Monday, February 1, 2016

FutureWatch - Keep Your Eye on IoT - The Encryption Debate is a Distraction

...products, ranging from “toasters to bedsheets, light bulbs, cameras, toothbrushes, door locks, cars, watches and other wearables,” will give the government increasing opportunities to track suspects and in many cases reconstruct communications and meetings. more

...from "Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the ‘Going Dark’ Debate"
The audio and video sensors on IoT devices will open up numerous avenues for government actors to demand access to real-time and recorded communications.

A ten-year-old case involving an in-automobile concierge system provides an early indication of how this might play out. The system enables the company to remotely monitor and respond to a car’s occupants through a variety of sensors and a cellular connection. At the touch of a button, a driver can speak to a representative who can provide directions or diagnose problems with the car. During the course of an investigation, the FBI sought to use the microphone in a car equipped with such a system to capture conversations taking place in the car’s cabin between two alleged senior members of organized crime.

In 2001, a federal court in Nevada issued ex parte orders that required the company to assist the FBI with the intercept. The company appealed, and though the Ninth Circuit disallowed the interception on other grounds, it left open the possibility of using in-car communication devices for surveillance provided the systems’ safety features are not disabled in the process.

Such assistance might today be demanded from any company capable of recording conversations or other activity at a distance, whether through one’s own smartphone, an Amazon Echo, a baby monitor, an Internet-enabled security camera, or a futuristic “Elf on a Shelf” laden with networked audio and image sensors. more