US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, recently testified in front of Congress about threats facing the US. During his official testimony, he said this: ‘In the future, intelligence services might use the internet of things for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.’ The Resident unpacks that sweeping statement.
February 13, 2016
In a troubling new development in the domestic consumer surveillance debate, an investigation into Samsung Smart TVs has revealed that user voice commands are recorded, stored, and transmitted to a third party. The company even warns customers not to discuss personal or sensitive information within earshot of the device.
This is in stark contrast to previous claims by tech manufacturers, like PlayStation, who vehemently deny their devices record personal information, despite evidence to the contrary, including news that hackers can gain access to unencrypted streams of credit card information.
Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.
This sparked a back and forth between the Daily Beast and Samsung regarding not only consumer privacy but also security concerns. If our conversations are “captured and transmitted,” eavesdropping hackers may be able to use our “personal or other sensitive information” for identity theft or any number of nefarious purposes.
There is also the concern that such information could be turned over to law enforcement or government agencies. With the revelation of the PRISM program — by which the NSA collected data from Microsoft, Google, and Facebook — and other such NSA spying programs, neither the government nor the private sector has the benefit of the doubt in claiming tech companies are not conscripted into divulging sensitive consumer info under the auspices of national security.
Michael Price, counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, stated:
I do not doubt that this data is important to providing customized content and convenience, but it is also incredibly personal, constitutionally protected information that should not be for sale to advertisers and should require a warrant for law enforcement to access.
February 10, 2016
You can’t say you weren’t warned. The writing on the wall that “smart devices” would prove to be manna from heaven for spy agencies and hackers around the word has been obvious for a very long time.
A year ago, I published two articles on this topic. The first highlighted the revelation that Samsung’s Smart TV can and will listen to your conversations, and will share the details with a third party. The second had to do with the release of a high-tech Barbie that will listen to your child, record its words, send them over the internet for processing. If you missed these posts the first time around, I suggest you get up to speed:
Moving along to today’s article, we learn that the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, admitted that the government intends to use the “Internet of Things” for spying on the public.