In Brief

Should you cover your webcam? Yes, says FBI

FBI director James Comey recommends covering your laptop camera with tape

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James Comey, the director of the FBI, has defended using a piece of tape to cover the webcam on his personal laptop – and recommends that everyone else does the same in order to stop hackers from spying on users.

Speaking at a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, he said: "There are some sensible things you should be doing, and that's one of them."

He explained that computers in US government offices have lids that block off cameras, saying: "You do that so that people who don't have authority don't look at you. I think that's a good thing."

The FBI director, who first revealed his use of the precautionary measure earlier this year, is "of course referring to hackers that can easily access a computer's webcam and spy on users", reports TechRadar. The site points out that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was also recently spotted with tape over his webcam.

Many people have commented on Comey's hypocrisy after he launched a high-profile battle against Apple this year to gain access to iPhone data used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists, says The Hill. "Many viewed that fight as a referendum on digital privacy," it says.

Comey admits that he was"much mocked" when he first revealed the privacy precaution, but told delegates in Washington: "It's not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well. So I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security."

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