Stories like this make me so proud to be an American!
According to Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Danny Yadron of the Wall Street Journal the FBI is capable of, and in fact is actively engaged in turning on the microphone of phones running Google’s Android.
The FBI develops some hacking tools internally and purchases others from the private sector. With such technology, the bureau can remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google Inc.’s Android software to record conversations, one former U.S. official said. It can do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing, the person said. Google declined to comment.
They can do this with computer cameras as well:
Earlier this year, a federal warrant application in a Texas identity-theft case sought to use software to extract files and covertly take photos using a computer’s camera, according to court documents. The judge denied the application, saying, among other things, that he wanted more information on how data collected from the computer would be minimized to remove information on innocent people.
Currently, it seems law enforcement still needs to obtain a warrant for this type of surveillance but in light of the NSA’s domestic surveillance program and our governments willingness to allow this, it’s likely only a matter of time until they aren’t necessary.
Thanks Google (don’t be evil)! Glad I use only Apple products.