Many people know about the webcam spying last year on Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf, and while as Miss California she was preparing for the competition. Her extortionist was apprehended but a local incident appears to be mirrored by NSA activity on a much more grandiose scale, according to Wired today.
Greenwald reports in his ‘Intercept’ article on the NSA spying on the Internet that the NSA has a program called, ‘GUMFISH' which can take over a computer’s webcam and snap photographs. That sounds like Miss Teen California’s situation from a lone extortionist but it is a much used covert operation by the NSA and the joint work with Britain's surveillance agency GCHQ. The US National Security Agency, according to the Greenwald revelation from the Snowden’s files intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of unsuspecting internet users just because they were tracking citizens into a digital facebook.
It doesn’t stop with the webcam but extends to the microphone on your computer in a project named, ‘CAPTIVATEDAUDIENCE.’ So, ‘big brother’ was able to capture it all. Wired makes a simple solution today of just simply placing a sticker over your webcam. This was a simple tool to use and mentioned as a protection solution when it occurred during the Miss Teen California/USA debacle. Fortunately it is easy to purchase webcam stickers.
The microphone requires a different tool but is manageable with the use of a dummy plug from an unused microphone plug. When you are speaking on Skype you are still at risk but you can be watchful and be careful in conversation. Of course, you can use your own code words with your Skype associates to maintain some privacy.
Miss Teen USA has spoken out about her experience on the ugly side of the Internet as one her speaking points of her platform to help teens to be more alert to all types of cybercrime intrusion. Now Greenwald has told the world big brother is watching and listening to you.
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Twitter: Victoria Wagner @victoriaross888