FBI director, James Comey, delivered a speech regarding privacy and encryption at Kenyon College last week. A contrast in Comey’s actions and speech has been seen by media where in question answer session, FBI director said that he used to put a tape over his personal laptop’s webcam.
He was arguing about the encryption techniques that big tech giants had been offering to their clients. These encryption techniques created boundaries that are hard to pass for law enforcers even with a court’s order.
The director said that the companies should adopt such techniques that assist federal government in intercepting end to end communication when required.
He often mentions that the impervious encryption techniques are obstructing the ways for law enforcement under the tag of “absolute privacy”.
The director’s statement of covering the webcam with tape not only generated joviality on social media but also criticism on Coney’s hypocritical behavior.
He claimed that on seeing someone smarter than himself, he adopted that habit. And he also saw someone on the internet doing that.
While he himself is escaping the espionage, on the other hand he is asking manufactures to not to make unhackable devices.
ACLU chief technologist Christopher Soghoian tweeted that Coney’s creation of warrant-proof camera would thwart lawful surveillance if there had ever been an investigation for him.
The concern of millions of users of technology on privacy is not trivial as it is known that FBI
(Federal Bureau of Investigation) and NSA (National Security Agency) are capable of turning on webcams to spy.
The ‘Optic Nerve’ project of NSA is a proof of that. Disclosures made by Edward Snowden showed that under the project, millions of images were captured every five minutes from random Yahoo users.
In 2008, over a period of 6 months, 1.8 million images of users were taken and stored on the government servers. A tape over webcam can ensure that visuals are not being captured but voice recording either by hackers or government spying agencies still questions privacy.