The director of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), James Comey, admitted at an event this past week that he personally covers his webcam with a piece of tape despite being mocked for doing so. “There’s some sensible things you should be doing, and that’s one of them… You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen. They all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing,” he commented when probed for details.
Perhaps James Comey is thinking of a particular attack in 2014 when black-hat hackers put up a website which streamed live video from a collection of hacked CCTVs, baby monitors, and webcams. Despite the increasing threat to online security as people become more and more connected to the cloud, some folks still seem to find it funny that the director of the FBI takes so much care with his personal security. However, he probably knows better than most just how dangerous the cloud has became in recent years.
“…It’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well,” Comey explained. “All of the desktop cameras in the agency’s offices also have lids that can be lowered to prevent unauthorized video surveillance.”
James Comey is not alone, either. In June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was observed in a photo with his own webcam covered on his laptop sitting on the desk to his right. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also has long advocated the public taking this extra step in protecting their digital privacy rights.
James Comey wrapped up his statements by noting that most businesses who experience cyber attacks don’t tell the FBI about them. He asked that more organizations start coming forward to share these exploits with the FBI. “We will not revictimize them,” Comey promised.