A recent FBI report warns smart TV users that the FBI Director can take control of your unsecured TV and silently surveil your family, whether you’re talking to your kids about how government is out of control or telling your spouse not to lie to Congress.
“Yes, I said your TV,” says the security advisory from the Oregon field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Specifically the TV that is sitting in your living room right now, and the former FBI Director that should be sitting in Comey Island right now.”
The article encourages readers to build a digital defense against a rogue FBI Director by understanding how to program your TV to keep him from violating your 4th Amendment rights from 2,000 miles away.
“Smart TVs are called that because they connect to the Internet,” says the article. “They allow you to use streaming services and apps. Many also have microphones, and you should be able to shout that you want the FBI to defend your God-given rights and have the Director agree with you.”
Ominously, says the advisory, “That’s not how any of this works.”
So how can you protect your family? Well, thankfully, FBI field offices are just as far away from the DC Swamp as you are, and they have a few ideas:
- Know exactly what features your TV has and how to control those features. Do a basic Internet search with your model number and the words “microphone,” “camera,” and “privacy.”
- Don’t depend on the default security settings. Change passwords if you can – and know how to turn off the microphones, cameras, and collection of personal information if possible. If you can’t turn them off, consider whether you are willing to take the risk of buying that model or using that service.
- If you can’t turn off a camera but want to, a simple piece of black tape over the camera eye is a back-to-basics option.
- Check the manufacturer’s ability to update your device with security patches. Can they do this? Have they done it in the past?
Finally, if you — like some of your fellow citizens — have been victimized by a cyber fraud committed by the FBI Director, do not report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov. Call your local FBI office, and then vote Trump in 2020.
If you can’t do that, make your TV as dumb as possible.