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This ‘dystopian’ new spy technology should terrify you

There are scary new ways that webcams and security cameras can have their footage altered by government agencies.

By Alex Mitchell


There are scary new ways that webcams and security cameras can have their footage altered by government agencies.

Frightening new technology in the hands of government intelligence agencies has the ability to commandeer any smart camera and even “alter feeds” to manipulate both its audio and visuals — including past recordings, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The Big Brother-like software — used by the nation’s intelligence agency Mossad — has been brokered since 2018 to global states by a former Israeli defense force cyber chief’s company, Toka.

But only recently has the true power of this superior hacking tool been revealed.

Its top secret clients have the “previously out-of-reach capabilities” to locate all security and web cameras in a given perimeter with the abilities to tap into the feeds to watch, hack or even doctor them — including previous footage — at their discretion, the paper reported.

Specifically, it can “transform untapped [Internet of things] sensors into intelligence sources” in the interest of “intelligence and operational needs,” according to 2021 internal company documents Haaretz obtained.

Additionally, these tools facilitate users to “discover and access security and smart cameras” that aid in assessing a “targeted area.” There is another piece of “access” tech known as “car forensics and intelligence” which can “wirelessly” geolocate vehicles as well.

The spy service — which has its pieces bundled together as a package deal — also boasts its capabilities to wipe or change footage in real time, referring to the practice as “masking of on-site activities” for “covert operations.”

“These are capabilities that were previously unimaginable,” human rights lawyer Alon Sapir said. “This is a dystopian technology from a human rights perspective. Just its mere existence raises serious questions.”

Sapir fears situations in which the government utilized technology can be abused.

“One can imagine video being manipulated to incriminate innocent citizens or shield guilty parties that are close to the system, or even just manipulative editing for ideological or even political purposes should it fall into the wrong hands,” he said.

A company spokesperson told Haaretz that “Toka conducts a rigorous, annual review and approval process that is guided by international indices of corruption, rule of law and civil liberties and aided by outside advisors with extensive and reputable expertise in anti-corruption practices.”

The Toka rep added that its only clients are “the US and its closest allies … Toka does not sell to private clients or individuals.”

“Under no circumstances will our company sell our products to countries or entities sanctioned by the US Dept. of Treasury or disallowed by the Israeli Defense Export Control Agency – limiting our potential clientele to agencies in fewer than one-fifth of all countries in the world.”

Toka, which has offices in both Tel Aviv and Washington DC, has a planned “expansion of existing deployment” in its host nation, according to Haaretz.


Source: New York Post

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