences under 3,000 sq. ft. of $4,800.00.
There are many unethical and unscrupulous individuals who claim they are technical security counter measure (TSCM) experts. Beware, many of these people have no expertise and their equipment is nothing less than a simple “magic wand” purchased from an electronics store, which only can detect a minor fraction of the frequencies that modern bugs use. We use three different sets of electronic eavesdropping detection equipment. The cost to buy each set is in the tens of thousands of dollars. If someone shows up at your residence or business with one little suitcase of equipment, don’t let them in.
Martin Investigative Services provides a full bug sweep services, utilizing the latest in detection equipment, and with sweeps performed and supervised by former agents of the FBI, DEA, IRS or Secret Service. You will definitely know about any recording devices or cameras planted in your home or business. If we find nothing, you get finality, a sense of security and never ever have to ask us if we missed something. If we do find something, we’ll help you deal with the problem once it is confirmed.