The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hottest trends in the technology sector right now. Connecting billions of devices to the Internet will serve as a great platform for future innovation, but it also opens up the door to spying by government officials. If the US director of national intelligence James Clapper has a say in the matter, the Internet of Things will act as a global surveillance system in the long run.
Consumer Surveillance at All Costs
Over the past few months, it has become abundantly clear how government officials want to pursue every opportunity for mass surveillance. Some politicians want to mask these efforts as a way to fight terrorism, but so far, there is no evidence supporting the need for weakened encryption to achieve this goal.
French government officials have shut down a proposal to install encryption backdoors on mobile devices during the manufacturing process last year. However, James Clapper, US director of national intelligence, is considering to use the Internet of Things initiative as a way to create global surveillance for national intelligence agencies.
Clapper said in a testimony last week submitted to the US Senate:
In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials.
The Internet of Things is an amazing initiative that wants to let all of our devices connect to each other, and create a form of a mesh network. Sharing relevant data between devices will accelerate technological innovation. But at the same time, this giant pile of future data is attracting attention from government officials as well. Assuming government officials would be able to intercept any communication between networked devices, who knows what could happen.
Stepping Up IoT Security Precautions
It goes without saying the Internet Of Things community will need to come up with proper security protocols to prevent law enforcement and intelligence agencies from snooping around. Especially when taking into account how this initiative will bring a lot of convenience to consumers all over the world, not all of whom are too concerned about privacy or device security.
Speaking of coming up with new IoT security solutions, The White House has recently proposed a new cybersecurity initiative, which will increase the security level for networked home devices. Among these devices are mobiles, tablets, home automation gadgets, and any other type of “smart” device that comes to mind.
Homeland Security has been tasked with the responsibility to test and certify the security of networked devices as part of the IoT initiative. No official details have been released yet as to how this certification process would work, or what type of technology is involved in the process, however.
What are your thoughts on the remarks by James Clapper? How can we make the IoT more secure? Let us know in the comments below or discuss it here.
Source: The Guardian
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