Yesterday, WikiLeaks released its latest batch of pilfered CIA material, five documents describing malicious software for taking over Apple MacBooks and iPhones, and wrote in an accompanying post that “the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets,” prompting concerned readers to wonder if their iPhone or MacBook had been infected on the factory floor. In a statement, Apple says that is almost certainly not the case.
Both the Snowden revelations and the CIA leak highlight the variety of creative techniques intelligence agencies can use to spy on individuals, at a time when many of us are voluntarily giving up our personal data to private companies and installing so-called “smart” devices with microphones (smart TVs, Amazon Echo) in our homes.So, where does this leave us? Is privacy really dead, as Silicon Valley luminaries such as Mark Zuckerberg have previously declared?
It’s difficult to buy a new TV that doesn’t come with a suite of (generally mediocre) “smart” software, giving your home theater some of the functions typically found in phones and tablets. But bringing these extra features into your living room means bringing a microphone, too — a fact the CIA is exploiting, according to a new trove of documents released today by Wikileaks.