Whether you're planning a career as an international superspy or you just think someone's after you, E-Spyzone.com probably has a gadget for you.
The new Web site, which debuted late March, sells all the latest surveillance, countersurveillance, and personal protection equipment -- everything from night-vision goggles, spycams, and bug detectors to voice scramblers, wireless body mikes, stun guns, and armored-car kits.
If it sounds like something out of a James Bond film, that's not too far off the mark. E-Spyzone.com is brought to you by the Counter Spy Shops, a New York-based manufacturer and reseller of spy equipment founded 40 years ago by a private individual who remains chief executive officer and whose name a spokesperson would not immediately reveal.
"The cornerstone of the business is based on confidentiality," says Arielle Jamil, director of public relations. The company's list of clients and the names of its employees remain secret too, she says.
According to Jamil, Ian Fleming, author of the original James Bond books, and John Gardner, Fleming's successor, used to come into the company's London shop years ago scouting for ideas.
Now all they'd have to do is go online, where the company's vast catalog of products is available for purchase at the click of a button.
"Everybody wants to be a superspy," Jamil declares.
Kits and Kaboodle
Among E-Spyzone.com's a la carte offerings are US$2,900 covert video sunglasses. ("We did those for Mission Impossible," Jamil says.) You also can find a covert wireless video pen ($2,800), a wireless video tie ($2,800) that "makes more than you look good," gas masks ($89), a theft-proof shock briefcase ($695), and a taser stun gun ($249).
The company does not sell firearms. "We're controversial enough already," says Jamil.
E-Spyzone.com also sells packages. For $36,000 you can buy a bulletproof car kit. Options include more than just quadrophonic sound: armor, gun ports, smoke screens, electric shock system, dual ram bumpers, tear-gas deterrents, oil-slick emission systems, tack dispensing systems, and a bomb protection blanket.
And for $3,900, you can buy a Business Survival Kit, which includes a bug alert that scans radio frequencies for covert transmissions and has a silent vibrating alarm, a pocket-size bug detector for room sweeps, and a portable telephone analyzer that tells you if your phone is tapped.
Why would anyone need such things? "Would you invite the competition to a top-level meeting?" the item description says. "They may already be there."
E-Spyzone.com's specialty item and gift section displays more reasonably priced products, such as glow sticks ($14.95 for six) and books, such as Getting Even ($14.95) and Getting Even II ($19.95), in which you can learn "more dirty tricks for revenge."
Is E-Spyzone.com profiting off paranoia?
Jamil says not. "People need these things," she says. "I think people are paranoid to begin with because it's not such a safe world."