The following are many of the technical terms used in the world of business security and counter surveillance:


An Agent is an individual engaged in espionage activities


BECCA stands for Business Espionage Control and Countermeasures Association. The purpose of the association is to research and exchange information about business espionage controls and countermeasures; to establish and encourage a code of ethics within the profession, and to promote a professional image within the business community through the Certified Confidentiality Officer (CCO) programme.


A bug refers to a hidden listening device. Often a small, concealed microphone combined with a radio transmitter.

Bug Detecting

For Bug Detecting, see Bug Sweeping.

Bug Sweeping

Bug Sweeping is the detection and removal of covert listening devices. This is a core service supplied by QCC Global, based in the Square Mile of the City of London but operates internationally.


CCO is an acronym for Certified Confidentiality Officer. The CCO is a training programme leading to official certification in diverse aspects of modern business-related counter espionage.

Contact Microphone

Contact Microphones are often used in surveillance. It does not have a diaphragm of its own but picks up sound by being directly in contact with a wall or other large flat vibrating surface.


Countermeasure refers to actions taken to counter eavesdropping or surveillance threats. Countermeasures can range from electronically sweeping a building for bugs to simply implementing standard security guidelines.

Counter Surveillance

Counter Surveillance is specific actions taken to counter surveillance threats.


For Debugging, see Bug Sweeping.

Drone Forensics

Drone Forensics is the term used to describe the forensic processing and forensic analysis of drones or Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV’s).


Espionage is a synonym for spying; i.e. the act of seeking to retrieve information that is considered confidential without the permission of the information holder. Espionage isa value-neutral term, making no comment on whether the act is committed for legitimate or illegitimate purposes.

GSM Detector

GSM Detectors are electronic devices which detect the presence of active mobile phones in the surrounding area which utilise the ‘Global System for Mobile communications’.

Hidden Microphone

Technological advances mean that these days practically anybody can obtain cheap, tiny and easy to conceal devices for audio recording or transmission. This is a threat to business information security that should not be underestimated. QCC Interscan are experts in the discovery and removal of hidden microphones from boardrooms, management offices and other areas where confidential information might come to light.

Infiltration Operation

An Infiltration Operation is where operative physically enters a target area, in such a manner that his presence or true affiliation will remain undetected. These are still a surprisingly common form of industrial espionage.

Satellite Phone Blocker

A Satellite Phone Blocker blocks the parts of the L-band spectrum used by satellite telephones by emitting a modulated signal sweeping over the band which drowns out local reception from the satellites.


SITREP is the abbreviation of ‘Situation Report’ and is CIA jargon that has been adopted by the American surveillance and counter-surveillance industry.

Spare Pair

In telephone systems a ‘Spare Pair’ of wires in the phone cable can sometimes be used by spies to listen in to conversations both on the phone itself and conversations occurring in the vicinity of the handset.

Tiger Testing

A Tiger Test is a useful way for a security manager to test their own protocols and safeguards. An external team is tasked by the security manager to break in to a location and photograph or remove some predetermined data or object without the alarm being raised. Tiger testing is used by the US military to test their own base defences and has proved a successful technique for use in commercial situations where it can reveal weaknesses in information storage and site security.


TSCM is an acronym which stands for ‘Technical Surveillance Counter Measures’. These are the actions and tools deployed by security firms to protect the security of clients by discovering if they are being spied upon.


TSCMi is the Technical Surveillance Counter Measures Institute.

TSCM Survey

A TSCM Survey refers to the search of rooms, vehicles, aircraft or yachts for eavesdropping devices using technical TSCM Survey equipment and processes and physical TSCM Survey search processes.

Watcher Team

A Watcher Team refers to a team of operatives assigned to keep constant surveillance on a specific individual or location.

Wire Tapping

Wire Tapping is a remote interception of both sides of a telephone conversation.