Maybe You Should Borrow This Security Trick From Zuckerberg

He covers his laptop's camera with tape
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2016 7:42 AM CDT
Maybe You Should Borrow This Security Trick From Zuckerberg
Look closely, and you can see tape covering the camera on his laptop.   (Facebook)

It was meant solely to be a celebratory post by Mark Zuckerberg about Instagram reaching the milestone of 500 million users. But as CNET reports, the Internet was far more interested in what Zuckerberg revealed inadvertently: His laptop is in the background, and it shows that Zuckerberg puts a piece of tape over its camera as an apparent security measure—to ward off hackers who might gain control of it remotely to spy on him. A Twitter user named Chris Olson seemed to be the first to spot it, tweeting on Tuesday that Zuckerberg also tapes over his microphone jack and uses a rather obscure email client from Mozilla called Thunderbird. (Some think it's actually a Cisco VPN client.) Reaction:

  • Gizmodo: "Of course, it’s not insane that one of the most powerful people in the world is paranoid about being watched—but Zuckerberg better hope the legions of users his company is depending on for live video content don’t take a lesson from his book."
  • New York Times: “Covering the camera is a very common security measure,” a security expert tells the newspaper. “If you were to walk around a security conference, you would have an easier time counting devices that don’t have something over the camera.”
  • Fusion: Covering the camera is a wise idea. But "putting tape over your microphone jack is not going to be effective in making your computer hacker-proof. That’s just going to keep someone from plugging their headphones into your machine. If Olson is wrong, and Zuck has in fact put tape over the mic holes, though, that will muffle the computer’s hearing ability, per a test conducted in our office."
  • NPR: The Zuckerberg story is prompting outlets to re-run this quote from FBI chief James Comey in April: “I put a piece of tape—I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop—I put a piece of tape over the camera. Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.”
  • Also prior to the Zuckerberg story, the Guardian looked into the growing popularity of the idea.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation even sells camera-covering stickers.
(More Mark Zuckerberg stories.)

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