You Probably Have Four to Ten Listening Devices in Your Home

In the old days, it used to be a big deal for listening devices or bugs to be placed into your home. Here is a clip from the movie Charlie Wilson’s War where a CIA agent placed a bug onto a bottle of scotch given to Senator Charlie Wilson.

Charlie Wilson gets all offended that his conversations were spied upon.

Today we each have multiple listening devices in our home, car or carry around. We pay for the privilege of using them. Voicebot had a consumer survey that found those who are very concerned about privacy risks posed by smart speakers were only 16 percent less likely to own one than the general public.

These are smartphones, smartwatches, fitness watches, voice assistants, laptops, tablets and many toys and other gadgets.

There have been many reports that Amazon and Google record and using recordings from Voice assistants beyond the tasks that consumers intend. There are reports that cameras are activated on laptops without informing the users.

Google says it only turns on and begins recording when you utter the words “OK Google”. It was reported OK was enough to turn on recording. The voice assistant devices are always listening. It is likely the NSA and CIA are at least as good as ordinary hackers. The NSA has $10 billion per year budget and the CIA $2 billion per year digital intelligence budget. They clearly have backdoors to get video and audio from any internet or networked listening device and sensors.

The microphones on laptops and other devices can be activated or are already activated.

Voice to text apps are trivial and free now. The Otter app is very good at text to speech.

Parents can install apps on their childrens smartphones to monitor all activity on their phones. It would clearly be trivial for large tech companies and government agencies to perform such monitoring on a wide scale.

We know we are being spied upon but we just cannot quit them.

SOURCES- Voicebot, Charlie Wilson’s War
Written By Brian Wang,

8 thoughts on “You Probably Have Four to Ten Listening Devices in Your Home”

  1. I’ve got zero. I can get up and hit the lights or change the thermostat myself. TV has an infrared remote control, works just fine. I normally don’t have GPS enabled on my phone, I looked at using Waze, but couldn’t bring myself to telling everybody where I’m at and how fast I’m driving.

  2. Off topic, but the driverless car ethics question is completely without merit. Right now the only mandate a driverless car has is to get from point A to point B safely. It has no idea who might be in other vehicles, it has a hard enough time just deciding if a stationary object is a sign, a tree branch, or a vehicle in your lane. Any “ethics” about who should die in a crash would have to be specifically programmed in, long after we get the basic driveability issues figured out.

    And you know car companies would always have the car give priority to itself, just for lawsuit reasons (what if the bus is empty, or it was never in danger to begin with). The only way that would change is by federal law after much public debate.

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  5. This is a great point. We are getting to 1984 levels of surveillance with consumer electronics and the “free market”. Break up the tech monopolies, bring back the 4th amendment, ban advertising and mandate open standards for social media.

    “Don’t let it happen. It depends on you.”

  6. One day the idea of loyalty of devices to their owner, not to their vendor, will form into business case. It is not a new idea. Personal assistants, private guards, private bankers, politicians and expensive lawyers made it into profession. A very old profession. That also solves the idiotic case of “who the driverless car should kill” question. Loyalty definitively answers that question: a car must be loyal and protect the owner and passengers at any cost, and let the owner and his lawyer worry about the rest later. Only a loyal car will sell, after the first few cases of socially-beneficial life terminations. Same logic applies to other computers in all applications: one should not worry about their loyalty, and that is a huge competitive advantage in a saturated mature market.

  7. I really try not to be judgmental but when I find out a person has purposely installed listening devices into their home that transmit to the cloud I feel like they are idiots.

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