The FBI uses the microphone and camera on phones to spy on people

August 3, 2013 – 9:00 AM

Do you carry your cell phone with you wherever you go? Of course you do. Indeed, a study even showed that 75% of people actually use their phone while in the bathroom! So is it any surprise that the best way to get information on suspected criminals would be to snoop on them via their own phone?

A report from the Wall Street Journal is claiming that, via unnamed sources, the FBI is doing just that, by tricking suspected criminals into clicking links that install malware on the device. An interesting tidbit of note is that the organization only uses this method on non-technical suspects; they fear that a computer expert would be able to identify and release details of the malware to the public. In addition, a search warrant should be required before the malware is installed on a phone, but the line gets blurry if the attack is aimed at only gathering metadeta. There’s no word on how many people are targeted, what the barrier is to install the software, or how it’s removed once the investigation is complete.

As we said earlier, if the government can spy on you via your phone and laptop, why should we care if the upcoming Xbox One can do the same thing? And lest you think this is an issue only in the United States, remember that other countries have their own monitoring services in place. The privacy genie is already out of the bottle, so how do we put it back in? An even more important question is whether the majority of the world even cares anymore.


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