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Stephen Bryen, Chairman & CTO Ziklag Systems Spying through smartphone cameras, computer webcams, laptops and tablets is widespread and governments have been checking people out for years.
Between 20, GCHQ, Britain's NSA, ran a program called Optic Nerve that scanned live webcam chats on Yahoo (and probably other chat services).
This sort of special intelligence cooperation is a regular occurrence under the "Five Eyes" program. Obviously, when used correctly and legally, this is an important counter-terrorism tool. government still has, new legislation notwithstanding, is how to assure the proper handling of extremely personal information that is completely unrelated to any counter terrorism or criminal activity.
But when it is used as a political tool to harass or blackmail people, the consequences are different and corrosive. But the NSA and GCHQ aren't the only entities spying on webcams.
He is working on his Ph D at MIT and writes a blog called Snacks for Your Mind.
Sidor's latest "snack" is a demonstration of how the cameras on your Android Smartphone can be turned on without you knowing it, and sequential photos sent to a third party over the Internet.
Marcus Thomas, a former assistant director of the FBI's Operational Technology Division in Quantico, Virginia, tells the Washington Post that the FBI could spy on anyone's webcam without turning on the camera's indicator light.
While not all webcams have indicator lights, and many laptops do not have them at all, the indicator light is a nice security feature that tells you when the camera is active.
Along with the photos, data on your location is displayed in the intercept so you can be easily tracked.