KGUN 9 On Your SideNews

Actions

Can you stop spies from bugging your gadgets?

No, but they're probably not interested
Posted at 6:46 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 20:46:44-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Those Wikileaks claims that the CIA knows how to turn your electronic devices into bugging devices have a lot of potential to freak you out.
      
Electronic devices are with a lot of us every minute of every day.  That could make them the perfect spies.
       
But would someone really use your electronics to spy on you and is there anything you can do about it?
 
Every so often we get calls here at KGUN from people who really do believe that we are somehow listening or watching them through the TVs.. Trust us.  We really can't do that and we really aren't interested in doing that but some recent leaks suggest maybe someone else can do that and is interested.
         
KGUN9 Consumer reporter John Matarese already showed us how devices that listen for voice commands like the Amazon Echo can send personal info out on the internet.  That alone makes some people uneasy; but now Wikileaks says it's uncovered efforts by the CIA to turn electronic devices into government spies---using their built in microphones and cameras as ready made, internet connected bugging devices.
 
Tucsonan Gilbert Ashcraft says, “Who knows what they would do?  You don't know in this society today, you don't know what they would do with it."
 
Donald Newton says "I think we're concerned about it but I don't know what we'll do about it because it's probably out there."
 
You can change privacy settings and maybe disable mics and cameras but hackers this slick can turn them back on.
         
Derek Bambauer is a University of Arizona law professor specialized in internet and privacy law. 
 
He says, “Fortunately for most of us the government doesn't actually care what we're doing and the CIA isn't allowed to operate domestically." 
 
According to Wikileaks the CIA learned to make certain Samsung Smart TVs look like they're off when they're actually on and listening.  If that worries you maybe you think it'll help to only connect to the web once in awhile.  That will not help.
 
Bambauer says, “The TVs don't actually have to be connected to the internet to record conversations.  They'll record it at the time and then the next time you go on line it'll upload it later."
 
If this really bothers you, you'll need to dial back on the tech and live without so many devices tapped into the web.