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Surveillance surprise: woman catches space shuttle footage on baby monitor

Published by Jennifer on June 15, 2007 10:12 AM

How many times has this happened to you? You pick up the phone to call a friend and your wireless phone picks up your neighbor's conversation instead. You hear a noise on your baby monitor and it turns out to be someone calling the pizza delivery place down the street. A Palatine, IL woman recently discovered that her baby monitor - a new model featuring wireless video and a viewing monitor - was intercepting some very unusual footage...from the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Natalie Meilinger noticed something unusual when she went to look at her baby monitor on Sunday night, surveillance footage from a current space shuttle flight to the international space station. NASA officials determined that Meilinger wasn't receiving the surveillance feed directly from the space shuttle, but from a local club of space enthusiasts who broadcast the feed over low-frequency radio waves, the same type of waves that baby monitors use.

While this story is humorous and interesting, it's an exception to the rule. An interception of other types of surveillance could reveal confidential or sensitive information and compromise the security of the video surveillance system. Just ask officials at a methadone clinic in Sudbury, British Columbia, Canada. Earlier this month, it was determined that footage from the clinic's wireless surveillance system - including cameras monitoring patients in extremely private places like bathrooms - could be intercepted by a car's backup camera.

So how to solve this kind of problem? Encryption. A secured wireless surveillance network can help prevent these kinds of interceptions, may they be intentional or not. Footage can be secured at the camera, during transmission, and when stored. Protecting your wireless IP network is an easy way to ensure that your privacy remains intact and your building safe.

Read about Natalie Meilinger's baby monitor
Read about the Canadian methadone clinic and learn five ways to protect a wireless network