I have just finished two books, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson and Michael Connelly’s “Void Moon,” in which all sorts of high-tech hacking and surreptious cyber-surveillance occur.
In one rock ‘em, sock ‘em scene, I learned that a GPS tracking device can be placed under a car in the three minutes it takes someone to pick up mail from a post office box. Three minutes.
I had no doubt while listening to these two books that the fiction was wrapped around high-tech fact.
Yesterday, I read about the “infected flash drive” which was placed in a laptop computer somewhere in the Middle East, jeopardizing our entire military establishment. LINK
Listen to Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III:
"The flash drive's malicious computer code, placed there by a foreign intelligence agency, uploaded itself onto a network run by the U.S. Central Command, That code spread undetected on both classified and unclassified systems, establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control.
"It was a network administrator's worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary."
And, this morning on cnn.com:
“Police can walk onto your driveway and stick a GPS device on your car without a warrant, according to a federal appeals court ruling in California.” LINK
Such Orwellian language is pretty scary stuff to a 68-year-old woman who remembers the days when you had to adjust the vertical and horizontal hold knobs on a black-and-white TV.
Such spying can only have the effect of suppression reminiscent of the advice I’ve often given to young people caught up in workplace woes: “Keep your mouth shut and keep a low profile.”