It would seem that the Internet of Things is used for espionage, according to the statement of James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence of the United States. The Internet of Things is a concept that links together and connects various devices to the Internet, thus creating connections to millions if not billions of people.
James Clapper has released a report named “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community”, focused on the major threats to the U.S. on a global scale. Under the category named Cyber and Technology we can find the Internet of Things, since the virtual medium can be used by governments and by hackers for their own purposes.
Our age has blessed us with limitless access to information which has made our lives easier. However, hackers have now more opportunities than ever to find out important personal information about users. The irresistible social media has convinced millions of people to freely provide information about themselves each time they post a picture, a video or even a message online.
However, the Intelligence Community of the United States can also use the Internet to surveil or track various persons. Clapper did not provide further details on the agencies that can perform these activities.
Furthermore, Clapper’s report made reference to the lack of restrictions for countries in cyber operations, and named North Korea, China, Russia and Iran as the major threats in the Cyber and Technology category. It appears that China and Russia feature the most complex cyber programs in the world, and their intelligence and military satellites are rapidly improving. Therefore, the two countries are considered the major threats in two other categories: Counterintelligence and Space and Counterspace.
North Korea is ranked as the most dangerous in the category named Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation, alongside Iran and China, due to their advancement in nuclear weapons. ISIS remains the biggest terrorist threat, even though al-Qaeda is close behind. However, we must not underestimate the homegrown extremists that might carry out deadlier attacks right in the heart of the United States.
Last but not least, Andean and Mexican drug traffickers are included in the Transnational Organized Crime category. Human Security lists instability, large scale violence and infectious diseases as global threats, while the category named Economics and Natural Resources refers to the weakening economic conditions.
There is no doubt the Internet of Things is used for espionage, even if there are numerous threats of other nature in the world. The virtual medium is less visible than wars and acts of terror, but it must not be underestimated.
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