James Comey, The Director of the FBI, has admitted to putting tape over his laptop’s webcam for safety reasons and has encouraged everyone to follow his example. The head of the government agency detailed his low-tech safety practices during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Wednesday, September 14.
Comey’s statement comes amid an ongoing Bureau investigation of the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The former First Lady and Secretary of State have been the subject of much controversy after her, and her staff’s questionable security measures led to the leaking of thousands of emails and other classified information.
The FBI takes its privacy seriously, as do other security government agencies like the NSA and the CIA. Their efforts to protect their privacy stand in stark contrast to their “investigation” methods on the American people and foreign nations.
FBI Director James Comey copied his tape technique from the news
The Director of the FBI first addressed how he protected himself from hackers online earlier this year. James Comey revealed he covered his computer’s webcam with black tape to avoid potential hackers from watching and recording him without him noticing it. He said he had watched the simple technique on the news and started doing it himself.
Comey’s remarks were nothing short of ironic, and he was immediately met with criticism on social media. Given the track record of the FBI and its way of meddling in private issues, it was most surprising to know the Director of the Bureau himself engages in such practices.
Mark Zuckerberg covers his laptop’s cam with tape too
In spite of the seemingly ridiculous covering of webcams with tape, the public took the issue a little more seriously when they found out Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, also covered his webcam with tape.
The young executive celebrated Instagram’s 500 million subscribers milestone with a picture of himself framed on the platform’s iconic white frame.
However, users quickly turned their attention to the background, where Zuckerberg’s MacBook can be seen with tape covering both the webcam and the microphone jack on the side.
Should you do it too?
While participating in a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an interviewer asked the FBI Director if he still covered his computer’s cam with tape. Comey quickly replied with a “heck yeah” and compared it to people locking their cars and houses at night.
“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,” Comey said.
In admitting this, the FBI has legitimized concerns from allegedly ‘paranoid’ citizens who believe they are vulnerable to this type of cyber attacks. The government agency has revealed in the past that it is possible to hijack a person’s webcam remotely without their knowledge.