Teen Vogue counsels taping over your webcam to resist FBI (and other) surveillance

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/13/feebs-n-teens.html


It’s a rare occurrence, except for all those times it actually happens. Particularly when the school issuing the laptops have them pre-installed with backdoors, so the school admins can spy on students. This is NOT a hypothetical situation!


Further evidence that we’re living in the dumbest timeline.


A teacher at my daughter’s school just this week told her she’s not allowed to cover up the camera on her school-issued laptop, allegedly because the PostIt note I stuck over it is humming up the lens. The new PostIt note cover now has a dot of paper on the sticky side to prevent that from happening. Waiting for Monday…


Why is that? Teens are also doing the most effective political activism. They’re not as dumb as we think.


Who said anything about teens being dumb? I’m referring to Teen Vogue being considered a credible tech reporting outlet.


Every aspect of your life is a statistic for some company to exploit.
Your car tracks your daliy movements.
Your phone tracks, well everything.
Smart Tv’s, hell even your fridge is capable of all kinds of data collecting.
On top of that, people put always on devices in their homes with a expectation of privacy, that is simply a myth these days.
You are the product.
In a time when we need it most, our protections might not even exsist, much less being enforced.

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Not just tech; back when the Clusterfuck of 2016 happened, T.V. was one of the only media outlets that reported on it ethically and honestly.


My laptop (HP 850G5) comes with a little sliding plastic bit that you can slide in front of the camera when it isn’t in use and I make diligent use of it. Why this minor modification isn’t available in all laptops is a bit of a mystery.

Now if there was only a method by which you could also disable the microphones that devices these days are studded with…


My 9 year old daughter was the one who took initiative to tape over the laptop camera upon the advice of one of the YouTube people she watches. I’m proud she did that since her dumb old dad neglected to do so.


I tape over my cameras. But I’m pretty sure my fridge can’t tell anyone anything.


I found that the removable glue dots do a good job at keeping a webcam cover reversibly attached.



I think phones cameras are the much bigger problem, considering they go everywhere and we install dozens of shady apps.

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One of the more successful trade-fair freebies my employer used to distribute was little black plastic stick-on sliders for laptop webcams. I think I still have a handful somewhere that should last me for my next dozen laptops or so.

New refrigerators are wifi connected and are able to take a snapshot of what is in the fridge.
Any device or appliance that is connected is certainly capable.
Not really a tin foil hat like you make it out to be.

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In this room right now there are six devices with cameras and microphones that I know about, not counting Alexa.

I think a lot about buying a purely mechanical vehicle, so that I could (at least hypothetically) go dark.


Where I work, they give out these little adhesive plastic thingies with a panel that slides over your camera. Very cute.

I noticed the same thing. It was surprising and refreshing. I’m not sure about all of the content that they publish in their magazine (if they even still do a print magazine), but many stories that I read from Teen Vogue put the established newspapers and media outlets to shame. Lots of respect for the work they do.


Last I knew of they still did, but that was 3 years ago.

(I used to work for Conde Nast’s shipping department.)