The CIA is considering using everyday electronic devices—such as televisions—to collect intelligence on users, according to CIA Director David Petraeus, who is reported to have discussed the effort on Wired.com’s national security blog, Danger Room.
On that blog, CIA Director David Petraeus is attributed with saying web-connected devices will transform intelligence gathering, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”
Patraeus is quoted as saying how that will occur is “items of interest will be located, identified, monitored and remotely controlled [by intelligence agencies] through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters, [which are] all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.”
Petraeus made his remarks to a venture capital company about new technologies that could be added to “dumb” home appliances such as lighting systems, ovens and refrigerators, thereby making the devices “smart” appliances that are connected and controlled by “apps” on a user’s smartphone.
Once computer chips are placed in those appliances creating “connected” devices, intelligence agents will no longer have to plant listening devices in a residence, because such connected devices can be accessed by the apps, according to Patraeus. That means users will have already placed potential monitoring devices in their homes, devices with chips that the intelligence agencies have the ability to “read,” Petraeus is attributed as saying.