finding bugs

So…not that I’m paranoid or anything, but how does one “sweep” for electronic surveilance in a home or office? Been watching too much tv and reading too many spy/government conspiracy books…but exactly how would I find out if Big Brother is watching me and listening to my phone conversations?

There’s several techniques for detecting bugs and wiretaps. Wireless bugs can be detected with RF “sniffers” that pick up radio signals. Telephone taps can be detected using a device called a reflectometer. This sends a pulse down the phone line (or any other wire or cable, in fact) and displays the singal reflected back from it. Any change in the impedance of the line causes a bit of signal to be reflected back with characteristics dependant on the nature of the imedance variance.

Thanks Q.E.D -I’ve always wondered about that!!

Then there are active detectors that transmit a signal. Any bug contains diodes of some kind (any p-n or n-p junction will do, even in a transistor) and the wiring will pick up some of the signal. The diode will produce a harmonic of the transmitted signal and the wiring will re-broadcast it. This kind of detector will find bugs even if they are turned off. It will also detect any kind of electronic device.
I read once that when the US built a new building for the US embassy in Moscow, the Russians had the local construction workers dump sacks full of diodes into the cement. The US then had a building that they could never be sure wasn’t bugged. I don’t know if the story is true, but it sounds good, anyway. Does anyone know the truth of this story?