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FBI Director Says You Should Always Cover Your Webcam With Tape

FBI Director James Comey has defended his decision to cover his webcam with tape after he was widely mocked for his no-frills security tip earlier this year.

The FBI boss said that physically covering the webcam on his laptop is common sense and a step that everyone should follow. 

“There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them,” Comey said during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen,” he added, according to a report in The Hill.

“They all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

The Bureau director added that people should “take responsibility for their own safety and security.”

In April, Comey was mocked on Twitter after revealing that uses tape to cover up his laptop webcam to ensure privacy.

Speaking at an encryption and privacy Q&A session at Kenyon College at the time, Comey said: “I saw something in the news, so I copied it.

“I put a piece of tape – I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop – I put a piece of tape over the camera.

“Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”

His comment was made in response to a question about growing public awareness of the ways in which technology can spy on people.

But many have commented on the director’s hypocrisy in doing this when he has said technology companies should not make devices that are “unhackable” to law enforcement.

Activists argue that by putting tape over his webcam, he is doing just that.

Earlier this year, the FBI dropped its court case attempting to force Apple to hack into an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino terrorists.

In that case, the FBI said it had found a way to break into the iPhone 5S used by the San Bernardino attackers without Apple’s help, but stressed the method would not work on most iPhones.

And Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and a senior policy analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, accused the director of having a double standard for his own privacy:

“The public should demand to know how the government conducts surveillance. Demand to know how they’re overseen, how they’re constrained. Demand to know how these devices work,” he said.

And it was recently revealed that the US government has been able to secretly spy on its citizens through their computer’s webcams for several years.

The FBI has long been able to activate a computer’s camera without triggering the “recording light” to let the owner know the webcam is on, a former assistant director of its tech division has said.

Their usage of remote administration tools (RATs) comes to light as the world’s most powerful technology firms call on Barack Obama to curb government spying on internet users. 

The FBI have been able to use the spyware technology for years and have put it in place in terrorism cases or the most serious criminal investigations, Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division in Quantico, told The Washington Post.

The team use the same technique as ratters, by infecting the computer with malicious software – malware – through phishing.

By sending an email with a link, which could be to a website, an image or a video, the user is tricked into downloading a small piece of software onto their machine.

Once installed, the malware allows the FBI to take control of the computer and the webcam at any time, working similarly to the system large corporations use to update software and fix IT problems.


Source: DailyMail
FBI Director Says You Should Always Cover Your Webcam With Tape FBI Director Says You Should Always Cover Your Webcam With Tape Reviewed by YenAnonymous on August 06, 2017 Rating: 5

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