In a US Congressional hearing, the FBI came under attack from both sides of the aisle for its use of facial-recognition software, because that violates citizen privacy and can lead to arrests of innocent people. An official says that only criminal mugshots are collected, but it is known that the FBI also collects images from driver’s licenses, passports, visas, and security videos. The agency now is seeking to access all state databases that have photos, and these contain images of about half the US adult population.
WikiLeaks documents show that the CIA has hacking tools to attack Apple Mac and iPhone firmware, which is that part of computer memory intended to remain unchanged and, therefore, not available for software applications. Spyware inside firmware is difficult to delete even if the operating system is reinstalled. The CIA can infect factory-fresh iPhones and operate them remotely, including taking files, address books, text messages, and call logs. [But don’t worry. This is to fight terrorism, right?]