Creepy concept: FBI can turn on your webcam without you knowing it

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by thisnumbersdisconnected, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    This is getting a lot of Twitter and Facebook action today. It was a segment on F&F this morning detailing how the authorities can turn on your webcam and spy on you, and use the information garnered for search and/or arrest warrants, if you are up to committing illegal acts. The FBI has already used such "investigations" to attempt to acquire search warrants in two cases, though the courts are still taking the requests under advisement.

    Comments?
     
    #1 thisnumbersdisconnected, Dec 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2013
  2. exscentric

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    A 3x5 card will cover the camera and don't forget the microphone!
     
  3. Winman

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    Well, if they come across me sitting in my BVDs eating Fritos, that will cure them from snooping for good. :thumbsup:
     
  4. InTheLight

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    They can turn on your webcam if they have been successful in implanting malware on your computer. If they have successfully installed malware on your computer probably the last thing they would want to do is fire up your webcam. Once they've gained remote access they can browse your computer hard drive. There is likely much more important info to be gleaned from the computer hard drive than getting a visual of a person.

    Still, it is creepy.
     
  5. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Nah, they'll probably refer you to local prosecutors for indecent exposure. :laugh: :tonofbricks: Sorry.
     
  6. questdriven

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    IDK.
    But a friend helping repair my laptop said I should put some tape over the webcam just in case.
     
  7. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    NO!! Don't use tape. The adhesive will not clean off the lens and the camera will be ruined. Use a piece of paper, like the 3X5 index card exscentric suggested.
     
  8. padredurand

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    Winman, BB needs a like button!

    If I found out the FBI was using my webcam to work I would call them immediately and ask how they got it to work.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Or just hit the off button
     
  10. padredurand

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    That only works if you are wearing your tinfoil hat. They know where you live. :thumbs:
     
  11. poncho

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    The govt needs this power to keep us all safe from the bad guys they've been funding and arming.
     
    #11 poncho, Dec 10, 2013
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  12. padredurand

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    I mention tinfoil hats and you show up. Coincidence or irony? :laugh:


    They're watching you is creepier than They're reading about you.
     
  13. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    The process you describe requires a search warrant. Otherwise anything found becomes "the fruit of the poisonous tree." Apparently the webcam activation and access does not -- yet -- require a search warrant.

    Not so easily done on a laptop. There is no "off" button on most of them. There's a whole lot of people, I'm sure many on this board, that are terrified of clicking on "Control Panel" and messing with "Settings." :laugh:
     
    #13 thisnumbersdisconnected, Dec 10, 2013
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  14. InTheLight

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    That is interesting...and plausible. However, the FBI would need to know your IP address to access your web cam and in order to do that they would either need to implant malware or ask your ISP. Asking your ISP for your IP address would require a search warrant if they were uncooperative, so that's probably not an option. That leaves the malware implant.

    Still, I can't imagine invading someone's computer, activating their webcam and taking a look around would not be considered an "unreasonable search", but you never know.
     
  15. Don

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    If I read your sentence correctly, you're saying that you imagine invading someone's computer would be considered an "unreasonable search." This is true.

    Computer laws are constantly changing. Ten years ago, on one base I was at, our base network was maintained by contractors. They wouldn't do anything about monitoring the network because they believed they could be sued in a civilian court. I had my military guys do random network log examinations (we couldn't "target" any specific people, but we could search our network logs for specific search terms of sites people were visiting, and identify the people whose computers/accounts were associated with those sites), and then we either contacted the individuals or their supervisors and asked them to cease-and-desist, or contacted the legal office for a search warrant to proceed further.
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I was going to respond to ITL, but Don did an excellent job of explaining how the webcam access doesn't require knowing the IP address right off the bat. :thumbsup:
     
  17. InTheLight

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    You are reading me correctly. :thumbs:

    Searching for keyword terms on a network that the military owned would not be an invasion of privacy since no one particular person was targeted.

    But that's not the case with accessing a person's web cam in a private home setting. I presume the FBI would not be checking random IP addresses, then seeing if the computer has a webcam (which, in itself, could be an illegal search) then turning on the webcam and taking a look around to see what was going on.

    For private citizens in a privately owned home, you would need to know the IP address if you wanted to access that particular person's web cam, would you not?
     
  18. Don

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    Sorry; had to add that extra little bit for clarification; but I knew what you meant.
     
  19. poncho

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    It's funny isn't it? It's always the people wearing blinders that make fun of people wearing tin foil hats.

    [​IMG]

    Shouldn't you be preaching a sermon on Romans 13 right about now?
     
    #19 poncho, Dec 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2013
  20. InTheLight

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    Distract, deflect, go off-topic. Typical.
     

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