So-called “targets of interest” might soon have much more to worry about than having their phones tapped.
Wired.com’s national security blog, Danger Room, reported Thursday that the increased connectivity of everyday objects to the Internet has peaked the CIA’s interest for intelligence gathering purposes.
Speaking earlier this month at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capitalist firm, CIA Director David Petraeus talked about the ‘Internet of things’ — the connectedness of every day objects and devices to the Internet.
The emergence and rise of the “smart home” — a home in which all major devices are connected and automated through a central computer system — is one example of this. Household items connected to the Internet contain troves of data which could be accessed and monitored. Entertainment centers and appliances are just some of the items which could be tapped to surveil “targets of interest.”
Petraeus told the crowd the agency could use low-cost high-powered cloud computing to track ‘items of interest,’ “located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters.”
While the CIA has “a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American citizens,” reported Danger Room, the collection of “ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”
“Hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation,” reported Danger Room.