« | Home | Categories | »

Queensland police say fridges could be turned into listening devices

Posted on August 2nd, 2017 at 7:34 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment

[Quote:]

Your fridge could be turned into a covert listening device by Queensland Police conducting surveillance.

The revelation was made during a Parliamentary committee hearing on proposed legislation to give police more powers to combat terrorism.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said technology was rapidly changing and police and security agencies could use devices already in place, and turn them into listening devices.

“It is not outside the realm that, if you think about the connected home that we now look at quite regularly where people have their security systems, their CCTV systems and their computerised refrigerator all hooked up wirelessly, you could actually turn someone’s fridge into a listening device,” Mr Stewart said.

  1. The capability is not particularly surprising. Voice activated fridges have been talked about for a while now ( https://www.wired.com/2017/01/ces-smart-fridges/ ), and if a device has a microphone and an internet connection then it has the ability to be rooted and used for surveillance device whether it’s a fridge, a radio, your phone, TV or even light bulb ( https://www.amazon.com/Vocca-Pro-Light-Activated-Triggers/dp/B018QS3P68 ).

    What I personally find surprising is that the *state police* are requesting this kind of power. I expect the Australia Signals Directorate already have the power to do this, and I would assume other federal agencies would as well, but I don’t see why state police would need it.

    If anyone is curious the details can be found here: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/TabledPapers/2017/5517T911.pdf – Part 2 – Clause 14 (page 15 )

    “The emergency authorisation also authorises the use of a device (an existing device) that is on the premises, or in or on the vehicle or object, or a vehicle or object of the class, as a surveillance device of that kind”.

    The other fun part thing coming out of Australia is that the prime minster has jumped on the “encryption is evil” bandwagon that the UK is heading towards and came out with this gem the other day ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/07/14/turnbull-vs-maths-how-do-you-snoop-on-encryption-without-ruining-it-for-everyone_a_23029275/ ):

    “The laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.” – Malcolm Turnbull – Prime Minister of Australia on encryption

  2. @MrHatMan: Are you sure your PM isn’t called King Cnut?

previous post: Clean Kill

next post: The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made