Concerns about privacy and the government spying on private lives have always been around. The fear of a Big Brother society is nothing new, and “scandals” that saw the light of day in recent times – PRISM and FBI’s Magic Lantern – have not helped those already suffering from paranoia (of varying degrees). As if these two weren’t enough, The Wall Street Journal uncovered another tidbit: the FBI supposedly can remotely activate your Android and laptop mics!
Scary thought, isn’t it? But are our fears unfounded, or is there even the slightest bit of foundation for this belief?
Well, it’s WSJ reporting, and I don’t think that they will spread unfounded rumors, especially of this magnitude. Based on the WSJ report, the FBI has its own team/s who deal with tools commonly associated with hackers. Of course, this is not exactly a secret, but what the public does not know are the details – the extent of their wire tapping (or cyber tapping as the case may be) capabilities.
While the FBI has declined to make any comments – of course – sources have shared that the hacking tools available to the FBI gives them the power to remotely activate your Android and laptop mics.
To what end?
Obviously to listen in on your conversations. They don’t even need to install bugs physically anymore! All they need is a laptop and/or an Android phone – which practically everyone has these days. More than that, the FBI is also supposed to be able to record whatever comes through the remotely activated mics. (If they can activate those mics, what’s going one step further and recording, right?)
While the idea is totally freaky, the intentions are probably good – to catch the bad guys. However, this topic has always been a touchy one, with ethical questions all over the place, not to mention who makes sure the power is not abused.
How does this news make you feel?
[Image via commons]