Wikileaks Exposes CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch Op That Allows Feds to Eavesdrop, Possibly Video Stream While Your Smart TV is Shut Off
Operation “Weeping Angel” … This incredible breach of American’s privacy is Developing and unfolding as we write this.
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This has to be one of the largest privacy breaches in world history. The CIA, working with British spy agency MI5, have developed a back door for a smart TV that allows government snooping while the television is turned off. And that may now include live video streaming of your living room and office.
Or you think it is turned off. It is actually in fake “dummy” off mode that allows government agencies worldwide to snoop on your conversations. Dubbed “Weeping Angel,” the program employs what is termed the ” Fake-Off mode” and saves the audio files — and now possibly video as well — of your conversations and then a computer algorithm analyzes them for target or hot words. If your conversation mentions keyword like “bomb” or “assassination” or “Allah” your audio files are flagged for HUMINT analysis by CIA analysts and worldwide spies depending on how far reaching this technology is.
In a 2014 document detailing future and improvements to the program, CIA officials said they planned to add a feature where the Agency could capture video and video snapshots of people through their televisions. This would put the federal government and the CIA right in your family room and office.
The CIA calls this technology a SmartTV Implant.
The existing audio technology alone — absent the even more invasive video features — would seem to break several federal laws, including the tenet that the CIA does not conduct domestic spying within the borders of the United States.
The target television manufacturer for the technology is Samsung smart TVs and while it has been known publicly that snooping is enabled via certain Samsung models it was never known that there was a fake off mode where conversations could be recorded while the owner thought the appliance was shut off.
Enter Weeping Angel. The program allows federal agents to control your television set remotely while you believe it is shut off, including these elements disclosed in a previously classified CIA documents released by Wikileaks:
- Blue LED on back remains powered when in Fake-Off mode
- WiFi interface is disabled in Fake-Off mode
- Max possible storage usage is 700MB (of 1.6GB). Increasing requires a change to (& recompile of) the source.
- In Fake-Off mode, the Samsung and SmartHub logos are not shown.