The Future Is Here
We may earn a commission from links on this page

FBI can secretly turn on laptop cameras without the indicator light

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Scary. Insane. Ridiculous. Invasive. Wrong. The Washington Post reports that the FBI has had the ability to secretly activate a computer's camera "without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording" for years now. What in the hell is going on? What kind of world do we live in?

Marcus Thomas, the former assistant director of the FBI's Operational Technology Division, told the Post that that sort of creepy spy laptop recording is "mainly" used in terrorism cases or the "most serious" of criminal investigations. That doesn't really make it less crazy (or any better) since the very idea of the FBI being able to watch you through your computer is absolutely disturbing.


The whole Post piece about the FBI's search for a bomb threat suspect is worth reading. It shows how far the FBI will go with its use of malware to spy on people and reveals the occasional brain dead mistakes the FBI makes to screw themselves over (like a typo of an e-mail address that the FBI wanted to keep tabs on). Good to know these completely competent folks are watching over us by any means necessary. [Washington Post]

Image by Oleksiy & Tetyana under Creative Commons license