Recently, CIA Director David Petraeus made headlines with a speech given at the summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. In this talk, Petraeus discussed
the emerging “internet of things” and the implications it will have for increased levels of surveillance. Petraeus explained that, because of the rise of gadgets which are connected and controlled by apps, intelligence agencies will no longer need to place spy devices inside your home
– you will do it for them.
In conjunction with a recent unveiling of a new low-powered computer chip
by ARM, one of the world’s largest chip companies, the fact is virtually every piece of electronic equipment (including appliances) can be controlled via apps and Internet-based systems. It is for this reason that Petraeus stated that the CIA will be able to read these devices via the Internet and even radio waves outside of the home.
‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies.
Particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft. 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.
He also added, “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately heading to quantum computing.”
Of course, it is well-known that the CIA or any other government agency is admitting to such a level of capability, the truth is that this technology has been available for many years, even tested and perfected long before the first hints were given to the general public.
But perhaps just as alarming as Petraeus’ statements is the recent announcement regarding the new models of Samsung televisions currently being rolled out on the market. Indeed, if these new products are not a full blast initiation into the world of George Orwell’s 1984, then they are, at the very least, half way there.