Short Range Devices

Short range listening devices include a variety of elements which can be hidden and left to record or transmit signals. The most common of these is the phone tap. It can dicretely breach a phone connection, and monitor all calls, using either a link which allows a listener to hear the conversation as it occurs, or a recorder to record the conversation (

not a phone bug, security monitoring systemCall Monitor: This system allows a user to monitor the sound in a room via regular phone lines. It employs a two-step user identification procedure, and can pick up a whisper 35 feet away. Many sensitive microphones like this one employ an overload switch which prevents the listener from being deafened by a loud noise. This item sells for $230 to $300.

Telephone Coversation Recording SystemCall Recorder: This system allows up to 8 hours of recording of both sides of a telephone conversation. To cut down on tape use, it has a feature which causes it to be activated only when voices are present. It sells for $180 to $230.

Another type of phonetap system is known as "the Informer". This device allows monitoring of sound activity in the entire room where the bugged phone is -- after the phone has been hung up. This device is plugged into the wall, and is very inconspicuous, allowing undetected monitoring of activity. Another version of this device allows the room to be monitored constantly, without an initiating phone call. These devices sell for $350 to $400 (


There are also very small bugs which can be placed in many different hidden locations on a person, piece of furniture, light socket, pager, etc. These bugs are not legal for general use within the United States, and vary in cost (


Last updated May 14, 1999