Biomedical implants collect data on unsuspecting Americans
Maybe it’s something in the water at the National Security Agency, officials there just can’t seem to get enough of spying on us by continually expanding their surveillance dragnet.
As reported by The New American, the agency is now looking into possibly stealing data from all Internet-connected biomedical devices like pacemakers, according to the NSA’s deputy director, Richard Ledgett.
“We’re looking at it sort of theoretically from a research point of view right now,” Ledgett told the attendees of the 2016 Defense One Tech Summit, held June 10 in Washington, D.C. Defense One is a defense/national security oriented news and information website.
The deputy director referred to the devices as just “another tool in the toolbox” of electronic surveillance, agreeing with a comment that the data that could be collected from pacemakers and other devices would be akin to a “signals intelligence bonanza.”
“As my job is to penetrate other people’s networks, complexity is my friend,” he told the conference. “The first time you update the software, you introduce vulnerabilities, or variables rather. It’s a good place to be, from a penetration point of view.”
The ‘Internet of things’ is turning out to be a huge privacy issue
Penetrating networks is spy-speak for essentially violating rights that are supposed to be protected by the Fourth Amendment, which (supposedly) guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures … .” The amendment also requires government to get search warrants issued only “upon probable cause” from a court of law, which describes “the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The NSA would likely get cute and argue that hey, signals from a pacemaker aren’t “papers” or “houses,” so they aren’t covered by the Fourth Amendment. But they certainly are “effects,” and no one could reasonably argue that stealing data from a device (without a warrant) is not an invasion of privacy, given that the data was not being sent to NSA for analysis voluntarily.
Are you starting to see why this “Internet of things” isn’t all it is cracked up to be?