WikiLeaks says the CIA can use your TV to spy on you. But there's good news | Trevor Timm

If these documents are genuine, then they prove that encryption still offers broad protection. That’s one reason to download Signal and similar apps now

The latest release from WikiLeaks detailing how the CIA has allegedly stockpiled a plethora of tools to hack a variety of everyday devices – from phones, to televisions to cars – is a stark reminder about the fragile state of Internet security. The US government has amassed extraordinary hacking powers largely in secret – and this leak might just force us to grapple with whether we are comfortable with that.

The most widely reported aspect of the purported leak is the allegation that the CIA has myriad ways to hack popular smartphones like iPhone and Android devices – and that the agency could be allowing its hackers to take control of internet connected televisions and covertly listen in on conversations in people’s living rooms. This type of attack has been the worry of many privacy advocates for years, as more and more televisions and other household devices (collectively known as the “Internet of Things”) are increasingly connected to the Internet while always “listening”.

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