WSJ: The FBI can remotely flip on Android phone mics to record conversations

FBI Android Microphone Hack

Anyone worried about being tracked by law enforcement officials really ought to think twice before buying an Android phone. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation can now “remotely activate the microphones in phones running Google’s Android software to record conversations” and that it can also “do the same to microphones in laptops without the user knowing.” The FBI is now able to perform these feats because it’s invested heavily in recruiting hackers to help it improve its surveillance capabilities, the Journal writes. The Journal’s report suggests that federal officials do need to get a warrant before employing such tactics, which means that the FBI isn’t just casting a wide dragnet as the National Security Agency has been doing with cell phone users’ metadata.

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