FBI Director Discloses Why He Puts Tape Over His Webcam
FBI Director James Comey during a Wednesday speech on privacy at Kenyon College, Ohio said that he’s anxious enough about the prospect of secret surveillance which is why he places a piece of tape over his laptop computer’s webcam, a gesture that is often deemed to be “paranoid,” according to NPR.
Comey discussed a myriad of issues concerning privacy and encryption, repeating his argument that “absolute privacy” hampers law enforcement. This impromptu remark during the Q&A session at Kenyon College comes in the wake of the U.S. Department of Justice’s very public spat with Apple over hacking into a locked iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Even though the government used legal action to try and force Apple to help in unlocking the iPhone, when Apple refused, the FBI later announced that it had found a way to successfully break into the iPhone.
“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,” Comey said during his talk. “Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”
Comey also discussed the recent legal battle between Apple and the Department of Justice, in which the FBI tried to coerce the tech company into breaking into the phone of the San Bernardino shooter, but later announced they had purchased a tool from a third party that had allowed them to unlock the phone without Apple’s help.
Comey’s argument is that an obsession with privacy hurts law enforcement efforts, but he also revealed he understands why people are taking measures to protect themselves. In fact, he does exactly the same. We would argue that a re-useable webcam cover would do the job the best!