FBI Director James Comey revealed the reason behind why he places a piece of tape over his laptop computer's webcam during a speech Wednesday at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.
During the Wednesday speech, Comey discussed a myriad of issues concerning privacy and encryption in the wake of the U.S. Department of Justice's very public spat with Apple over hacking into a locked iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernardino shooters. Although the government used legal action to try and compel Apple to aid in unlocking the iPhone, when Apple refused, the FBI later announced that it had found a way to successfully break into the iPhone.
Although Comey addressed some of the public's concerns over privacy and encryption during his speech, he also discussed his own unusual practice of placing a piece of tape over his laptop's webcam — a gesture that is often deemed to be "paranoid," according to NPR.
"I saw something in the news, so I copied it. I put a piece of tape — I have obviously a laptop, personal laptop — I put a piece of tape over the camera," Comey said during his talk. "Because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera."
Comey also argued during his speech that tech companies should not seek to create devices that are "unhackable" by law enforcement agencies, according to NPR. But with his own admission that he places tape over his laptop's webcam for privacy reasons, some people have tried to call him out on what they say is evidence of a double-standard, even as others sought to defend his reasoning.
@csoghoian What does he have to hide?— Ben Rosengart (@Ben Rosengart) 1460016619.0
@csoghoian Surely a boon to the rest of us who wish our privacy to be respected and still have access to this marvellous technology ...tape!— Carl “Social Distancing” Smythe (@Carl “Social Distancing” Smythe) 1460014284.0
Well that's vindicated - tape over your laptop camera. https://t.co/uzmsV0zcj8— Richard Siggs (@Richard Siggs) 1460216102.0
Comey's remarks about placing tape on his laptop occur around the 1:34:45 mark on the video below.
(H/T: the Daily Caller)
Follow Kathryn Blackhurst (@kablackhurst) on Twitter