Cops in France have been granted the authority to remotely activate a suspect's cellphone camera, microphone and GPS. Members of parliament inserted an amendment that only allows the remote spying "when justified by the nature and seriousness of the crime" and "for a strictly proportional duration" after a judge has approved the surveillance.
Remember how the FBI repeatedly misused a surveillance tool in searching for foreign intelligence to use in cases pertaining to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection? A court order shows thousands of violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows the federal government to collect communications between certain targeted foreign individuals outside the U.S.
All this is new, right?
Ten years ago CNN revealed that even if you power off your phone the U.S. government can turn it back on. The FBI is using these kinds of surveillance tactics in the U.S. for all sorts of crimes.
And back in 2006 CNET reported that the FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone's microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
Makes a vacuum cleaner ad seem kinda quaint.