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Cybersecurity

Siri can hear you, but who else is listening in?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 July, 2018, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 July, 2018, 10:40am

There is an amusing clip of British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson giving a presentation in Parliament about Syria when he is “heckled” by Siri on his phone: “I found something on the web for Syria, ‘Syrian democratic forces supported by premonition’”. A quick lesson on making sure your phone is on silent, but is there more of concern?

Obviously Siri can hear you but who else can? From what is written in many newspapers, there are ways of “hacking” phones and probably hearing what is being said. I am not worried if people can listen in on my boring conversations but then I am not the defence secretary who surely holds private discussions with colleagues and allies. Private may easily become public.

Are your laptop, phone camera and microphone spying on you?

What virtual assistants say if you ask ‘are you spying on me?’

The world of spying has moved on from breaking into someone’s office and leaving a bug in the flowerpot. The possibility of tapping a phone that will be carried into and out of every politician’s and military leader’s meeting is bound to be considered by our foes and friends.

Whose phone would we want to listen to? I can think of a long list of people that I don’t want to listen to, as I already hear too much from them.

Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne