The director of the FBI says ordinary citizens should be taking cyber security into their own hands.
By: Amanda Froelich
This article first appeared at TrueActivist
Hysteria over the government’s tendency to eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations and personal lives has been at an all-time high since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency’s activities in 2013. One person you might not expect to be cautious about Big Brother’s peeping tendencies, however, is James Comey, the director of the FBI. Yet, he’s one of the first to admit he puts a piece of tape over his webcam to protect his privacy.
During a speech about encryption and privacy at Kenyon College earlier this year, the FBI Director confessed that he takes measures to prevent the government from accessing his webcam by physically covering it. Comey stated:
“I saw something in the news, so I copied it. I put a piece of tape — I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop — I put a piece of tape over the camera. Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”
This bit of news sparked debate over whether or not this type of secrecy is necessary or even appropriate nowadays – especially since he formerly stated that people should not try to make their devices unhackable as this hinders national security efforts.
While he expressed his concern over cyber security in early 2016, Comey recently defended his previous remarks and even suggested that other people should be doing the same to protect their own privacy. IFLScience relays that during an interview with the U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, Comey was asked if he still covers his webcam with tape. He replied:
“Heck yeah, oh, heck yeah.”
He said he is often mocked for doing so but insists that “it’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security, as well. People ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security.”
He explained, “There are some sensible things you ought to be doing, and that’s one of them.”
Additionally, he relayed that he’s not the only government worker to cover his webcam with tape. Comey stated:
“If you go into any government office, we all have our little camera things that sit on top of the screen, they all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so people who don’t have authority don’t look at you.”
If the Director of the FBI is asking for civilians to work on their “security hygiene” and be less trusting of their devices, perhaps it’s time to consider covering your own webcam with tape, or at least, be more private about your personal affairs online.
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