FBI can remotely turn on microphones in laptops and Android devices, according to WSJ


From the very moment you bought a smartphone or sign up to a social network, you are no longer safe from being spied on by the government. The Wall Street Journal has recently reported how the FBI is capable of switching on the microphones found in laptops and Android devices from a remote location, and spying on/recording conversations.

It should be noted WSJ specified Android as the operating system for smartphones that this remote-mic-access works on but did not specify the operating system for laptops on which this trick works. We presume they are Windows laptops, seeing as there aren’t many Android laptops out there.

From what we understand, an anonymous former U.S. official leaked the information to the WSJ, but despite that, neither Google nor the FBI were willing to downplay whether or not such activities are taking place. Due to the recent Snowden leaks, we have little reasons to believe this information is not 100 percent true and has been going on for a long time.

The source also claimed the FBI’s ‘Remote Operations Unit’ sometimes install trojan software remotely to activate the ability to hack user devices. In addition, the unit can also plug in a USB device into a computer to get the hack up and running. In order to calm your nerves, the source also claims only relevant data are collected at any given time, but who are we to believe that to be true?

In our minds, such an activity is illegal and an invasion of privacy on a large scale if it isn’t accompanied by relevant warrants. No longer is it possible for us to have a conversation with our loved ones over the phone line about a special secret recipe without wondering if some government official is on the other line trying to steal it. We recommend Mr. FBI guy to get his own secret recipe in other ways that do not involve spying… or breaking and entering, that’s illegal too.

[via WSJ, image via Android Noodles]

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