IoT – A Boon For Investigators

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The Internet of Things (Iot) is set to greatly expand government surveillance capabilities, according to the US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“In the future, intelligence services might use the [Internet of Things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper recently said in public testimony to the US Senate.

Numerous companies – from tech giants such as Apple and Samsung, to sportswear manufacturers like Nike – are all investing heavily in developing technologies that will make everyday objects internet-connected, and data from which will be processed through cloud services. In a few short years, dozens of billions of IoT devices are expected to be in the hands of consumers worldwide.

IoT will be a boon for intelligence agencies. Local, national, and international law enforcement agencies, as well as as their counterparts in the intelligence community, are expected to use data from these devices in investigations to great effect. Some experts predict that through court mandated orders, makers of these devices could be compelled to force-push updates to individual users or flip a digital switch on their devices to enable ambient communication interception.

This could provide investigators invaluable information on terror and crime suspects in an unprecedented manner. Instead of setting up sting operations, costly and cumbersome surveillance operations, and tapping into communication lines, a simple flip of a switch could do all the heavy lifting for investigators.

When every crook and terrorist will be holding a device capable of listening in on them at all times, investigators’ jobs will become much easier.