More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them.
Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” — that is, wired devices — at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘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...
Fifty years after DARPA invented the internet, a former Defense chief is pursuing its unlimited surveillance potential. Any 'person of interest', or truth seeker, who gets caught in the spiderweb of 'info-warfare' is likely to find their own camera, microphone and network enabled devices used upon them, collateral psychological damage be damned.
The line is also blurring between electricity and internet, with data layers of up to 500 Mbps being run across power lines. The technology has become so potent that cyber-alarmists are predicting electrical apocalypse:
“We're in a state of crisis,” said Chalk. “The front door is open and there is no lock to be had. There is not a power meter or device on the grid that is protected from hacking - if not already infected - with some sort of trojan horse that can cause the grid to be shut down or completely annihilated.”Years after Rumsfeld expanded the Pentagon's full spectrum dominance, Petraeus' political position highlights the synergy between spy and soldier. As artificial intelligence improves, the next question may be who controls the intersection of jarhead and 'droid.
“One of the most amazing things that has happened to mankind in the last 100 years is the Internet. It's given us possibility beyond our wildest imagination. But we also know the vulnerabilities that exist inside of it. And then we have the backbone, the power grid that powers our nations. Those two are coming together. And it's the smart meter on your home or business that's now allowing that connectivity.”
Chalk also issued a challenge to governments, media and technology producers to show him one piece of digital technology that is hack-proof.