Tag Archives: Video Security

Child Pornography Investigation Stems from Alert Customer

Tanning salon owner Joseph Layland was a friend to many of his customers until  charged with using a hidden camera to record customers in the Malden, Missouri tanning spot. Formerly “DJ’s Tan and Tone” has closed while the owner waits for trial in jail and police investigate.

Local TV site KFVS reported that police officials seized approximately 500 DVDs and videos, 18-hours of surveillance footage, and two computer hard drives as evidence in what is likely to be the Show Me State’s largest pornography crime. Continue reading

Hidden Camera Exposes Illegal Dentists

Going to the dentist isn’t something that we usually scrutinize to ensure our chosen practitioner has the necessary schooling and degrees that prove he’s a dentist. Usually, we opt for doctors or dentists who are recommended by our social circle, or, more likely, the ones covered by an insurance plan. Usually, the expectation is that they’re qualified; after all, masquerading as a dentist wouldn’t be the easiest scam to perpetrate.

In San Antonio, WOAI-TV News 4 recently published a news story by Jaie Avila using a hidden camera that might be surprising… Continue reading

U.S. & Russian Spy Rings Mimic Hollywood

If you’ve been reading or watching the news lately, you undoubtedly know that the United States and Russia are in the midst of a so-called spy swap.  On June 27, the FBI arrested 10 people on charges that they were deep-cover spies working for the Russian government but living for years in the United States. Their job, according to the DOJ, was to determine U.S. “secrets by making connections to think tanks and government officials.” Continue reading

GPS and Video Surveillance in School Buses

In Richmond County, Georgia, the  Board of Education wants to install GPS tracking devices and video cameras in the county’s school buses in an effort to make the bus routes safe–or safer–for children.

If installed, parents will be provided with accurate times for pick-up and drop-off, which will enable families to keep better track of their children. Some parents, however, feel that GPS trackers and video cameras may result in stalking and spying. While many parents feel that this new technology is a good idea, some parents feel that video cameras and  may lead to stalking and spying. The parents’ concern is two-fold; it’s unethical to “spy” on children, and they (parents) fear that others may be able to track their children in order to abduct them.

The school district takes a different point-of-view: The buses are state property, and according to Georgia law, schools are allowed to monitor their assets.

The cost of installing a system for the district will run in the range of $40,000; money that the district will have to raise if they wish to install two video cameras and one GPS unit on every bus, and will ask the Richmond County Board of Education to purchase the equipment for 128 buses.

According to WJBF-TV in Augusta, the district’s intent is to install a camera in the aisle and one in the front of the bus, monitoring activity on the bus on a consistent basis.

GPS trackers and cameras will operate when the bus is running, and drivers won’t be able access either piece of equipment,  “but school authorities will be able to view any recorded information at their discretion. The school has attempted to reassure parents by stating that the new equipment is being installed to increase efficiency, and that the school board is not interested in spying on students.”

The umbrella benefit is that bus drivers, responsible for keeping children safe, fall under the scrutiny of the district, ensuring that bus drivers “…are conducting themselves in a professional manner.” Corporations, like UPS, have used GPS trackers to ensure employees stay within company guidelines while using corporate assets.

Facebook Glitch Allows Eavesdropping

Facebook admitted yesterday that reports of a bug in its software, allowing users to electronically eavesdrop on others by allowing users to view their friend’s chats and messages was true.

Although Facebook announced that they had discovered, then repaired, the problem, it was actually discovered by TechCrunch’s European offices.

Once reported, Facebook shutdown their chat service and repaired the security hole within hours. The statement from Facebook reads:
“For a limited period of time, a bug permitted some users’ chat messages and pending friend requests to be made visible to their friends by manipulating the “preview my profile” feature of Facebook privacy settings…”

Notice that Facebook didn’t define the amount of time that  constituted a “limited period.”  Thus, the eavesdropping could have taken place since the beginning of the year. However, users began complaining on Wednesday morning, so it is assumed the problem is a recent one.

Safety and security have plagued Facebook, and it was reported that the CEO of the social site “did not believe privacy.” Unless, of course, it has to do with the company he founded.  Unfortunately, there are no electronic countermeasures; users should, however, lock down their privacy settings.

Facebook’s security-related mistakes weren’t over. Once again, TechCrunch Europe reported a second security breach, this time concerned with the Prime Minister elections in England. TechCrunch EU noticed that a poll asking users who they wanted as Prime Minister – set to end Tuesday – was still up today. Voting rules in England state that both intention and exit polls are illegal on election day. Facebook’s position was that the poll did not ask how people voted, but who’d they like to see as Prime Minister.  Although Facebook denies wrongdoing, the poll disappeared from the site.  Again, no countermeasures on that one.

If you believe that you’re being monitored without your knowledge, send us an email or give us a call at U-Spy Store. We’ll provide you with the advice, and equipment, you need to flush out privacy invaders.

Crime Does Not Discriminate: Chicago PD’s #3 Man is Burglarized

How would you like to find out via the news that the house you burgled last night happens to be that of a Chicago Police Officer? To a thief, I think that this would be rather, er, trying. In the same situation, what would you do if you found out the Police Officer was actually a CPD Official, namely Deputy Superintendent Steve Peterson, two steps down from the top position at the Chicago Police Department?

If it were me, I’d move. Forever. I understand that out of fairness, all cases should be treated with equal weight, but we are all human; thus, crime hits us harder if we, or those close to us,  are the victims. People…like our boss. Even more unfortunate for the crooks is the fact that Peterson is in-charge of the detective’s division… Do you think that they’ll be motivated to solve this case?

A note to those trafficking in stolen goods: Avoid 50-inch flat screen TVs and .357 Magnums like H1N1…they’re two items reported missing from Peterson’s home.

U-Spy Store has worked with law enforcement on numerous investigations over our twenty-plus years, and THE best lesson we’ve learned is: Crime Never Discriminates, it is an equal opportunity destroyer. Thus, we always advise our clients that it’s better to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best;  in the long-run, it saves time, money, and, at times, lives.

If you need recommendations on increasing security at your home or place of business, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We provide free-estimates and carry a variety of home/business protection equipment. Our phone number is 773-529-2779. Or, feel free to drop us an Email

Understanding Motion Activated Recording

Many customers of ours are aware of motion activated recording. This is a function of your video security system that provides recordings only when there is action or activity in the camera screen. Many people incorrectly believe this function is provided by the camera. It’s actually the DVR that senses the motion and starts recording when there is action. Any camera will not effect the Motion Activated function. So don’t worry about the security camera you buy when considering the Motion Activation feature. Here is how it really works.

The DVR has several choices of how to record. Motion Activated, Continuous, Timer or Schedule, etc. I don’t understand why anyone would choose anything but the first choice, Motion Activated Recording. This means, that in each camera, should any activity be detected, the DVR will record. And usually, the DVR will only record that particular screen. At least the higher quality (all of our DVRs) do. How the technology works is that whenever pixel motion is detected in the screen, the DVR things it is motion. So anything from a bird flying by, a tree or bush blowing in the wind or even an empty bag blowing in the wind. Other undesirable motion detection issues may be TV or PC monitors.

Another cool function of this Motion Activated Recording is the Mask or Screening feature. Let’s say you are shooting outside and there is a large tree or bush in the picture. You have the ability with al of our DVRs to screen or block out the tree. Just going to the Motion Setting area and you will be able to see the blocks or screen (depending on your DVR type) and control the area that sets off recording. You will see the entire screen in the live view or when the desired Motion areas have activity. But the tree blowing in the wind will not effect motion. Use this also for heavily traveled roads that are not critical security areas. If your business or home is near a busy street, the traffic can be eliminated.

There are other great features too. You can decrease or increase sensitivity as needed in the settings. This could be handy when you have some inconsequential slight motion like reflected lights entering the room through windows and such. A person walking through the screen should set motion recording off even in the lowest of sensitivity settings but you should test the settings before you assume everything is right.

The whole idea behind these features is to offer you the convenience of not having to watch hours of video when an incident occurred and you are unsure of the time of occurrence. So you walk into your office at 6am and discover a missing object. You can simply play the camera channel or channels that has the view of the missing object and the effort should be easy. Start reviewing your video at the time you know the object was present. As you play, only activity in the camera will be played back. Not the entire time frame.

Another great benefit is that you will save hard drive space. As you record video, you use up valuable hard drvie space. So if you can economize the amount of recordings you make through motion recording, you will ultimately have more days of recordings on your hard drive before it starts to recycle. This means you can view further back into history to check activity instead of buying a larger or an additional hard drive.

We hope you found this helpful. For more information, please visit our website’s video swcurity section https://blog.uspystore.com/cctv-video-security.html or call us toll free: (888) 338-4545.