The Washington Post recently reported that the FBI has had the ability to secretly activate a computer's camera "without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording" for years now.

Not that this really comes as a surprise, the United States government has been operating in a state of complete lawlessness for quite a while, but now we have concrete confirmation.

Marcus Thomas, the former assistant director of the FBI's Operational Technology Division, told the Washington Post that the covert use of laptop cameras is "mainly" used in terrorism cases or the "most serious" of criminal investigations. Of course we should just take this iron clad assurance at face value. It's not like the U.S. government has ever gotten caught abusing its power (unless of course you count things like the recent scandal where the IRS got caught targeting Obama's political enemies, or where the NSA got caught bugging the German president's cell phone).
The tactic apparently relies on malware that the FBI installs on suspects computers by sending them links in emails.
The take aways here:
1. Think twice before you click links from emails
2. Make sure you keep your anti-virus software up to date
3. Keep your camera covered with masking tape when you're not using it.
I've kept masking tape over my laptop camera for a long time. Now no one can accuse me of being paranoid.

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