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ScrewCam
WiFi camera concealed as screw - this page is a stub

Screw Camera, or ScrewCam, is a commercial-of-the shelf (COTS) wireless 1080p camera, concealed as a regular screw. It has a built-in WiFi transceiver and can be connected to any local PC or mobile phone via an existing WiFi network. Devices like this can be found on auction sites such as eBay. In 2002, a member of the Dutch Royal family accused the Dutch intelligence service AIVD and the RVD of using a similar device to spy on him and his (then) wife Princess Margareta.

The unit consists of a miniature High Definition (HD) camera, attached via a 10 cm flex PCB to a miniature WiFi transceiver, with built-in video recorder. Power is provided by an internal Li-ion battery that can be recharged via a standard USB cable. Several hours of video and sound can be recorded onto a removable SD-card, but can also be transmitted directly via a local WiFi network using the device in peer-to-peer (P2P) mode.

The image on the right shows the actual camera, which is concealed by the fake cross-head of a regualar screw. It has a diameter of just 9 mm.
  
Camera concealed as a screw head

The camera can connect to smartphones running iOS (Apple) or Android (Google) operating systems. For this, a universal video application (App) has to be installed on the mobile phone.

Complete set
WiFi transceiver with antenna and camera (concealed as screw)
WiFi transceiver with antenna and camera (concealed as screw)
Close-up of the camera
Camera concealed as a screw head
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Complete set
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WiFi transceiver with antenna and camera (concealed as screw)
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WiFi transceiver with antenna and camera (concealed as screw)
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Close-up of the camera
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Camera concealed as a screw head

Features
Click to see more

Screw or microphone?
On 19 June 2001, Dutch entrepreneur Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn married Princess Margarita, a niece of (then) Queen Beatrix. Soon after the wedding, both De Roy and Princess Margarita began accusing the Dutch Royal Family — in particular Prince Bernhard 1 — of spying on him and his wife, and interfering with his business contacts. Bernhard was not particularly fond of De Roy.

On 4 March 2003, Princess Margarita claimed that she had been overheard during a conversation with director of the State Information Service (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst) — Eef Brouwer. Brower dismissed the claim and showed the room 2 to the press the next day, pointing to an ordinary screw in the wall that she had probably mistakenly identified as a microphone. 'Ridiculous', according to (then) Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende. Although it is highly unlikely that the pair had indeed been bugged this way — there are much better ways to hide a microphone — the device above shows that a microphone – and even a camera – can easily be concealed as a screw.

Although the espionage claim was never substantiated, the Dutch Prime Minister admitted in 2013 that the Royal Family 3 had indead used the Dutch intelligence service BVD (now: AIVD) and the Dutch Diplomatic Security Service DKDB – and probably others – to run a background-check on De Roy van Zuydewijn, calling him a charlatan and an imposter. The couple divorced on 8 November 2006 (announced in 2004) after which Margareta had to pay alimony to De Roy [1]. The latter has since been seeking financial compensation from the Dutch State.

Hoax or reality?
Please note that the camera shown here was purchased on eBay in 2019, more that 16 years after the incident. Sophisticated cameras like this were not available in 2003. Simple cameras with CVBS output were available at the time, but not in this small form factor. Nevertheless, it would have easily possible at the time to disguise a sensitive microphone, such as the subminiature ones from Knowles, as a regular screw.

  1. Bernhard was the father of (then) Queen Beatrix, and husband of the former Queen Juliana.
  2. The Roy van Zuydewijn later claimed that this was not the actual room in which the meeting took place.
  3. More precisely the Kabinet der Koningin (Office of the Queen) [1].

References
  1. Wikipedia (Netherlands), Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn
    Retrieved 26 October 2022.

  2. Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn: mijn leven is verwoest
    Het Parool, 3 december 2013.

  3. Schroefjesincident:'RVD liet bewust verkeerde kamer zien'
    RTL Nieuws, 8 December 2013 (Dutch).
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 26 October 2022. Last changed: Wednesday, 26 October 2022 - 15:44 CET.
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