The Kernel is zowat de weekendbijlage van online magazine The Daily Dot. Met elke zondag een nieuw thema dat de revue passeert. Afgelopen weekend voer The Kernel onder de vlag van “The Surveillance Issue”. Met als meest opvallende artikel een analyse van het Internet of Things als een surveillance nachtmerrie.
Welcome to the Internet of Things, already growing around you as we speak, which creates such a complete picture of our lives that Dr. Richard Tynan of Privacy International calls them “doppelgangers” — mirror images of ourselves built on constantly updated data. These doppelgangers live in the cloud, where they can easily be interrogated by intelligence agencies. Nicholas Weaver, a security researcher at University of California, Berkeley, points out that “Under the FISA Amendments Act 702 (aka PRISM), the NSA can directly ask Google for any data collected on a valid foreign intelligence target through Google’s Nest service, including a Nest Cam.” And that’s just one, legal way of questioning your digital doppelgangers; we’ve all heard enough stories about hacked cloud storage to be wary of trusting our entire lives to it. […] But with the IoT, the potential goes beyond simple espionage, into outright sabotage. Imagine an enemy that can remotely disable the brakes in your car, or (even more subtly) give you food poisoning by hacking your fridge. That’s a new kind of power. “The surveillance, the interference, the manipulation the full life cycle is the ultimate nightmare,” says Tynan. […] That makes the IoT vulnerable — our society vulnerable — to any criminal with a weekend to spend learning how to hack. “When we talk about vulnerabilities in computers… people are using a lot of rhetoric in the abstract,” says Privacy International’s Tynan. “What we really mean is, vulnerable to somebody. That somebody you’re vulnerable to is the real question.”