What is Covert Surveillance?

April 1, 2021 5:06 am


Covert surveillance, sometimes called “spying” or “unmarked observation” is the observation of a person without his/her knowledge or consent. It differs from “surveillance” in that surveillance involves physical obstruction of the person’s awareness or knowledge, whereas covert observation occurs without physical obstruction. A well-known example of covert surveillance in action would be the behavior of undercover officers who observe suspected criminals. Unmarked observation entails observing a subject without them knowing.

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The term Covert Surveillance has been in use since the early 1950s. It stems from the “covert operations” code word employed by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in describing their techniques in the Vietnam War. “Covert surveillance” was first defined as “the intentional employment of techniques and procedures designed to monitor, control, or spy on behalf of an agencyā€¯.

The term covers any activity that would appear to be conducted in the absence of awareness. In other words, covert surveillance is a way of conducting covert activities. Surveillance could be undertaken by anyone who is involved in the investigation and surveillance of others, whether a private individual engaged in Covert Surveillance or an employer who suspects wrongdoing by his or her employees. For a Private Detective, visit isg-investigations

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Covert surveillance is often a closely guarded secret, used only by those involved in the operation. Even when this information may be necessary to protect the subject, it cannot be used to harm that person in any way. The ultimate goal of all laws created to protect victims of crime is for them to be able to pursue justice without fear of being harmed.