The Bond Of Suburbia

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

The weekend news featured a story that shocked many of its readers. According to the Guardian in the UK, British spies used advanced technology to spy on delegates, including South Africans, at the 2009 G20 Summit. Imagine that? South Africans the target of James Bond-type spies? Reading the story did two things. Firstly, it made me wonder just how private our communications are. Secondly, it made me think of my childhood when I thought being a spy would be the best job in the world.

In retrospect, being a spy is probably a rubbish career. Bond has been shot, beaten, poisoned – he must have used all his medical aid savings by now. And with the amount of Aston Martins he has written off over the years, no insurance company keen on making a profit would take him on as a client.

If, like me, part of you still wants to be a sleuth while staying at home, the gadgets below can help you become the Bond of suburbia. Or get you arrested. But isn’t that part of the thrill?

Digital Recording Binoculars – spying on your neighbours is easy with this gadget. They offer an excellent zoom function and let you record in 3D. They’re also weatherproof, allowing to sit in your garden and invade your neighbours’ privacy even while it rains.

Analog Clock Spy Cam – does what it says on the tin. You can keep track of what’s going on in your home with this neatly concealed camera. Use it for security, or use it to see what your pets get up to while you’re not there. Our puppies like to chew, though that was confirmed through the obvious gnaw marks on our dining room table legs. No need for Sherlock Holmes to work that one out.

Infrared Nightvision HD Mini DV Camera – you can’t be a suburban spy without at least one nightvision gadget. With an internal battery time of 200 minutes and 16 GB storage, this camera allows you to keep an eye on philandering neighbours. Or wondering cats. No one ever said being a suburban spy would always be thrilling.

Spy Pen – movie spies have pens that dispense poison, cause electronics to fail, fire bullets or contain tools to pick locks or dismantle bombs. This one records sound and video and can be used to keep track of all-important conversations with your neighbours. In other words, gossip.

Electronic Bug Sweep – if you are going to start spying on those around you, it may start an inter-neighbourhood spy game. Once his happens, you’ll need to routinely sweep your home for bugs. This may seem far-fetched, but there could be pensioners in your neighbourhood with plenty of free time. All they need to do is hop the 8 ft. wall, taking care not to cut themselves on razor wire or be shocked by your electric fence, evade your dogs and navigate their way through your field of alarm sensors. And once they’ve done that they can easily plant a listening device in your home. It happens all the time.

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