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Flashback: CIA Can’t Wait to Spy on You Using Internet of Things

Back in March 2012 then head of the CIA David Patraeus (later a Bilderberg attendee while being a convicted felon) mused about how easy it was going to be for the CIA to spy on you thanks to the upcoming Internet of Things.  Wired noted:

“‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”

All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room’s ambiance.

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said, “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”

Petraeus allowed that these household spy devices “change our notions of secrecy” and prompt a rethink of “our notions of identity and secrecy.” All of which is true — if convenient for a CIA director.

I don’t know anybody who has a problem that will be solved with the Internet of Things.  I don’t know anyone who is excited about it.  Nobody I’ve met can even figure out why they would need the Internet of Things, or how their lives could be made better.

The consumer IoT will just be needless, expensive, create security problems that didn’t have to exist, and open up the door for yet more advertising.  And as convicted criminal David Patraeus reminds us, it will also be a new spy network.

Who needs that?

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