Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. (credit: CSPAN)

James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, told lawmakers Tuesday that governments across the globe are likely to employ the Internet of Things as a spy tool, which will add to global instability already being caused by infectious disease, hunger, climate change, and artificial intelligence.
Clapper addressed two different committees on Tuesday—the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee—and for the first time suggested that the Internet of Things could be weaponized by governments. He did not name any countries or agencies in regard to the IoT, but a recent Harvard study suggested US authorities could harvest the IoT for spying purposes.
“Smart devices incorporated into the electric grid, vehicles—including autonomous vehicles—and household appliances are improving efficiency, energy conservation, and convenience. However, security industry analysts have demonstrated that many of these new systems can threaten data privacy, data integrity, or continuity of services. In the future, intelligence services might use the loT for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,” Clapper said (PDF), according to his prepared testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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