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I had a Snapple tea the other day and found this “Real Fact” #726 under the cap. It reminded me of the “Real TSCM Facts” dangerously floating on the internet like discarded, half-submerged, utility poles.

We use infrared cameras in our work, and know how they work. This “Real Fact” struck all of us here as odd. An IR camera cannot see a polar bear because its fur is transparent?!?!

Oxymoron? No, just sensationalism. The mixing of two unrelated facts to manufacture an unexpected outcome designed to surprise is an example of Fake News.

The real “Real Fact” reason… 

Polar bears live in a cold climate. Retaining body heat is important. Fur and a thick layer of fat provide insulation. Insulation prevents heat from escaping their bodies, and heat is what IR cameras detect.

Insulation is the “Real Fact”
It’s not that the fur is mostly transparent, or that polar bears alone have special powers. IR invisibility is also true for the Arctic fox and other mammals living in cold environments.

The Technical Surveillance Countermeasures field (TSCM) is also plagued with “Real TSCM Facts”, such as inflated bug-find claims, fake expertise, phony certifications, do-it-all cheap sweep gadgets, and pervasive laser beam eavesdropping fearmongering.

It always pays to scratch the surface.
Examine the science.
Apply some common sense.
Click here for Real TSCM Facts
. ~Kevin


Kevin D. Murray CPP, CISM, CFE, CDPSE is a business counterespionage consultant and TSCM specialist with over four decades of experience.

Murray Associates is an independent security consulting firm, providing eavesdropping detection and counterespionage services to businesses, governments and at-risk individuals.

Headquartered in the New York metropolitan area, Murray Associates can assist you quickly, anywhere in the United States, and internationally.

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