According to the website USAspending.gov, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) awarded a contract to an American defense company to build a vacuum cleaner for surveillance purposes.
A California-based company called Special Services Group, LLC. received a $42,595 contract on November 28 to manufacture a “custom Shop Vac concealment with Canon M50B.” The program completion time is one month, the DEA expects delivery of the spy vacuum on January 01.
Canon describes the high-sensitivity VB-M50B Network Camera as a “PTZ [Pan-Tilt-Zoom] network camera” that “captures video with remarkable color and clarity, even in very low-light environments.”
Depending on the retailer, the camera sells for $3,000 to $3,500; the contract summary specifies the spy vacuum is being funded by the DEA’s Office of Investigative Technology, as Quartz first reported this story on December 06.
The company behind the spy vacuum: Special Services Group “is a leading supplier of technical solutions for law enforcement, military and government agencies in the United States of America,” its website says. “Due to the critical missions of our customers, we have chosen not to place our product information on our website. Please use the contact section of our site to request more information.”