Can the government spy on you through your dishwasher?

// Posted by on 03/19/2012 (10:50 PM)

In an article posted on wired titled “CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher”, author Spencer Ackerman disscusses how an increasing number of our home electronics and devices are connected to the internet and there is a possibility that the government could use them to spy on us.

Spies used to have to plant a bug but now they can hack your wired devices or intercept the signal sent when you use the lighting app on your phone.

The most interesting part of this article is that although there are several laws which protect American citizens from being spied on by the CIA, this new catagory of collecting data from wired devices does not fall under many of the legal restrictions and has become a gray area.

I feel like this relates to the activites of Anonymous and stuxnet. If the CIA can spy on you, so can any member of anonymous or any tech savy individual on a mission, like the creator of stuxnet. It is a matter of online security and how secure do we really have a right to feel. I don’t really have anything to hide but I don’t want someone to be able to know everytime I turn a light on. With the massive connectivety of the network we send out so much information about ourselves on a daily massive that it is naive to believe that no one is watching. The article points out how alarmed legislators were to realize just how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or playstation, and right now it is technically not illegal. I think as a society we need to re-evaluate what we consider privacy and the extent of privacy that we expect. I expect to be allowed to go about my day without the government documenting my every move. However in the instance of a person of interest who may potentially do harm to others, it is hard to say that the government should not pursue them through the means available. But I think my opinion is that even if it is a person of interest, it should be like a warrant, unless the authorities can prove probable cause, they need to stay away from me and my dishwasher.

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Molly said...

I think this article brings up a really interesting and scary point. I agree that I don’t have anything to hide from the government, but I still don’t feel comfortable with a stranger knowing my every move. I have taken a class on journalism law and though most of what I studied does not apply to anyone who isn’t publishing a news story, I did learn a lot about privacy rights. Regardless of legislation that specifically applies to spying through these home devices, your expectation of privacy in your own home is pretty high. If someone drove by your home and saw you turn a light on, they aren’t invading your privacy. And though spooky, I don’t mind if my dishwasher knows I turned the light on in my kitchen. However, as technology advances,if your dishwasher is connected to the internet or can pick up more information than a light turning on, I agree that there should be probable cause before the government can access that information.

// 03/20/2012 at 5:59 pm

Tommy said...

I think that article is pretty interesting, and actually creeped me out a little as I read considering the amount of technology around me that could potentially be used to spy on me. Overall, I usually figure that If I have nothing to hide, I shouldn’t really worry about it, but the fact this this is such a gray area is kind of disconcerting. Obviously there needs to be some kind of legislation here, and the sooner the better. I agree that its one thing if the government does it (“national security” or whatever), but if they can do it, so can a bunch of other people, and that’s a pretty scary thought. The other piece of the article that interested me was the concept of “online identities” for spies. Specifically, I doubt it would be easy, even for the government, to completely wipe away the “digital footprints” of agents who need to vanish

// 03/20/2012 at 10:02 pm

Kelsey said...

Wow that’s fascinating, I never would expect something like a dishwasher would be able to monitor us but I can’t say I’m surprised either. It’s almost sad that we are focusing on piracy and downloading music illegally when we have our government coming up with new ways to spy on us given proper cause. When the Patriot Act comes up again in February 2015 I imagine that debates will lean in this direction. I can only hope that people will be a little more aware of what the government is doing especially after the Occupy Movements and make their opinions known.

// 03/20/2012 at 10:36 pm

Natalie said...

I think these types of hacks in technology are inevitable. I am not so scared about the government spying on me, as I have nothing to hide from them, but what I find more disturbing is that this technology is available to anyone. The public spying on me is more scary. How do we know that in the future our nosy neighbors won’t be able to hack into our dishwashers and watch us? What if an ex-boyfriend or estranged family member decided to creep on my life? All they would have to do is hack into these hypothetical systems – and those are people who would be interested in creeping on the mundane activities of my life. The government can watch all they want; I won’t get worried until the day it’s not just the CIA.

// 03/21/2012 at 1:14 pm